Every Other Monday

Mara had a tendency to leave her toys strewn about. Her father had stepped on a naked doll getting into the shower yesterday morning, found a fairy wand in his toothbrush holder shortly thereafter, and discovered a new mural of sparkle stickers on the inside of his closet door that evening. To be a well-behaved child, she was mischievous, and he was constantly in awe of her ability to change his environment without him noticing.

His alarm went off at 6:30, and when he sat up at 6:32 he brushed a pile of blocks out of the bed and onto the floor. He had rolled over onto them a few times throughout the course of the night, groaning each time before adjusting his position and falling back to sleep.

Why had Mara even had blocks in his bed? He tried to remember when she was in his room at all, and then he remembered a five minute span the day before when she had been pretending to build a fort in his bed. The blocks must have been her columns of support. They also must not have worked, because she tired of the game quickly–even by a child’s standards. It was just as well, as her mother had come to pick her up half an hour later, and he was grateful that the half an hour was spent outside blowing bubbles.

He swung his legs over the side of his bed and looked down at the pile of blocks on his floor. For several moments he stared at them, until his snooze alarm went off and he had to tap his iPhone screen. He needed to be in the shower within three minutes, dressed within 15, out the door within half an hour. There wasn’t time in his schedule for staring at blocks.

Yet even as he went over his schedule in his head, he found himself sliding to the floor, sitting down amongst the blocks, picking them up and placing them on top of one another. Green green blue yellow red green blue. He had a decent tower within four minutes, and though it had no sort of pattern or visual appeal, he felt a small surge of happiness when he realized he’d used all the blocks and the tower was nearly as tall as his nightstand.

Mara would love this, he thought, and the happiness flew away. His alarm buzzed again, and he tapped at the screen, stood up, and knocked over the block tower with his foot. It landed without breaking, which irritated him, but he walked to the bathroom without giving it another glance.

It was time to get in the shower, and he had no intention of telling his boss he was late because he’d been playing with blocks.

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