The Prose of Romance with Miz Quickly
I think Mum secretly wanted to travel, but since she didn’t know how to drive, she had to go where dad wanted to go, and usually, that was fishing, however, Mum dedicated Saturdays to the public library, and she always brought home a few books about travel, which she called Armchair Travelling with writers like Pearl Buck, and missionaries in China, because Mum was a very good devout, but not necessarily churchgoing Christian, and she loved Pearl Buck … but me, I liked to bring home National Geographic magazines because they were big and sturdy enough to hide my favourite sort of reading, romance, and when Mum would say, what are you reading over there, (as we’d be lounging in the living room, and she would be sitting on the newly reupholstered sofa, and I’d be sitting cross-legged on the floor with my back up against the radiator because as mum said, kids aren’t allowed to sit on a newly reupholstery sofa, although maybe someday I might be allowed), and I’d reply to Mum, I’m reading about wheat fields and how people harvest grain, when in fact I was reading about a guy named Hank Tiller who’d just returned from working his tanned gleaming muscled arms in the fields, and was parched for a drink of cold water from the hand-pump outside the barn, and all the while, Hank was being ogled by not-so-shy Sally who was up in the hayloft peering down on him like an owl sizing up a mouse — and I ask you, isn’t romance just a right hoot — and about then Dad would walk into the living room holding his I’m#1 mug sloshing instant Nescafe coffee, and he’d ask me, What are you reading? … and since I’ve never been able to lie to my dad, I’d say, I’m reading about wheat, and Dad would say, No, I mean what’s that book that you’re reading inside the National Geographic magazine, and I’d just repeat, Wheat, Dad, just wheat, but I think he took that with a proverbial grain.
for Miz Quickly’s Arising prompt, image Unsplash © Misky 2021
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