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Entry 1 -- Suffering on Sunday

I had to go to church on Sunday. I go every Sunday. It is a habit in my family. We have a new pastor. He doesn't just sing dumbed down hymns, though the music hasn't gotten any better. The music at my church bites and bites big time. That's not my problem though. The new pastor whose last name is Davis spreads it on with a trowel about Christ being love. There's more in the Bible than Jesus. That's important. There are all those great war chapters on Deuteronomy and Judges and there's David who was a man of war who wrote beautiful psalms.

You have to have fight in you and the Bible tells you that, but that upsets a lot of the adults. I think the fight gets beat out of them at some point. That is why they spend their lives working in nonunionized plants. That is why my mom can't realize that grandma is dying and the doctors can't make her well. I hope that whatever happens to most grownups doesn't happen to me when I get older. Maybe going away to Bryn Mawr or Brown will cure me of whatever gets most of the adults I know.

Of course all of that is years away. I squirmed my way through the feel-good sermon and didn't crowd in too much around the store bought cake that is really rather gross. We get the cake after services and doughnuts from Hanaford's down by SouthEnd Mall in Greenup. Pastor Davis thinks doughnuts are the tastiest thing. I think they are greasey fried bread. I avoid them like the plague.

Fortunately, I've never told Pastor Davis what I think of him. He had a Bugs Bunny tie on in church. People think it is such a cute thing and it is so human and understanding. Cartoons are for little kids! A preacher should dress like a successful adult. I don't tell any one I think the preacher is really pretty dumb. Yeah, I wouldn't mind some hellfire. I would prefer some poetry. I'd prefer some discussion of difficult or even easy Bible passages or more Psalms, but even hellfire would be good compared to the dawg of a sermon I sat through.

Then the preacher came over to our house after services. He sat with grandma and patted her hand like a dog. I'm glad that he gets points for being "so compassionate" with grandma and he doesn't notice the teen who is bored with youth ministry. I mean Christian rock is fine, but I want real ministry. I want Scripture. I feel like giving that preacher a mouthful. I've managed not to because he is busy with grandma and that makes mom feel better and right now mom doesn't need more stress. That is why I am pouring out my heart and soul on the web.

I was glad I got to study Sunday afternoon. My family went to the buffet restaurant, but I said "no." They even took grandma. I had the whole house to myself for the whole afternoon and it was wonderful. I guess it says a mouthful that the only way I feel really good is when I am totally alone. I'm a bit isolated at home. I'm not isolated at school.

Atalaya, Oisin, Lenny, and Josh all look up to me which feels really strange. These kids all have talent, but they think I should bottle what I can do and sell it. I can think on my feet, but I think Atalaya is more innovative. No one can do math like Lenny. Josh is all around the most knowledgeable of all of us, though of course he has a mother with a PhD and a father who is a rheumantologist. Educated parents can give their kids a leg up that the rest of us don't have. Still Josh thinks I'm brilliant. Go figure.

My parents got back happy and well fed. Grandma had messed on herself. I tried to picture my mother taking my grandma to Washington, DC. Right now Pastor Davis is helping mom and dad raise the money for the trip. Mom would have to take unpaid leave. Liza would live with us, and you know the rest.

Mom at least asked me if I got enough work done. I never get enough work done. It's like being a superstar athlete. Studying is practice, practice, and more practice. Besides, thsee days I've had a reputation thrust upon me that I have to uphold now whether I like it or not. I can only hope that all this reputation and pressure pay off someday if I don't turn in to an adult like the ones around me.

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