This Saturday, I had a dance ‘jig’ in school. Jacko said it was a jig. Mr.Matthew said, it was a ballet; one where all the parents were to come and sit and see their kids dance. But I couldn’t understand how so many parents would fit in the hall and how all the students of all the grades would fit on the stage and if we won’t hurt each other when we moved, on which Mandy made a strange cooing sound. But Mr.Matthew said that all the grades had a day of their own. And Grade One had Saturday.
That wasn’t the problem. I was doing pretty good. And even though I flopped a couple of times between the turns and twisted when we were to roll, Mistress put me in the first row, at the end though. Mistress was a new teacher in school. Like Mr.Matthew. I didn’t know her real name, but she just asked us to call her ‘Mistress’. Even Mr. Matthew calls her Miss M.
So my dancing was going good. Even the costume fit well. I was a sunflower and the yellow suit they gave me was not too big. The only problem was that Mistress made us practice in socks. She said it was how it should be. And because of that, I had ruined the pair of cream socks that I had. Because of all the flopping and turning and twisting and rolling. And since there were still two more days of practice, I needed new ones urgently.
Surprisingly, I had no ‘stand-by’s in my sock drawer. Mommy shook her head and said ‘uh-huh’ when she saw that. I tried Jacko’s but they were too big and the elastic fell loose. Mommy didn’t have any socks of her own, because she never wore shoes.
On Wednesday, I had managed in the old ones that had worn out and though Mistress stared at them when I went on stage, she didn’t say anything. When I was going out she said, “Jenny Jackson?” and i cut in before she could tell the whole Grade One about my socks, “New ones tomorrow Mistress.” and ran away. After the glory from the Thumb Gash Incident, I couldn’t afford a sting and ruin it all.
On Thursday, mommy and me went sock-shopping. Evening practice had begun and if I wanted to attend, I had to have new socks.
It was hot outside. And that’s all there is to say about the whether. It was always hot outside. Except when it was winter, and then it was always cold.
So it was hot outside and mommy had dressed up in her red pants and red stilettos and white sunhat and I had worn my blue pants. And off we went down to the market and there’s not much to say about that. Except that I kept skipping ahead and only knew mommy was behind because her heels clicked.
There’s not much to say about the store we went in either. I couldn’t read the name, and there was nothing very special. Except it was cool inside, and I remember hoping it wasn’t as cool in winter. Mommy went and found the Kid’s Section and a man started following us and only went away when I stuck my tongue out really long and squinted my eyes. And when he went, he said this- ‘Weird kid. Hot mom… but weird kid. Well, she’s got to find the stuff on her then.”
And mommy went through the Kid’s Section and then went through it again, but she couldn’t find the socks and it was taking too much time. And then that man came up again, and asked, “May i help you?” and then mommy smiled differently and touched her hair suddenly and said, “Ohh. Yes please. I seem to be very lost.” in a very thin voice.
After that, the man and mommy started talking and he took her to where the socks were and mommy didn’t look at me or talk to me, and only turned when she told me to try a green pair on and then turned away to talk to the man again. I figured I had to warn mommy so I put the socks on real quick and then tugged at her hand.
She bent down and I whispered in her quickly, “Mommy, this man was following us!” and made my eyes really big. But mommy only said, “Was he?” and smiled at the man and talked to him some more. I looked down at my socks and pulled and adjust here and there.
They were alright. I wished mommy would just take them and we’d go. But she was talking to the man a lot now and he was making big gestures with his hand and mommy was touching her hair a lot now. She was also leaning on one foot so her hips came out very round.
“Mommy these are good.” I said and pulled at her. She finally looked at me, and said, “Oh-okay.” and the man didn’t leave us as we went to the billing counter and mommy paid up. I started pulling and jumping and groaning and mommy made a face and told the man, “This little one!” and then she said “Goodbye.”
We only just made it in time to the evening practice but I had new socks so it was fine. And I came back home and went to sleep real early. I didn’t play with Jacko much in the day, and I didn’t even see daddy the whole day. The only persons I seem to have met really were Grade One and Mistress and that man at the shop. The only persons mommy seems to have met really is the man at the shop too, because she went back to the store later because she said she’d forgotten to buy her socks. And I wondered when she had bought shoes.