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Entry 16 -- Satisfying Detour

I sat on the curb by the middle school bike rack dialing Aunt Aliza at the shop on my cell phone. Stasch shifted his weight from one foot to the other. He clearly hated having to spend one minute longer than necessary in the middle school parking lot, but the elementary school has no place for him to lock up his bike. He's stuck. Poor kid.

I got through to dad. Aunt Aliza was out grocery shopping. She had a break. We needed food. What was new? We eat like bears. I don't think we eat like horses because horses end up as dog food or they once did anyway.

I told him I wanted to go to the library and we'd be home late.

"Don't they have a library in school?" he asked.

"Yes, but they don't have the book I need."

"What book is that."

"A book on microeconomics that uses algebra and a book on macroeconomics that uses algebra."

"Shit," answered dad. "You know you're just making more work for yourself.

"It's not work," I insisted. "It's knowledge. Do you want me to be ignorant all my life. This is the stuff on the business pages and in Forbes and Businessweek," I continued.

Dad let me go to the library and that meant Stasch tagged along. I told him they had adventure books in the library about superheroes and monsters and dinosaurs. Stasch said he wanted books about the circus and life under the sea. Stasch is entitled to his interests. At least he has pretty decent interests.

It had been a good afternoon at school. I got my drawing approved for my organizer and helped Steve from Dogwood Hollow with his. No one here says "holler."

I read my novel for English during my free period and French Two is a great way to end anybody's day. stasch and I even found poles at the public library where we could lock our bikes up next to each other. Having a bike means having to lock it.

We got in to the library and Stasch headed off to the children's room. I found the catalogs and found myself in an odd corner of the adult section. I got a matched set macro and micro. I asked the librarian if there was any calculus in the books since I haven't had that yet. She looked at me as if I had just gone way over her head or said something so boggling it was almost funny. Then she got another librarian who flipped through the pages and told me that the books had algebra in them but no calculus and that it was easy algebra. I told the librarian, with all due respect, that algebra is hard. It is interesting and very useful, but it is hard.

Anyway, I had my books before Stasch had his. Stasch was afraid dad would yell at him for taking five books out. "Now you'll have to learn to raed silently," I told him. "Then Aunt Aliza and dad will let you stay up at night in bed and read like I do." Stasch smiled.

"You're going to Harvard one day, Stasch," I told him. "You're going to Harvard. If any boyd in the world deserves it, it's you."

We got home in time to greet dad in the shop. Aunt Aliza was putting away groceries. I could see three new kinds of pickles in a jar and two flavors of olives plus Veg-All. There were eggs and some kind of a roast for the weekend, and all sorts of vegetables for artistic salads. I didn't even see what was in the freezer, but the fruit bowl was full and there was Hawaiian Punch for Stasch who appreciates none of the finer things about food. It's true. He's a very picky eater.

Aunt Aliza asked to see my books and she said: "Wow! Real college economics. I hope somebody appreciates this."

I thought of Atalaya and then wished I hadn't because there's not one thing romantic between us. There's never been anything romantic between me and any girl. Well, I'm only fourteen so please give me time and don't think I'm a fag.

I made myself think of the football players and then I thought of the teacher and realized something. None of us was ever made to go down to the board in economics. Of course sending kids to the board as they do in geometry is a fast way to know if kids are slackers or not and maybe the economics teacher doesn't want to know. Maybe he's also afraid that someone like Atalaya will solve problems differently. I don't like it when a teacher is scaird of smart kids. It can't be a good thing.

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