April 04, 2006

Little Boy Lost

He’s seven years old, just old enough to be ignored for a few minutes and lose his sense of direction. It’s such a bright sunny day – he’s looking out through a window – perfect for running and playing but now this had to happen. His stomach is all queasy, his mouth is dry. Bitter acids rise into his throat. Everything here is strange to him: on one wall there’s a picture of a clown grinning threateningly, as if telling him, “I’m going to get you! I’m going to come alive when you’re not looking!”

Being all alone is kind of fun in a way if it weren’t so scary. Shakily he tells himself not to cry. He knows he hasn’t really been deserted, he knows someone will come for him. Meanwhile there’s a clock on the wall to keep track of how long it’s been, to say to himself, “Someone will come in ten minutes, in five minutes…”

Time gets longer and longer. There are distant sounds of people enjoying themselves, not knowing that he’s here. If only he knew to trust to ask for help! Someone who could tell him how to face this, and which direction to start in.

At last the door opens and his mother is standing there with a TV Guide in her hand, and says, “Didn’t you straighten up your room yet? I told you to do it half an hour ago.”