The Sock Monkeys

“Say hello to my friends” she said in a childish voice.

I looked up to see not a girl. But a grown woman playing with the sock monkeys.

“This one’s really cheeky, aren’t you?”

She was disturbingly innocent. Psychologists, doctors and social workers had placed all sorts of labels on her. Schizoid, multiple personalities, peter pan syndrome… the list went on and on. There was the unnerving sense that something blighted her.

She was unsettling yet almost quite angelic.

“He wants to give you a high five.”

I play along and give the monkey my palm.

As she moves on I look at the stallholder who’s equally unnerved. We’ve clocked each other’s discomfort and smile a wordless knowing smile.

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