My seventh birthday was five days away when my parents asked me what I wanted. I told them I wanted a chair to put in front of the living room window so that when I looked outside I didn't have to stand up.
"What do you keep looking at out there?" Dad asked.
"Lots of things," I said, "Just
Dad looked. "I don't see anything."
"Do you see the tree in front of the Bly's house? Not the tall one. The small one. The one that has the point on top?"
"Now look at the branch poking out on the side."
"Do you see it. The branch on the side. It's on the side near the shutter on the house. The one with only a few leaves. See how it bends? Right there at the center, it bends?"
The next day, my parents told me I was going to visit a psychiatrist. They said I was going to visit this man because I didn't have any friends. I assumed they were introducing me to him so that we could be friends, so I told my parents I didn't mind not having any friends. They said, "It's not normal to spend three hours after school every day looking out the window onto a street."
The next day I tried not to look out the window, but I couldn't do it.
The psychiatrist had on a suit and sat behind a huge wooden desk like my dad's. He had a map of the world, which I recognized from the encyclopedia. I wanted to check it out, but I didn't want to seem rude, so I just snuck a glance. He asked me my name. I told him. He asked me how old I was. I told him. Then he didn't say anything.
He was sort of twirling his pencil, and taking some bites on it in between twirls. So I pulled at the threads on the hem of my skirt. I thought he was weird for keeping me in the room if he wasn't going to talk.
When the yellow started coming off his pencil, he sent me out to the waiting room, and talked to my parents in his office.
The next day, my parents bought me a chair for in front of the window.