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Duty and the Beast of Burden.

Updated on May 15, 2022

My date with Eleanor Rigby

Duty And The Beast Of Burden.

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 
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.." 
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.

© 2009 Matthew Frederick Blowers III


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