BACK to school means new shoes.
New shoes meant someone had to buy them.
I was in Sydney for psycho-family camp when Mum decided I needed new shoes. With assurance from government employees she knew that with a receipt she would get a refund.
This way I would get the shoes I needed. And she would not be out of pocket.
I was scared of the shopping centre because I hated child abusers. But somehow my mum and I managed. We went to a shoe store and I picked out the white shoes I wanted. I tried out the size and made the shoe-lady tie them up for me. I walked across the store and knew that with these shoes, I was a stud.
They were $80, more than we normally paid.
We left the store and drove back to Coral Tree, the facility we were staying the week so psychiatrists could solve our problems functioning as a family.
And just as we pulled in the driveway, a thought occurred to me. “Mum, the school shoes.”
“These are white shoes. I need black shoes for school.”
And she freaked out.
She grabbed the shoes and then hunched forward, face in her hands in silence. Like she was crying. The car filled with the familiar aura of guilt.