cafe mama

a domestic realist blog

four : kindergarten shoes . november 14 . 2012

This post is my fourth post in the Fortnight of Flash, a guilt-free celebration of brief memoir, fiction, and whatever else you can flash. No length too short, less than 750 words, and prizes!

my legs, pockmarked, august 2012

I was putting away food, at my ex-boyfriend's many-roomed apartment, because I am always the one to put away food. We had eaten, but not nearly enough; someone would, well, someone should eat leftovers tomorrow. Nothing should go to waste. I doubted he would eat it; he, or his soft-skinned, smooth-skinned, soft-thighed wife.

In my dream she had no children; her legs were smooth in her knit hot pants, in her slim white tee, and I thought to myself that of course she was slim and smooth-hipped and not-hardened, not like me, three children and I was pock-marked and bumpy and muscular. I knew he preferred me, at least, the skin of me. I shook my head.

I woke. I woke and remembered the earlier dream, my boys. I had been in the kindergarten hall and Monroe had come running to me, crying, and his teacher had followed him out. "We were just playing a game," she said. "We hid their shoes, we mixed them up, and they needed to find them." She seemed amazed he might take this badly. His shoes though! I thought, wondering at his fear and embarrassment. He loved those shoes, he needed them to be fast.

I had hardly comforted Monroe when Truman began screaming, screaming, screaming. He was in the other room with the second-graders and he was screaming because what? I can't remember now? I went to comfort him and he was sad. "Shh, shh," I said. "Shhh, shhh, shhh," I said, and tears dripped down his face to his chin.

I told Monroe about the part with him, and Truman, and I packed his lunch and put his coat and shoes on and took the boys to school. I left him happy in his classroom -- "Do you need a hug?" -- I asked, he looked at me and shook his head, "no." I walked toward the stairs, past the other kindergarten classroom, where a student was just coming in. Early, for once! I crowed quietly to myself.

"Ben!" said the other teacher. "I dreamt that I hid your shoes!"

I stopped. How -- "I had that same dream!" I said. He was slow to look at me, I walked in, I could not stop from doing this. "I had the dream the teachers hid the kindergartener's shoes!" Now he was widening his eyes. "They were all crying," I said. "Wow," he replied, friendly now, amazed.

And I walked upstairs, wondering, believing in something, however weird -- we are all connected! -- asking myself why I made all the kindergarteners cry in my retelling. Asking who else dreamed of leftovers in a Manhattan condo.

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read my previous post . three : smile . november 13 . 2012