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Socks

I can't imagine ever going faster or feeling happier than I am right now. Sliding from room to room in my bamboo socks. Socks that were brought for me because of their vibrant turquoise colour and a ‘hilarious’ fez wearing dog on the side.

I could probably traverse this whole house in the pitch black. Avoiding grandma’s old sideboard laden with bottles of spirits, all in varying degrees of completion. As a kid the jingle of the rainbow bottles of gin used to send my little mind spinning. It didn’t make sense to me that only the adults with their black business suits and block coloured dresses could consume bottles of brightness when I was made to drink only my water that tasted like ‘cold’ from the freezer and my own little mouth. Being much older now I get it, kids don’t need to be floaty or woozy or whatever I am right now. Sliding through the house of my youth in my socks, shirt and sensible skirt.

I let my hand trail over the wooden grain of the heirloom piece as I pass. Following the curves and flows that nature made, in the years when this thing was a tree growing up and up and up... and not a plank, sanded and varnished to become something ‘more useful for the modern man’ than a tree could ever be. I’ve slowed my hunt while I’m here, turning whatever this is into a prowl rather than a sliding search.

“Ow.”


A whispered howl escapes my lips. My index finger caught on the jagged edge of a charred mark in the bark, where a stray cigaret from the 60’s was left unattended and allowed to worm its way through the wood. Before being put out by one of my nan’s bird like screeches and a slosh of tonic water over the offending flame. I pull the little splinter out with my front teeth, can’t continue my silent secret hunt with a wounded appendage like this and yet I sneak on.

I move further down the hall with its wooden floor smoothed by the dragging feet of visitors and the distinct lack of a runner rug. The grandfather clock tick-tocks its timings, covering the sound of my socked feet as I stalk on. Taking a brief moment to admire the stately swinging of the ages old pendulum and thank it for its step muffling service, I catch my reflection in the little glass window. My hair looks bedraggled by the humidity of the day, reaching up and around my sloppy ponytail. It reminds me very much of the way popcorn looks when it gets too tired of spinning with its sibling and has to reach up from the drum and escape into a bowl. At least my mascara has stayed together. That weird sticky mixture I apply to my eyelashes, in the hope that I look more awake than I feel and to accentuate the painfully normal colour of my eyes and scream I’m different in a world of tired faces which all whisper their similarities.

Yet I creep on, past my face and the grand house of time. I’m careful to not stub my toe on the imposing roots of the hat stand. One day I’m sure it just grew out of the ground in my hallway, its main purpose being to spite my scantily clad feet and topple over as soon as winter is upon us and my friends dare to wear coats. Some tree that stand pretends to be! At the moment it’s summer time, so you only hold some discarded scarves in various floral patterns, tiny umbrellas folded into a handy brick, a couple of sun hats and some somber swinging rain coats waiting for use (I’m sure I’ll need them soon). The hallway has ended and my sock sliding pursuit has ended also... time to visit the no man’s land that is the living room.

This terrain is a whole different ball game. The Plush carpet crackles to life, ready to eat up my socks as I try to slip through towards the cold solidity of the kitchen... where my prey awaits. But first order of business, avoiding the obstacles. These discarded plastic play things and throw pillows strewn around the ground, I’ll tidy those up later. Nothing will disturb the mission at hand.

So I pounce, like a business suited panther, onto my plush pink sofa and use my weight to flop over the back. Letting my legs spin around in some sort of strange horizontal cartwheel motion and my hair flipover my face, lightly tickling my nose in the process. Then the dismount, landing ‘gracefully’ on the fluffy fibres I prepare to make my static spoiled journey out of the room. I straighten my pencil skirt over my thighs, feeling I must be presentable when I reach my prey. Carefully I check the buttons on my shirt too, with their cheeky tendency to pop open when I move my arms it was for the best... “phew, all good”.

My final attack, it’s the final slide down. I laugh to myself as I move through the doorless arch that leads to the kitchen. The counter top is still crumb covered from breakfast and someone left the jam out, that’s unimportant right now. The prize is upon me.

With one final slip across the shining tile, the lack of friction takes me unencumbered to the fridge door. The dull silver guides me to it, the siren’s call of snacks of sweet and savoury. Unable to wait I fling the door open, feeling the slight resistance of a fridge door unwilling to give up its contents. I let my hands fly to the middle shelf, where the fruits of my quest await.

MY left overs... Half a cheesecake. Waiting for me, diligently in its little aluminium tray, in all its creamy vanilla bean glory. I take the tray to the counter and prise a fork from the cutlery draw. Wiggling my toes over each other like excited kittens I descend upon my prey.

Giggling, like the children I need to pick up from school (in 20 minutes?!), I take a moment to sigh “I love coming home early.”

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Photo by Stephanie Harvey on Unsplash

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