It's the textures that slide home before anything else. The pile of the rug in the hallway - a runner, apparently it's called a runner? - and he's not sure that he lived anywhere with wallpaper, growing up. But he knows what it's like to be short, to have the older brother who's stronger, who can hold things out of his reach until he hollers in frustration and stomps his feet and plots terrible ways to enact childhood revenge. They mostly involve telling Santa on him.
He doesn't know where he is in the memory-splay when the springs of the mattress roll against his spine, exactly. It's all narrowed down to fine points. Thankfully, nothing spills. He doesn't want to press the bottle's mouth to his lips. In one breath it's disorienting because he's down at her level and it's the opposite of bird's eye, where everything is huge and looming and the world revolves around knees and easy hiding places. The next exhale, it's a dizzy swoop, and all that matters is that his brother cheats. Nothing makes him more angry. Hands on hips mad. Sometimes he'll declare, loudly, that he wishes he'd been an only child. And when he does that even their mom looks surprised. Like she doesn't understand where he learned those words.
So there's not a real frame for the way that everything is a game, and games don't have to be life or death even if a kid that age thinks they are, yeah? But there's also nothing so light as crayons and pencils, except for the lead mark where he got one stabbed into his wrist for not sharing. He doesn't recognize the laughter that isn't mean, the banging of fists against doors that doesn't spell out a reason to squeeze himself under the bed. There's a disconnect.
He's jealous, when he's able to sit up. So fucking full of envy. He knows he can't get there and he wonders if he'd been a less spiteful kid, not so full of fury, if he'd ever have been able to be there. (If Sawyer had a sibling, would they hate each other like he'd hated his brother?) It's useless, and he knows this, but he likes picking at the scab with a fingernail until it threatens to lift off and reveal the wet red skin underneath.
It's useless, but it hurts, and it's a place to focus. So he lets it come.