By Adam Lock
When I’m home, if I can change my clothes, make tea, all without waking mom, she won’t be angry with me.
103, 104, 105…
126 slabs to go.
There was the time I threw a tennis ball against the house wall and caught every rebound. Doing it one hundred times in a row without dropping it meant Mom would be ok.
Don’t like to think about it—but there was the time Dad came home, the same day Mom came back from hospital. Only for one night. He and mom rowed. Don’t like to think about it. Through the shouting, he told her she was being selfish, that she wasn’t thinking about me, that I should live with him. The next day, I ate my tea without moaning, like I’ve done every day since, so he won’t come back.
167, 168, 169…Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.
There was the time I used only the hot water to fill the bath and still got in. There was the time I tightened or loosened every screw on every plug socket and every light switch, so the head of each screw was straight, was a + and not an x. There were the clothes in the loft, the toys in my room, the pins in mom’s sewing box.
Because I’d stirred her cup of tea too many times, there was the day Mom sat in the bath crying, saying all she wanted to do was shave her legs, that they treated her like a child.
Made my bed this morning, so the quilt was the right way round, so it fell down each side of the bed evenly. Checked before I left. I did, I remember. And the light was off. It was. Went back to check, and it was. Brushed my teeth a hundred times. Washed my hands for thirty seconds. Stepped down onto the stairs left foot first.
Yesterday, when I was tidying the garage, stacking the boxes so the largest was on the bottom, each pushed against the wall, I found three razors, still in the packet. Remembering how she cried about shaving her legs, I gave them to her. She cried again, but I know she was pleased because she kissed me.
Tonight, I’m going to clean the tiles in the bathroom. If you brush hard enough, the joints turn white.
202, 203, 204…
One day, I’ll stop things falling apart—stop things changing. One day, I’ll rewind it all—fix everything so there are no cracks to step on.