This week Moville writer Sharon Thompson shares another tale exploring the life of local women.
Each Sunday this series will showcase works of literature written by local women for readers to enjoy.
This week we’re brought a modern day tale of 68-year-old Arthur.
He is looking for love and life again, following the death of his wife, Milly.
All Arthur Needs
‘Well how was it?’ Malcolm swings the golf club and the white ball sails out of sight.
Arthur takes his stance at the first tee. The autumnal sun is in Arthur’s eyes and he swings and misses his ball entirely. ‘Crap,’ he says.
‘Crap shot or it was crap at Martin’s?’ Malcolm asks.
‘Both! Cathy’s devastated. Rightly so.’
‘Martin was an ass to get caught having a fling.’
‘Listen to you, Casanova. As if you would be unfaithful to June?’
‘Well now that would depend on the woman I’d found myself.’ Malcolm rubs his moustache down with his thumb and fore finger. That moustache is his talisman and he fixes his glasses on his chubby nose.
‘Listen to yourself man,’ Arthur says, ‘we all know you adore your June.’
‘I know you’ve gone all romantic in your old age.’ Marcolm marches after his ball.
‘Can I not take my shot?’ Arthur asks.
‘Hurry up!’ Malcolm’s cap is threadbare with his golf president’s logo on it.
Arthur swings pathetically, the ball wavers in the air and lands in a bunker, ‘I hate golf,’ he says and drags his shining golf bag on its trolley after him.
‘Golf’s all new to you. Sure I’ve been doing it for years. You just gotta give it time.’ Malcolm’s thin legs move at a fair pace compared to Arthur’s usual strolling one. Cut grass scents the air with a newness and a sense of motivation. But the walk around the block to Milly’s grave has been left out this morning, so there’s a lingering tinge of guilt in Arthur’s heart.
As they stroll across the green to find Arthur’s ball in the bunker, Arthur asks, ‘Do you and June still… you know…?’
‘Do we still what?’
‘With her pains an’ all? Is it still possible for you to… you know…?’
‘Do the deed?’ Malcolm pushes the cap back on his forehead, despite the glare of the sun. ‘An odd time if you must know.’
The sound of a nearby bird fills the awkwardness. The chirping is like laughter.
‘Why do you ask?’ Malcolm is smiling despite the subject matter. His glasses have the usual smudges on them.
‘I miss it. I miss Milly.’
‘Course you do. Is that your ball over there?’ Malcolm is pointing and squinting at a buried golf ball, right in the middle of the damp pit of sand.
‘Sod this game.’ Arthur throws his hands aloft.
‘You mean the game of life?’
‘No. I mean golf.’
‘You want to meet someone? You’re frustrated.’
‘I am indeed.’
‘I see.’ Malcolm is squinting and moving his fingers over his moustache. He is silent for a moment, then adds, ‘Johnny goes to a woman you know.’
‘Pardon?’ Arthur’s mouth is wide open.
‘She … how would you put it now? She … rubs him.’
‘What do you call it? A massage, that’s it. He goes for a massage. Says it releases all his frustration.’
‘I bet it does!’ Arthur’s dark eyes are wide.
‘It’s innocent enough ….I think,’ Malcolm seems to be pondering on the possibilities.
‘I need more than a massage.’ There’s a long sigh from Arthur as the clouds pass over the sun.
‘I’m sure you can get those kind of services too.’
Arthur grabs Malcolm’s cap and swats him with it. ‘You idiot – I want a companion. A love interest.’
‘Well a good lookin’ fella like you, shouldn’t have any trouble getting women.’
Arthur smiles and thinks that he is indeed a handsome divil.
‘Google,’ Malcolm says.
‘We’ll search online about how to get nice women – when we get back to mine. Now go get that little ball of yours, that’s buried over there.’
Sharon is the co-founder of #WritersWise a trending, writers’ tweet-chat (www.writerswise1.wordpress.com).