Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A Three Foot Kindness, Part 2


by James Jarvis
from Offline Journal of the Damned

Not Very Conversant On That Level
    Emma informed me today that she is 'this many' years old, holding up three fingers and saying "Two." Her daddy's in jail. Pam Kelly put him there, whomever THAT is. Her momma ran off with the babysitter, a bad man.

    I washed her face and her hands and helped her throw out the garbage today. After she tired of asking me what everything in her field of vision was and why it was, she started going up the hallway, knocking on every door . . . looking for more interesting conversation than mine.

Pride Goeth Before A Smudgy Face
    Whenever I washed Emma's little face gently with the warm washcloth, she would ask me why I was washing her face and I'd say it was so I could see her pretty little face better.

    Well, I guess her grandparents got a little pride-embarrassed about it and told her not to let me wash her face any more. She still stands in my doorway whenever I leave my door open in the afternoons (I tell her she can't come inside because of all the cigarette bugs in the room).

     Sometimes, when she's bugging me too much with her endless "Why" questions, I get up and grab the washcloth and she takes off.

    Yesterday little Emma had her face pushed up into the motel manager's heavy, burglarproof screen door (which is right next to mine at a 45 degree angle) and the manager told her she was gonna get her face dirtier. She said she didn't care, so the manager said he was going to call that man next door to come and wash her face if she didn't . . .

    Emma was gone before he could finish his sentence.

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