9.19.2015 Journal Prompt

Image from Stand by Me
Image from Stand by Me

September 19, 2015: When he returned…

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2 thoughts on “9.19.2015 Journal Prompt

  1. I heared before how honey was once the sweetest thing known to man and they used it to soften the bitter in ale and to make candies or cakes and to spread on new cut bread. Honey has a whole different flavor from sugar and I don’t like it the same. Not even when Mikey breaks open honeycomb he stole from a bees’ nest and it’s fresh as just now and he got stung doing it and he says it tastes all the sweeter for the pain.

    Mikey’s brave as bears or bullets, I reckon, and their aint nothing he’s scared of in this world, ‘cept maybe Mrs Halliday’s tongue which can be sharp as papercuts if she takes a dislike to you. And Mikey says Mrs Halliday’s a busybody and she sticks her nose in where it don’t ever belong, and her tits is like heavy rocks in a sling and one day they’ll hang down so low to her knees and trip her up if she tries to walk. Mrs Halliday and Mikey don’t get on.

    That’s why we ran away. Mikey planned it and he asked if I’d go, too, and I didn’t think we’d get far ‘fore turning back so I shrugged and said ok. I shoulda knowed. Mickey’s got grit and he wasn’t for going back so easy as I thought. Not to face Mrs Halliday in the home where he stayed, and her sagging tits and her tongue cutting sharper as bee stings.

    We can live in God’s food basket, Mikey said, and drinking water cool from the river and laying in the sun all day with nothing to do but dream. And if the night gets cold then we can sleep in the one sleeping bag and like that be warm as puppies all in a litter. No funny business mind, Mikey said.

    It was a adventure at first and though I didn’t like the honey he got, there was berries that was sweet enough, and apples Mikey scrumped from old Cooper’s orchard, and almonds dusted with icing sugar and all in paper twist bag. And the river water tasted cool and clean as God’s blessing, I swear, and we crushed sweet flag crushed in the palm of our hands and rubbed on the skin so we smelled good. And like that life seemed heavenly.

    Then come night and it was cold as caves or wishing wells, and we did like Mikey said, which is we slept all clung together in the one sleeping bag and sharing the warmth that we made, and Mikey and me looking up at the stars sharp as pins in the sky and laughing at Mrs Halliday’s tits and imagining her fallen on her face cos of ‘em.

    There weren’t no almonds left the next day and no apples neither and the berries was a whole lot harder to find; all we had was honey and, like I said, I don’t really like honey, not same as I like sugar. And dreaming’s ok when you aint thinking ’bout the unfilled hole in your belly, and the hole widening and widening till it might swallow you entire, and dreaming ’bout nothing ‘cept meat stew and potatoes, and custard poured over a sponge with jam in it, and teaspoons of sugar stirred into a cup of tea or dissolving on the tongue.

    And I kicked my foot ‘gainst a stone in frustration and it felt like it maybe broke my toe and I was crying and hearing the voice of my pa in my head saying as how boys don’t never oughta cry and I wasn’t caring a fig for what he said; and Mikey put his arm around me and maybe we should go back, he said, and saying that not cos he ever would – Mikey’s brave as bullets or bears after all – but saying it cos he could see it was what I wanted and I reckon as that was maybe the sweetest thing known to man, and sweeter than honey or sugar.

  2. You ever knowed someone who’s mom died and they was all broken like glass inside and they was your best friend ever? I din’t know what to say or do and so I just looked at Carl, looking sad as sunsets and being just as silent.

    She warn’t sick, not as far as anyone knowed. She just died. Doctors said her heart just stopped and they said it can do that sometimes and not ever start again. And Carl swore hard as any man, all his words like thrown stones and all of ‘em thrown ‘gainst God. And ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ and ‘bastard’, he said, and ‘cunt’ he said also. And I told him to just let it out, like a poison released, and it wasn’t no sin to be doing like Carl was doing, not even though he was doing it in front of the church.

    The minister came out to see what all the commotion was and his face was red as wasp stings and he was holding his fist up to hammer the blaspheming air. When he saw it was Carl, well, I think he understood, and he let fall his slack fist and he asked us if we wanted to come inside.

    Carl shook his head and turned away and I turned away with him. The minister said to our backs as how the door to God’s house was always open. And Carl said all his best swear words again, saying ‘em under his breath this time so only God and me could hear ‘em.

    We din’t plan it or nothing. We just decided there and then to go. We stopped off at my place and I picked up a bedroll and some apples and a leg of pork that had been cooked and was cold. Then we just left, me and Carl. There warn’t hardly no words ‘tween us and we just walked up out of the town and kept on walking.

    We left the road as soon as we could and headed into the trees, and it was cool in there, as cool as church stone, and the sky was in bits ‘tween the trees and we walked till we was nowhere and till we was out of breath and out of the will to walk more. And we just sat down beside each other, sitting on a old fallen log with the sound of running water playing like music at our backs and the smell of sweet flag hanging in the air, and it was like everything was in that moment we’d been brought to.

    All I had was sorry, sorry for Carl’s mom, but sorriest for Carl. So I said I was sorry and real sorry and sorry right down to my boots. And Carl just started crying – which the occasion told me was alright and sometimes crying ain’t just for girls like they say. And I put my arm round Carl and I held him tight as not letting go and he just cried hisself to quiet and to sob and I din’t have more to say to him.

    Sitting like that, all still and near to silent, well it was like we slowly became invisible and a nat’ral part of the forest, and suddenly this glassy eyed squirrel just ran under our feet and it stopped to look at us and to get a sense of everything. And Carl and me just looked at the squirrel what was looking right back at us, and the bits of sunlight making gold on the forest floor, and me and Carl still holding to each other, and like that I reckon as it was better than any church and Carl felt it too, and God was there, sure as eggs, there with his cap in hand and saying he was sorry, too.

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