Sunny Socks

by Stina Trollbäck

It’s hazy and there is a woman in my apartment. I am on the black metal porch. I can see her through the window. She is washing dishes, and I think she’s humming. The walls inside are light yellow, like my socks, which are rolled down to look like little donuts, and like my bowtie. The window is foggy around the edges and low to the ground, but I still need to stand on my tippy toes to watch the woman.

*    *    *

Now I am sitting on a metal chair on this metal extension of my new home, and I am looking out over the canal and the canoeing people. The chair is cold and leaving patterned imprints in my pink-yellow skin.

*    *    *

The lady is walking towards me. She is crouching next to me. She is talking to me in her normal voice, pointy and mellow. That voice is as familiar to me as sleeping. She’s always here. I’m supposed to call her something, but I don’t remember the word.

*    *    *

She asks me if I want to cut off my ponytail to have short hair like the rest of the little boys here, but I shake my head and tell her I like the yellow ribbon that ties it together. She asks me if I am okay, and I shrug because I don’t remember the word to explain that I don’t like sitting by myself on the porch. I don’t like thinking because my thoughts go to places that don’t exist in real life, and I have to come back from that place eventually. She smiles and says she loves me, and I feel sunny like my socks for a second, but she gets up and walks back into the house after she pats me.

*    *    *

My eyes are heavy but it’s too light out to sleep. The lady says I can only sleep when it’s dark, but I think it’s okay to sleep whenever, because when you sleep, it is dark.

*    *    *

The words I didn’t remember:

Mom

Lonely