Blue Cotton Gloves

You hate the feeling of blue cotton. It’s the feeling of a day that goes too long. The flat blue sky is too bright. You ride in the van for a long time. The radio’s crackling. Your neighbor is droning. You huddle up in the hood of your jacket. You don’t know if you’re tired or hungry or just mad. You squint because the sun itches your eyes like a blanket you can’t pull off. You shift around, and your seatbelt tightens. You find a blue thread running off your sweater, down your wrist. You see a blue thread caught underneath your skin. You try to pick it out. The sun gets hotter. Now your arm itches too. You get frustrated, and you itch more. The van pulls up to a bright white mailbox painted with yellow flowers. You hover in the driveway. The door to a white house opens, and a woman comes out. The woman is fat, and she smells like syrup. You feel like you’re melting, so you dig your nails in deep. The woman reaches for you. She removes you from your seat. She touches your hand with her hand, and she looks upset. She squints at the driver of the van. The radio’s still playing. Your nails are filled with pink and grayish bits of skin, like clay. The woman takes your hand and pulls out a new pair of blue cotton gloves. You wail, and your neighbor wails louder, so she pins you down to put them on.

You wear them all day, and the cotton bubbles up, collecting balls of dust. You pick at the thread, but it still won’t budge. On the van ride back, though the sun’s gone down, you can feel it in your hands. The sun’s gone down, but this day won’t end.

Meghan Lamb is a writer and copywriter in Chicago. She used to work with students with disabilities. She used to be disabled. She co-edits the magazine Red Lightbulbswith her husband, Russ Woods.