Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Alfie Newman Will Not Share.
Alfie Newman is home with his parents and sister at 342 Porter Place, Cloverdale. He had another terrible day at That Horrible Place and is happy to be alive. He's in his bedroom being comforted by Winney, his bear. His nerves calmed as he stroked the hazelnut fabric. The world was familiar again.
“It’s horrible Winney,” Alfie was open with his feelings. “That other place is horrible. There’s a witch that makes me do things I don’t want to do. There’s other kids that want my things and I don’t want to share. The witch yells at me for not being a good boy and takes my things away. Its a horrible place and I don’t want to go back.”
Winney led Alfie's other stuffed animals in a nod of agreement.
Alfie has a large collection of stuffed friends. Each is named and assigned a place in his room when they're not in his arms - either on his bed or on the shelf his father built near his closet. Alfie appreciated their understanding of his plight and his hatred of Kindergarten. School was not for Alfie. He knew it the moment his mother pulled into the parking lot and tried to pull him out of the car. Alfie feels bad about knocking her glasses off as he madly kicked at her hands as she tried to lock onto his ankles and pull him out of the back seat. He felt worse after she swatted his bum for stubbornness.
“I’m too small to run away,” Alfie said to his stuffed congregation, gathered in a semi circle on the bed before him. “Besides, I couldn’t take all of you with me. My backpack isn’t big enough and I don’t know how to drive. I can’t see over the steering wheel and work the gas pedal at the same time. Mom says I’m stuck and I have to learn to live with it. I can’t. Its too horrible. I won’t share. I can’t share. What’s mine is mine I don’t care what the witch says!”
He smiled as the animals nodded in unison. They cared, and that alone made it all worthwhile.
“Alfie,” Mother called from the kitchen. Alfie refused to answer. He was talking to his friends and wasn’t going to share that time with someone who would cruelly abandon her own child to that place where you're told everything to do and say.
“I’m not talking to you because you’re mean and my animals are telling me your wrong to make me go to that horrible place.” Alfie shouted back, please with himself that he hadn't spoken to her since he ran into the house after school, slamming the door behind him.
“Dibbles are on.” Mother shouted back seemingly not bothered by her son’s foul temperament.
Alfie’s ears perked. His back straighten. He rolled off the bed, rushing for the bedroom door. He couldn’t miss The Dibbles. They came on every afternoon at 4:00 P.M. on Cloverdale Weekend Television. He ran into the living room and plopped down on the floor exactly four feet in front of the television screen. It was his special place. Mother walked by with a dust rag in one hand and the furniture polish in the other.
“No friend today Alfie. They will be so disappointed you forgot.” She said.
Alfie’s face changed from overblown excitement to sincere sorrow. He jumped up and ran back into his bedroom. He had to hurry. The Dibble’s theme song was playing. It would soon be time to sing.
“Who’s turn is it to see The Dibbles today?” Alfie asked. He looked at each animal. Their button eyes stared back at him expectantly. Alfie knew they all loved The Dibbles, and that fact made choosing difficult. He remembered Sally got to watch yesterday. So if yesterday was Sally's day then it was Hippo's turn today. He snatched Harry the Hippo from his pillow, apologized to the others and made a bee line back into the living room singing The Dibbles song at the top of his lungs.
Alfie’s day turned out fine after all. He watched The Dibbles, then ate pizza for supper, had a nice warm bath and a good story when Dad got home.
It would all be OK.