This Chair is Not Designed for a Child . . .

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The vertical slats on the seat are digging into the back of my thigh, just above my knee. I pull up my socks to add some protection, but as soon as I bend my knee, the socks inch down my leg.

“Eat your egg, the bus is coming around the corner.”

I can’t see the bus, I can only hear my mother’s footsteps, high heels clicking with purpose on the hardwood floor. Back and forth, from refrigerator to the yellow-tiled counter with red and black roosters impaled every 12 inches on the back-splash, marching toward the sink and stove.

The egg. Its orange yolk has escaped the membrane and spread across the translucent mucous. It’s headed toward my toast, which is succumbing to the onslaught. I close my eyes, and swing my legs back and forth, so furiously that my black patent Mary Jane’s fly off my feet and scoot across the floor, hitting my mother’s ankles. The distraction works. She lifts me up, I can see the short van, through the sheer curtains.

“See, now you’ll have to run to catch it, in your socks.”
I escape. The bowl with the egg will be sitting on the chrome legged table when the bus brings me home from Miss Buckley’s School. I have all day to figure out where to slip the congealed formation into the bougainvillea that covers the kitchen window, like a magenta-tainted spy.

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