This piece was written for OLWG#146
Miriam swung by the house to find me on the front porch. I had most of a twelve-pack of Coronas on the floor next to my chair and about half of a bottle of “Fidencio” Mezcal held between my knees.
“Hey, TN,” she said.
“Hey,” I reached into the box of beer and fished out a longneck for her. “They’re not cold.”
“Don’t care,” she used her yellow BIC lighter to pop the top and took a long drink of beer. When she lowered the bottle it was almost half empty. Wiping her mouth with the sleeve of her jacket Miriam asked, “You doing alright?”
“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” I handed her the Mezcal and watched as she pulled the cork and tipped the bottle.
She followed the drink with a long intake of air and then slapped the cork back in. “Damn, that’s good.” The bottle came back and I followed suit with another long draught of my own. “Well, you know; since Abril left…” she shrugged her shoulders and left the thought hanging.
“Oh, that,” I responded, “You had to bring that up, Miriam? Really? As you can see, I’ve invested in plenty of alcohol in the hope that I would forget that.”
“So, you doing alright?” she asked again.
“I will be, soon enough, once I’ve figured it out. Abril was always there, you know. I hardly remember a time in my life without her. I’ve never been alone before.”
Miriam reached her hand out and I put the bottle back in it. She held it up to the light and squinted through the brown liquid in the bottle. She took another long drink and handed it back. “You don’t have to be alone you know.”
Neither of us spoke for a while. I gazed at the colours the sun was painting on the clouds in the east, while keeping Miriam in my periphery. She watched me, then reached out to dig into the beer box for another Corona.
The prompts were:
This piece was written for OLWG#145
“My father was a big man, a burly man, covered with soft dark hair. No hair on his face though, he was always clean-shaven. He would labour with his straight razor every morning. He left the impression of being powerful. He was powerful and round; with a large round head and broad strong shoulders. He was barrel-chested, with big round hams for hands. He travelled for a living. He was gone a lot but he would send postcards back for me and my sisters. Thick envelopes would arrive for Ma and she would retire to her bedroom, clutching her letters, when they arrived. Sometimes we wouldn’t see her again for days.
Cara, Lucy, and I would marvel over the postcards. There were intricate photographs on the front; and always, a brief scribbled note from Pa on the back. A green penny stamp with a picture of a dead president assured timely delivery.
“I remember once when Pa went to Fort Smith to officiate at a mass execution. Arkansas was beginning their transition from hanging to the electric chair. They didn’t have enough chairs to get rid of the whole gang at once, so the judge sentenced them all to hang. I got a postcard with the picture on it. It’s over there in the top drawer if you want to take a look. You’ll see my father in the picture. He’s the big guy in the dark suit, standing off to the side.”
The prompts were: