Wednesday 3 January 2024

Royal Typewritten 10.12.1998

As a child she was one of those angels. People who did not even believe in angels called her one. She flew into rooms with her singular dance, fingers stretching not for want but for joy, her arms wrapping around her father’s muscular neck, and she liked to lay on his shoulder while he read in his armchair. She gave herself freely to anyone she did not fear. In adolescence he passed away, her father, after an injury he sustained in a fall at work, and sadness of thoughts of him dominated her mind over anything like boys or hairstyles or makeup, or the girl who pushed her and called her a pig, an aggravation that quickly passed without meaning like any infomercial. She escaped into books like her father had before her. She became feverishly intimate with the written word, rubbed the many many ears and cracked bindings to the point where titles were no longer legible and pages fell randomly out. She kept them about, on her night table, under her bed, lost among the clothes lying around on the floor. She was known to bring single delicate slices out with her wherever she went and read them to friends. She did not tell anyone that her books were more important. She promised she would not forget them. She was quite learned by the time she dropped out of school which had been rendered useless. By this time there were men in her life who she met walking home past the factory where her father had worked. She must have turned down a hundred propositions before she did not. She found it strange that one liked to suck on her toes. He was otherwise a perfect gentleman in her eyes. Another found her tonsils with his tongue. She had sudden experiences with men who made her laugh and men who made her cry. It was unusual but there were second chances for those who were persistent enough in tracking her down, romantic enough with a flower between their teeth. She discovered if she had trouble breathing, this was a telltale sign that the relationship had run its course and she ended it, usually without complications. Factory men tended to be too tired and worked too hard to be difficult. There were one or two she had to shout down and run from. She gave herself freely to anyone she did not fear. The day she realized she was searching for her father in a man was the very same day she stopped caring, changed her number, packed a bag with a few cherished manuscripts she could not live without, took a bus took a train, and moved away.

by #katyamills

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