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Entry 20 Mother and Sons
I endured health, and in biology lab we looked at models of double helixes and went over matching base pairs for DNA and RNA. AT and GC for DNA went together like dancers and the dance partners for RNA were AU and GC. Uracil was the U that replaced thyosine, the T in DNA. The only problem was the dancers went nowhere unless they were going to be in chromosomes and the teacher did not tell us how the chromosomes and ribosomes (for the RNA) ripped apart.He only told us what it looked like, and our book was not much better.
My head was still swimming from biology when I got to French which was always nice because it was just our crew more or less who had a corner of the computer room behind a screen to ourselves. I thought about how it might be two years from now in a regular classroom with a regular teacher. We'd be the last small French class because kids would pick to take French to have a "good language." There is something to be said for being a pioneer.
I got in touch with the teacher who runs the math team and let him know I was interested. I also said I had to watch my brother and couldn't attend the first meeting. I'd get that straightened out, I hoped. Of course having to live like a rich person when you're the son of working people is weird. I won't say it sucks because that would say that working people suck and my dad and Aunt Aliza are decent. Even my mother back in Duluth is not half bad. It wasn't her fault she got sick when she got pregnant which meant she couldn't take care of Stasch. She had no way of knowing how sick she'd be. Of course I do think I have too many siblings. I'm glad Aunt Aliza never got pregnant. Maybe we boys are enough for her.
Stasch hated to have to come in to the high school while I touched base so I could go to meetings later. "Mom may be taking you to and from school a couple of mornings a week. We'll have to go bike riding at night," I told him as we rode home.
"Mom won't let us," complained Stasch.
"Yes she will. I'm fourteen and there are street lights. She can't keep us cooped up, not you anyway."
"Well, why can't you take me home."
"I want to do math team and Legion D'Honneur Francaise. Those meet after school. When you're fourteen you'll have after school meetings too."
"What if I have a little brother or sister."
"You have two little sisters in Duluth," I reminded Stasch.
He made a face. The halves don't really feel like sisters at all. Anyway, they are just little kids. The youngest is a baby, and babies are boring.
"Why do you want to go to meetings anyway?" Stasch asked me.
"Because I have to so colleges will like me. That is how Ivy League schools pick people. They don't just want them smart. They want them to have extracurriculars so I have to have extra-curriculars. That's the way it works."
"Josh told you that," Stasch sing-songed.
"Fuck, his parents told him that," I answered. "And Josh' parents know."
"Josh's parents have their noses in the air," sing-songed Stasch. "Josh' parents have their noses up their ass."
"Josh' parents went to fancy colleges and our parents didn't," I snap back.
"What about the bent?" asked Stasch.
"What about it?" I asked back.
"You said you were going to make a bent bike in school."
"You just can't?"
"Yeah, the shop teacher won't let me. I think it's the insurance thing, als I know more about bikes than him. How do you like your seat?" I asked.
"Balls don't hurt," Stasch replied.
We were just abuot home. I was surprised to find Aunt Aliza upstairs rather than in the shop but she was getting dinner ready partly in advance. Stasch scrunched his nose up in disgust.
"You got a problem," Aunt Aliza greeted us.
It was Stasch with the problem. "Lamb..." he said. "Yuck."
"I'll fix you a tuna sandwich or a cheese sandwich," sighed Aunt Aliza. "You don't make the menus here. You're outvoted. Aunt Aliza stirred what was in a big sauce pan on the stove. On the kitchen table were two large eggplants, cooked and with their insides scooped out. "I have extra rice on the stove too," Aunt Aliza told Stasch. "You could have rice and cheese." Dinner was to be eggplant stuffed with lamb, rice, and tomato.
"They had beautiful eggplants at Hannaford's yesterday," Aunt Aliza told us both. We always eat better and fancier food after Aunt Aliza goes shopping. She refuses to make the same thing again for a while. It goes "in to the rotation," as she calls it, and that means you have to wait two to three weeks to see it again. It's as if eating the same thing on the same night a week apart will poison you. She says she will get bored and not want to cook if she doesn't have a rotation, so we've got a rotation.
I wondered how I'd tell Aunt Aliza about extracurriculars. I decided to be up front about it. "Aunt Aliza," I said as she stirred the lamb mixture that was frying with the scooped out eggplant and canned tomatoes. "They want me to stay for meetings at school."
"What kind of meetings?" she asked.
"Extra-curriculars clubs and stuff. There's going to be a math team."
Aunt Aliza laughed. "What was so funny about a math team?" I wondered.
"Fuck," sighed Aunt Aliza. "You would be on a math team. You know most people hate math."
"I don't. Geometry rocks."
"OK, you want to be on the math team. I'd say yes to the football team or soccer team, so I guess if math can be a sport."
"Well sports have practices and meetings don't they?" I said.
"Yeah....you want to get out of babysitting for Stasch so you can be on a team. I'm going to say yes. What else do you want?"
How did she know I wanted something else?
"I may have meetings for the Legion D'Honneur Francaise."
"The what...." Aliza stifled a laugh. "Whose idea was this?"
"Figures." This wasn't a team.
"Didn't you have meetings when you were in high school?" I asked Aunt Aliza.
"Yes," she said blinking back tears.
"You know it was Josh' idea, but I named it Legion D'Honneur Frnacaise. I mean we don't get real honors, but at least we've got a cool name."
Aunt Aliza laughed some more.
"I'll take Stasch bike riding at night."
"When are you going to study?"
"I can study in bed and stay up late. I don't need much sleep any more," I answered.