Marianne’s Short Walk

Word of The Day Challenge: PERAMBULATE

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I knew he would follow me up from the Metro tunnel to the street because the man who smelled like mothballs and pee had been praying to God to strike me dead since we got on the bus together a mile back on Cherry Street.

Did you think the crazy man was going to just stop being crazy and leave me alone because the ride was over?

Of course not!

I know for a fact that there were five other people who normally got off at the Tunnel too, but the cowards rode up to the next stop because as the man who smelled like mothballs and pee yelled prayed for God to kill me with fire, ended his prayer not with an ‘amen’ but with a rousing rendition of the chorus from the song Marriane:

All day all night Marianne
down by the seaside siftin’ sand.
Even little children love Marianne
down by the seaside siftin’ sand.

He sang it in a off key and instead of popping from one line to the next he howled each line from his gut tinged with a bit of hysteria.

If dogs could sing, they would sound like my Mothball smelling companion.

I thought the worst thing I could do was confront him, or to ask for help so I walked to the crosswalk and I waited patiently waited for the light to change. I didn’t look to my right where he was standing, bellowing his prayer followed by his song the entire time we waited there together.

” You’re going to Hell! God will strike you down! He saw what you did – he knows.”

He limped after me, his mismatched shoes were making squishing sounds as he shuffled over the pavement and just as we reached the curb he tried to grab my arm. ” God knows!”

I looked down at my arm and back up into his face and I sang:

All day all night Marianne
down by the seaside siftin’ sand.
Even little children love Marianne
down by the seaside siftin’ sand.

” Want to come back to the beach with me? Do you? Do you really want to do that… Theo? ” I asked.

His head snapped back at the sound of his name. He pulled his lips back over his teeth. ” Dear God! Strike her down. Strike her down – she’s here God. Strike this abomination, this murderous demon of the innocent, DOWN.”

I left him at the curb and I walked a few more blocks to the trolley that would take me to the beach where I spend a lot of time watching the tide pull back and forth from the shore.

This time I will be much more careful. This time I will pay more attention to who is there and who might catch a glimpse of me  burying my secrets that I find playing at the beach  in the sand.

 

 

 

 

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