Growing Pains

Lying in bed. Tucked in with a firm hand and a "Go to sleep", the blankets hold me tight against the sheets slowly warming to my body heat. I lift my head and look down my body's bump under the bedspread. The candlewick has bald patches where I've pulled at the tuffs of soft white cotton earning me numerous stinging slaps on the legs for my plucking obssession. I look and wish my feet could touch the end of the bed. As it is, illuminated by the hall light keeping boogy monsters out of my room, I see they barely reach half way. I point my toes, stretching and willing them with all my might to reach the far end of my bed. I fall back into my pillow and believe I will *never* grow up enough for my feet to ever reach the end of the blankets.

I slip from my bed. My bare feet soundless on my bedroom rug and into the hallway. I'm used to moving silently around the house when I'm supposed to be in bed. I hear the muffled sounds of the television behind the closed door of the lounge. Sometimes I sneak into the laundry. I like to sit in the basket piled high with the day's laundry. It always smells like sunshine and summer and I can sit there in the near-dark for hours, just thinking about things. It's perfectly safe there, boogy monsters don't come into the laundry. Sometimes I go into the toilet. I can turn the light on and shut the door and have the room to myself for ages - plus if I get caught I can say I had had to "go". I don't do that in the toilet at night though, what I do is press my hands and feet to the opposite walls and push. Making tiny movements with feet and hands, I can slowly creep up and away from the floor. The ceiling is a million miles above me, but my goal is to reach it one day - so far I can get high enough that it stings my feet when I jump down. But tonight I go into the bathroom. The cold linolium is a shock to my warm feet but at least it's light enough in there, once my eyes adjust, to see without turning the light on.

The scales in the bathroom are pink and chrome. Sometimes I'm in the bathroom to play with the Gilette shaving razor blades because it's fun to slide them out of the packet though I always cut myself trying to get them back inside the dispenser and it gets me into trouble. I stand on the heavy metal scales and the dial rockets into action. It spins past my weight, then dials back the opposite way, past my weight and below. Slowly the dial settles very near the number that indicates how heavy I am. I look down. My bare feet on the cool pink metal surface of the scales. I don't like the number I see. I hunch down, pressing myself harder onto the scales, trying to make that number increase. Adding one, two increments? Hunching down trying to make myself a heavy lump. I jump up and land heavily on the scales sending the dial spinning again but when it settles it's still sitting very near the 3. 3!! how can it say 3 when I'm so much older than that. I get off and go back outside convinced I'm never, ever going to grow up.