FAY AND HER SOUL 1960

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 28, 2016

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Submitted: July 28, 2016

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Fay and I were talking
on the balcony outside
my parents' flat
overlooking the Square

she was talking
about her school
and what one
of the nuns had said

Sister Angelica
told us yesterday in class
that it is our vocation
to be pure and virginal
Fay said

I looked at the coal man
and his horse-drawn wagon
and him getting off
and taking a black heavy
sack of coal onto his shoulders
and come towards our flat

virginal?
I said
what's that
when its at home?

it means untouched
and unsullied
Fay said

the coal man disappeared
beneath us
and was coming up
the concrete stairs

untouched by
what and what's unsullied?
I said
turning to look at her
in her green dress
and her fair hair
hanging loose

it means not stained
or tarnished
she said

what's not stained
or tarnished
whatever that is?
I said

the soul
Sister Angelica told us
Fay said
frowning at me
didn't you know?

no idea
I said
I thought the soul
was a spirit thingy
and couldn't be stained
or touched

she sighed softly
by sin
it is stained
and tarnished
she said

I see I said
(I didn't really
but wanted
the subject dead)

are you allowed to go
to the cinema
this afternoon?
I said
after a pause
between us

not sure if my dad
will let me
he thinks cinemas
are dens of sin
she said
looking at me
wide-eyed

not sure about
dens of sin
but they show
good films
I said
there's a good Western
this afternoon
with Jeff Chandler
plenty of gunfights
and hopefully
few kissing scenes
with dames

she shook her head
he won't like that
she said

he's not seeing it
you may
I said

she smiled weakly
I gazed at her
pale blue eyes
ask him
I said

he'll only say no
and lecture me
about the dens of vice
she said

shame
I said
could get an ice cream too
from one of the women
who sell them
in the intermission

the coal man walked
past behind us
with his heavy load
and went in a flat
along a few doors

then her old man
came down the stairs
and looked at us
standing there
on the balcony

what are you
standing here for?
he said
you are supposed
to be helping your mother
in the house with chores
he stared at me unfriendly

I have done so
Mum said
I could go out
for a while
Fay said softly

wasting time
with idle talk?
he said

not idle but instructive
I said
Fay was telling me
about the virginity
of her soul
and how untainted
it is

he looked at us both
his eyes dark
and glinting
I see
he said
glad she is talking sense
not rot

can I go with Benny
to the cinema?
Fay asked gently

he looked at me
then her
to what end?
he said

see a film
I said

and what purpose
does it serve?
he said

the battle
of good and bad
I said
where good comes
on top over the bad guys

he looked at Fay
is that correct?
he asked

she nodded
and said gently
yes it is

he looked at the sky
then said
see your mother
for the money
and say I said
you were allowed
to go this once

then he went
down the stairs
and we watched him
go through the Square

I think Fay's
soul untainted
was glowing there.


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