Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prompt 5: radio gaga

Prompt 5: gifts of love
PhotobucketSometimes finding a prompt is as convenient as flipping on the radio and staring out into the middle distance. This story came to me while staring cross-eyed at the wall and listening to not this song, but it's from the same play, and I can't find "Gifts of Love."

Harry married her, sure. But is that any reason to stay with her?

Imagine him, a fifty-six year old man, running away to join the circus that he's watching on tv. The gays are getting liberated, so Walter Kronkite says. There's old dogs in that group in the crowd in front of the nightclub in California, it's not just for the young fellows. Harry could go. . . .

They'd laugh at him down at the bank. Old Slaughter gone sissy, let's get him a dress to go with his favorite pair of nylons. He'd seen that goddamn bank over thirty years from a booth in Nell's Grocery to a fifty-branch, tri-state conglom.

Imogene would laugh at him. Harry's stomach rolled the beer and popcorn over. Where would she go if he left her? Her sister's, maybe; it could be good for her, to get away from a miserable alcoholic who stayed up watching the late night news with a bottle in his fist. Why not?

They had no children, he'd never made much of his career. He was the office fool, not one who brought in accounts but who was always good for a laugh; he never really fit in with the boys. Imogene had always said she didn't need furs or diamonds, but a woman ought to have a pretty thing to dress up her life. She preferred to paint and decorate and be-curtain their little bungalow to death, to fill it with things he sorter liked to look at, come to think.

Imogene liked listening to him talk, or at least she let on like she did. He liked to talk, but not many people seemed to want to hear him. Did Imogene really like to listen? He never asked.

It just didn't make any sense.

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