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Entry 33 Koli and Josh Reprise

By lunch time Friday, Koli and Josh have got good cases of ants in the pants. Atalaya by contrast looked ready to collapse. I was glad we had Ms. Garcia's classroom to use for our "language lounge." By Friday at lunch I was in no mood to deal with the idiots who dominated our cafeteria. What a relief to get a break from them. It was bad enough to share classroom space with assholes without having them ruin my appetite.

"What do you have for lunch?" asked Joshua.

"Kippers and mayo on bread. Aunt Aliza had emptied the household supply of roast and fried peppers and all the olives in to her kidney bean salad. We had of course nearly eaten all of it. Dad would finish it at lunch today. The other half of the salad was in Myrtle Hollow.

And speaking of Myrtle Hollow, Koli blew in to Ms. Garcia's letting us all know: "That new pastor is such an asshole!" She was of course referring to Pastor Davis who had come to visit her family the same night Aunt Aliza and the rest of us delivered the bean salad and the white layer cake with real fudge frosting.

"What's wrong with Pastor Davis now?" asked an irritated Josh."He says brilliant platitudes and cliches and all the grownups think he's so compassionate and sensitive. He's just doing his job so he can fill the collection basket at his church. I'll give all of you an example."

"You'll shut up," snarled Josh.

"Who the fuck died and left you king?" asked Koli.

"Koli, yesterday it was doctors. Today it's preachers. I don't think there's anybody you like."

"Teachers are pretty smart except for Ms. Sloane who teaches Civics." Koli made a face.

"I'll swap you the econ teacher," commented Atalaya.

"I wouldn't. He gave you a good grade on your quiz Monday and an extra reading too," I reminded her.

"Will you guys let me explain?" wailed Koli who was visibly upset.

"OK, shoot," I said.

"Thanks Oisin. Pastor Davis says that we all benefit from the wisdom of old people and we all carry our grandma's legacy. That is true immortality. Fuck that...."

"What's wrong with that?" asked Lenny.

"Lots of things. First Pastor Davis doesn't know my grandmother. He's been here less than a year and she's been sick all the time he's been here. She can hardly talk now and she doesn't do very much and there's not much left inside her. The cancer's in her brain got that, so he's just using a cliche. Grandma could be a total dope and she could of mean bitch when he was younger and it would be all the same to Pastor Davis. Also everyone who is good is supposed to get in to Heaven, not just wise people or people who live long enough to be wise. If a baby dies, a baby isn't wise. Does a baby just live because his parents care about him. What about the Chinese kids and those kids in the South Seas whose parents kill them. Do they get no eternal life?"

"Wow...philosophy...." sighed Josh.

"FUCK YOU!" screamed Koli.

"Careful, a teacher might here," Atalaya warned her.

"I wish the adults realized these things and told Pastor Davis not to lay it on with a trowel. I think they want the fucking trowel. I'm sorry I'm so upset." Koli sighed. She blinked back tears.

Josh looked away. I could see him wince."You know you should see the latest clergy star the Jewish grownups have," he began.

"The only rabbi here is Abib and he's pretty cool," I said.

"He's a fake!" snarled Josh.

"He is not. Aunt Aliza checked out his credentials."

"I got bar mitzvahed. I don't want to go to services any more."

"What was the point then?" asked Koli.

"It made my parents and grandparents happy and I'm Jewish," answered Josh.

"If you don't believe...."

"I'm an agnostic," answered Josh, "but my mom is getting all religious. She's even hosting the services tonight."

"I'd like to go to services," said Koli.

"Don't you have to be home to do chores?" snarled Josh.

"I can say I got invited to your house."

"You're not Jewish."

"So Christians aren't allowed in synagogues..."

"They...OK, you want to go to services, you're invited. There."

"Thankyou," Koli snarled.

"Just don't have a fight in the synagogue and you'll be fine," Atalaya counseled.

"There's no synagogue everyone. It's a figment in the parents' imagination," Josh replied.

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