Reproduced by permission of the artist, Max Ferguson.
I like Saturday. It has two “A’s”. The others only have one “A”. But my best days are Mondays and Thursdays. That’s when I come to Grandpa’s shop. Sit on this stool and watch everything that happens. Then at night, lying awake, I see it all again in my brain. Every single second. I love to stop the pictures in my mind. Pause. For a special moment. Like Grandpa gluing the hair on the baby’s head. O n Tuesdays and Wednesdays I go to my other grandfather. He’s called Pops. He doesn’t have a shop. He has a room with a big TV. We watch horse racing. On Friday I stay with my mom at our house. She does lessons with me. On the other days she’s a waitress at a diner in Mahattan. She used to work on Fridays. But now she looks after me. She’s trying to find me a new school, but I heard her telling Grandpa they’re no schools around here for me. I used to go to school until they said I’m on the A-Spectrum. The school can’t work with kids on the A-Spectrum. Adam, who was my friend, said it’s the Alien Spectrum. Grandpa says it’s the Amazing Spectrum and we’re the only two on it. Grandpa’s teaching me things. Letting me help. I love it when the boxes come from the delivery van. Twenty right arms wrapped in tissue paper. All alike. And a box of heads. Same shape. Same eyes. Same
bald heads. He lets me set up all the dolls’ heads on the shelves. In order. Grandpa says it’s okay to have a bit of a jumble. That life’s like that. So he leaves some in a muddle and says I needn’t let it worry me. Like I did the time at school when we were lining up outside the classroom. The first day I was behind Ingrid and in front of Benjamin. All the others were where they were. But next day everyone was in a different place. My head went buzzy. The teacher got angry when I screamed. Her face was so twisted. I got scared with it all and ran off. Round and round the playground. Grandpa plays games with me. Sometimes he changes things around on the shelves. Turns one head upside down or makes the eyes look in a different direction. I always know what he’s done. Just like when he switched the photos in the frame. He’s helping me. He tells me how I can be in the world. How I can find my way. I tell him my secrets. Like different colours for different days. And how I see what I see. He says we are more alike than the dolls’ heads. That makes me tingle. When I grow up I want to work in the Doll Hospital. Putting the heads on. Knowing how things fit together. With my grandfather who doesn’t watch the horse racing. My Grandpa who’s with me on the Amazing Spectrum.