On, In and Around Mondays: Dragon Scales to Go, to Stay
I'm pulling shoes out of boxes.
"Try these on." White and blue sneakers, black shoes with silver-beaded rosettes, brown shoes with faux brass buckles. Fancy shoes, walking shoes, boots. Shoes to show off. Shoes to run and jump in.
She has her eye on the dragon-scale flat sneakers, but I'm focused on other pairs. Push, pull, zip. On, off. Next, next, next. I keep handing her new options (and remember vaguely how my mother said it used to take me hours to choose shoes when I was a child). She's on the floor, trying, trying.
Looking down at her small fingers, brown hair shiny-tangled, I try to smile. But I feel impatient. "Not like that," I tug a boot zipper, push its flap inside. The pop music is too loud. "I am so done here," I tell her.
I pick up the yellow box with the useful sneakers, turn to go.
"Can I try on the dragon-scale ones too?
"Sure, sure. Try them on. Why don't they have laces?" I pull them off the shelf and look inside the shoes to see if the laces are hidden inside, undone.
"That's the style," says my daughter.
A saleswoman passes and I ask, "Where are the laces for these?"
"That's the style," she says.
My daughter laughs a soft laugh. She wants these sneakers, but they are loose without laces. We buy pink sparkle ones. She frees them from plastic and tries to put them on the shoes before we pay.
"Do it in the car," I tell her, looking down. She's fumbling with the laces, and I don't want to wait. (Credit card, signature, bag the boxes. I am so done here.)
When we walk outside, she says, "I couldn't breathe in the store."
"It was the music," I say. "Too loud." She leans into me, and I pull her close, put my face in her hair.
At home, she laces the dragon-scale sneakers. The useful blue and white pair never make it out of the box. All night she wears her sparkly sneakers in the house. She knows she can do that, because they are still clean. When I go to tuck her in at bedtime, the sneakers are near her bed, where she can look down at them and smile. The laces are marvelously, outrageously pink. They lie open and ready for tomorrow.
It is quiet here, and I feel like I can breathe.
Dragon-Scale Sneaker photos, by L.L. Barkat.
On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place.
Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below. If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)
This post is also in honor of the PhotoPlay prompt at TheHighCalling.org. Why did I choose to photograph down? It was the posture I felt existed in the whole incident. Looking down is an opportunity. I feel I kind of missed mine (or not... it is ambiguous), but my daughter embraced her chance to look down lovingly.