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Entry 28 Scenes from Domestic Life

I didn't tell Steven in metal shop about Koli getting to do clubs. There is such a thing as not rubbing it in. Anyway, we got to work in the forge together. That was fine. I think the corners on the top drawer of my organizer came out OK.

I was tired by the time I got in to free period and had trouble outlning my paper for English. I gave up on that and worked on French instead so I'd be up for the last class of the day.

French is always a great way to end the day. Even Koli felt good. She said she had errands to run at South End Mall. I wonder if she would go look for the rabbi. I did not ask. Koli has a right to do nothing if she wants, and she is right, a Christian girl and a Jewish rabbi aren't really meant to talk to each other. There are rules and the world is kind of like an organizer with everything having to go in its slot.

I went to fetch Stasch and ride home with him. He was sad because tomorrow he couldn't ride his bike to school because there would be no one to ride home with him. I think he worried that lack of exercise would make him wild. He knows he can get in trouble without his meds nad he has a disease he can control so he can be like everybody else.

Actually, Stasch is not like most people. He is smarter. We didn't talk about Stasch going to Harvard someday though. Stasch talked about a game they played in gym one of those dumb games where you can only go forward if you do what you're told and they pick different kids to go forward depending on what color shirt they're wearing.

I told Stasch that back in Duluth we couldn't have had a game like that because the kids all wore uniforms to school. Stasch hardly remembers Duluth except he knows his "real mother" as he calls our mom is there. He also calls Aunt Aliza mom which makes a lot more sense when you think about it.

We got home and Aunt Aliza wanted us both to come in to the shop. She wanted me to check out her bike and make sure it was safe to ride. I said I didn't mind and as soon as Stasch had his afternoon meds and bread and butter, he came down to the shop with me and sat in the back reading silently. He still has to put the paper in his mouth, but he really does read silently now.

Aunt Aliza's bike was in pretty good shape. I just had to make a few adjustments and tighten some things up. "Is the seat comfortable?" I asked her. I know women don't have balls but seats can hurt them between the legs too. She said the seat was comfortable enough for her. She'd let me know if it didn't work out.

Then I asked her when she planned to ride her bike.

"Tomorrow," she told me.

I blinked.

"I'm picking up Stasch at school."

"But doesn't dad need you?"

"I can make up the work at night," answered Aunt Aliza. "Besides, it might help me lose weight. Remember what I said about believing in bikes?"

I could have laughed. I didn't. We had salmon croquettes for dinner. Aunt Aliza put chopped olives and roast peppers in all but two. Those were for Stasch who is so picky it is not funny. We had leftovers and Aunt Aliza asked me to ride them over to the rabbi's. We know where he lives now since he gave me the information to give to Koli Jameson.

He's in an apartment over the Vietnamese bakery. The place has an interesting smell, the bakery that is, kind of fried and eggy. Is "eggy" a word? I guess it is now. The semll even found its way upstairs. Yes, Rabbi Aviv's apartment was at the top of a flight of outside stairs just the way ours is, only the apartment is smaller, just a studio. The bakers must live elsewhere and rent out two studio apartments for extra money. I wonder who lives in the other apartment. I did not ask.

The rabbi had his shirt off when he answered the door. His chest is hairless. It was kind of weird. He had been reading. There was a book on the twin bed that served as a combination couch and bed. I unpacked the salmon croquettes in the kitchen. He thanked me.

Then he asked if I'd prayed after supper. I told him I forgot. I felt embarassed. "Then try to remember tomorrow night," he urged me.

I rode home in the dark. I like being out and riding at night. The shop was closed but I brought the bike in the back way. The rabbi's poor clunker was still parked in the back yard, not that we have much of a yard. Oh well plenty of people like Josh's family have back yards but do nothing with them and hire gardeners to take care of them.

Aunt Aliza was doing night runs. She was working at the computer which she is very good at, making signs and straightening out other people's sloppy graphics for posters. I went upstairs and wrote the outline for my paper. I even helped put Stasch to bed. When he was asleep, anad my outline was done, I went down to the shop to see what became of my parents. They were still both at work. I knew that meant business was good. I sat at a table where customers can look through books of wedding invitations and read economics and practiced problems on paper from the scrap box. The scrap box was my official reason for being downstairs, but I really did not want to be all by myself in the quiet apartment. Stasch was just upstairs and would sleep soundly through the night, besides my parents had to come upstairs soon.

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