Duty And The Beast Of Burden.

 

Duty And The Beast Of Burden.

  © -MFB III 

I was younger then
full of devil may care
with dreams that "would" be!
no question about it.
I was on my way to rehearsal
for a theatre production
at an all girls school
where I tutored and
walked the stage
for two hours
as many other men
when she blindsided me
out of nowhere
~
A tiny hand
touched me
on the shoulder
and a small voice said,
"Would you like to....
(long Pause here)
...go to Prom with me."
I turned and saw
a washed out soul,
disheveled but clean,
with straggly hair
and lumpy clothes.
The female before me
was a most unattractive
young girl with little
saving grace,
save her courage and
the hope that gleamed
in her eyes like starlight
~
I've always had a soft heart
and though I knew she was
considered the schools mascot
sort of a dog,
to all the other girls
I replied cheerfully
"Sure."
Then she smiled
so brightly that
for a minute I saw
God's original blueprint
under that smudged handiwork.
~
We made small talk
about when and where
to pick her up,
and then she skipped
lightly away like
a homecoming queen
from the projects,
in a potato sack dress.
Just a vision
that struck me then
~
Soon all the more
desirable girls
knew that I was taking her
without even asking,
each knowing that I was
a soft touch,
they assumed I was being kind.
~
She never spoke to me
or came around
the week before that prom.
That night I dressed
carefully in my finest tux,
retrieving her lovely corsage
from the fridge,
then drove to her house
to pick her up,
wondering the whole way over
what we would talk about.
~
Her name was Ethel
or something close to that,
and she was clad in a long
soft, blue silk, brocade gown
with her hair
all tied up in ribbons,
and tiny highlights of makeup
on her features.
Alas there was no
total re-creation here
she looked kind of like a troll
my sister once dressed up
and put makeup on.
But I took her hand
and instructed her parents
that she would be fine
and home at twelve.
~
We walked together to the car
the ride over was  very quiet.
I made small talk,
and she made smaller answers,
but she thanked me again
for taking her to the prom..
"It's like a dream come true!" she said
~
I guess I made up my mind then
to show her a lovely time
and so we went in to face
a room full of stares,
and some snickers covered
under fine manicured hands.
But I walked on by
like my date was a goddess.
~
The song playing was
"Devil in a blue dress."
and I thought
that was quite peachy.
We danced only the slow songs.
"She was not adept at fast ones,"
she'd told me and
I only had ten or twelve
with her because...
so many of the
prettiest girls
knowing my act of kindness,
asked her if they
could borrow me
for a dance and she
just smiled and nodded,
beaming with pride at
making such a good choice.
~
By the nights end
I had whirled her
around and around that floor,
her eyes gazing into mine,
or her head on my shoulder.
~
At one point
in a moment of inspiration
and curiosity
at her reaction,
I even thought of an old
sexual encounter
with another girl,
and during the second dance
she actually felt me
pressing hard,
against her softness.
She kind of let out
a gasp of air,
looked me straight
in the eyes,
smiled gently
and held me tighter...
~
After spending three hours
just dancing and sitting together
sipping punch
the prom was over.
We got into my car
and she moved over
close to me as we drove home.
I put my arm around her
and told her that
I really enjoyed myself.
She said likewise
and a tear hung balanced
on the edge of
her lower lashes.
It soon fell to stain
my trouser leg
and I felt the warmth
of her grief
~
I suppose if I were
less of a man
I could have done
anything to her.
She probably would
have let me,
we both knew what
other prom dates were doing.
But soon enough
we were in front of her house,
where I was torn
by the puzzle of whether,
I should kiss her or not.
~
I took her hand
and thanked her again,
and then gave her
shoulder a squeeze.
She got real sad
and scooted out of the car,
waving goodbye
as she turned away.
~
To this day I wish
I had just closed my eyes
and given her
a passionate kiss.
One to take her breath away
that she could cling to in,
all of the lonely years ahead,
but we never spoke again and
the moment was lost
forever that night.
~
I sometimes wonder about her
especially when I hear
the song about "Eleanor Rigby"
with it's "All the lonely people.." chorus.
~
I was an actor playing my role
my duty and my beast of burden.
The script did not
call for a kiss
but I could have ad-libbed it.
~
I hope she found happiness
and has a house full of babies
and some big homely guy to love her
who looks like a God to her...
I simply pray her dreams came true.

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