All he wanted was permission to pass, but still, you let him move you, and after, long after, you remembered leaning into those hands. ~ From “What You’ll Remember”
And These Are the Good Times, Patricia Ann McNair
In just twelve days, I will be celebrating the launch of my second book, And These Are the Good Times, with friends and family and with the wonderful folks from Side Street Press, my publisher. In honor and anticipation of this life event, I am sharing a little teaser from page twelve of the collection.
Thanks for reading! – PMc
6 Replies to “Good Times in Twelve Days”
Congratulations! I would love to read this–when and how do I get to do that? Will it be at our fabulous Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, OR.?
Hello, Cynthia. I think you have sorted this out, but if you feel so inclined, please ask Powell’s to order it!
I have read this story in the book twice – it is such a brave story to have told and to have lived. And as story it is wonderful, too.
It was his hands she noticed first. That’s what she’d tell you. It’s a lie of course, but his hands were important. She says it was his hands because she’s telling a story. About years back and how he moved her across the floor, easy with those hands, one at her waist and one holding her hand in his. And everything in tripping step with the music, like something out of a black and white movie or a dream.
Then after, in the velvet dark of the street behind the club, and it smelled of piss there and old bourbon and cigarettes, but it’s his hands again that she speaks of, raised in the air and pretending to hold the moon, wanting to pull it out of the sky for her, and that made her laugh and she kissed him and she put her tongue in his mouth.
His hands under her clothes and he said that was like holding the moon, too – holding two moons. And he pinched her nipples, hard enough she sucked in air and made a sound in the back of her throat and felt her legs weaken. That’s how she tells it. That’s what she remembers – his hands and how they reached out for her and held her and hurt her, but only in a way that made her hiss ‘yes’ and ‘yes’ through her teeth, her eyes closed and stars bursting in the closed-eye dark.
It’s a story, that’s all, one she tells to herself, and sometimes tells to women in bars, women who were pretty once and who are so far in drink they don’t remember when they wake beside her and they do not know her name. She has no clothes on and she sleeps through the hesitant knock on the door telling her the room has ‘please to be cleaned now,’ and the hotel curtains are open so the day is a hard light.
And stories that are told all end, but they can be told over and over so that it is like they do not. She shifts in her sleep and the woman she is with rises and gets dressed without making a sound, and regret in the woman’s mouth tastes of blood or metal on her tongue and she steals from the room like a thief fearful of being caught.
And there are bruises on the sleeping woman’s tits, the press of his fists like bread when it is punched flat for the second rise. And she’ll go back to him later that day, going back as she always does, and she’ll tell herself the same story about his hands and the moon will be lifted up to the sky again; and the story is a hand-on-my-heart lie but she tells it all the same.
Lindsay! The best compliment a writer can get, to my mind, is that their work makes someone else want to write something as well. Thanks for this.