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Entry 34 Slow Leak

I got done studying around 1pm on Saturday. Stasch was bouncing around the apartment because Aunt Aliza had forgotten to make him take his meds. He sometimes gets a "medication holiday" on the weekends. That is not a holiday for you or me.

"Come on," I coaxed Stasch in to the kitchen. His cereal milk was still in its bowl going sour. Aunt Aliza had really let things go which probably meant that the shop was super busy this morning which was now afternoon. That would normally be good news except it meant I had to babysit Stasch and couldn't ride my bike to Lenny or Josh' house.

"You're supposed to take your fucking meds," I warned him.

He blinked.

"You have to take them or we won't have any fucking peace and I won't take you to the park," I snarled. That got Stasch to down his meds and in half an hour he could focus well enough to sit through lunch. The leftovers were gone, but we had cheese sandwiches and cake. We had no more peppers or olives either, and there wouldn't be any in the house until Wednesday which is Aunt Aliza's shopping day.

I went down to the shop to tell dad and Aunt Aliza where we were going. We got out the bikes and rode back towards town towards the park with the big fancy recreation center in it. The center like many things here in Greenup is brand new. In fact it is under construction and due to open this summer which means Stasch was going to learn to swim.

"You still afraid of water?" I asked him.

"Not sure," he grumbled. He wanted to race me, but my bike is faster and I'm older. I beat him. He said "double or nothing!" I told him, I wasn't betting and neither was he. He said he didn't care. I raced him and beat him again. Stasch can be really good for me sometimes. I thought about this as I raced him and beat him again. He is a very determined kid.

Besides, he kept my mind off of Koli. Koli had not been at services Friday night. That worried me. She said she was going to come. Of course my parents, the Goldfarbs, and all her friends at school had had to really twist her parents arm to let her stay after school for activities. I could see them keeping her at the house rather than letting her come back to town for services at the Goldfarbs. I guessed I'd learn the how and why of all this Monday. Boy that's a euphemism. Koli, if I knew her, would be very upset.

Then I began to wonder if Koli's grandmother had really died or taken a big turn for the worse. If Koli's grandmother died would she take back all the ugly things she said about it being her grandmother's time and her being tired of grandma being sick all the time? I'm not sure what I'd do in Koli's place. To tell the truth, none of us really are, or we're a bunch of liars.

Stasch and I raced two more times and then we were both tired so we parked the bikes and lay on the grass. Stasch isn't much of a talker when he is tired so mostly I just thought about Koli and the new rabbi and about the services last night with all their poetry, and I thought about my mom back in Duluth who never took me to services and who sided with Lyuba, got sick with pregnancy, and fought with dad so bad they broke up. Well actually both my parents screwed around. You hate adults for being crazy and then you love them when they give you positive attention. My parents are both crazy. Maybe Aunt Aliza is not crazy, but she's not a real blood parent. Uncle Gavriel is also sane. What he is doing with my mother, I'll never know.

I thought about the fact that I knew Aunt Aliza was trying to get pregnant. It was not something I was supposed to know but I heard hints every now and again and my dad had a way of letting it out when my parents fought. Why did women want to get pregnant if it made them sick and miserable? Would we hve to buy a house if Aunt Aliza had a baby? Where would we put a baby in the apartment? I did not think I wanted another sibling.

Stasch and I rode back to the house around the time kids are supposed to be home for dinner but since the shop was still open, Aunt Aliza and dad were still working away. I checked over Stasch' bike and added air to the tires. I wondered if one of Stasch' bike's tires had a slow leak. I checked my own bike and then took the rear wheel off of Stasch'. I filled the slop sink at the back of the shop with water.

"What are you doing?" Dad poked his head in from the shop.

"I'm going to check Stasch' bike's back tire for a slow leak," I said.

"You're head's got a slow leak, Oisin."

"What's your problem?"

"How dare you talk to me that way!"

"Well, I'm not doing anything wrong," I whined. "I'm just taking care of business."

Dad folded his arms and walked over to the sink. Tiny bubbles sputtered out of a small patch of the submerged tire. "Shit," said dad under his breath.

I put my finger over the leak and pulled the tire out of the slop sink. Dad reached in to the water to pull out the drain plug. "Just what we need, a new tire," he snarled.

"I think we can patch the tire," I remarked. I asked Stasch to bring me some paper towels and I dried the spot I was holding on to and then I got some chalk and marked the spot.

I put the tire back on Stasch' bike. "You can ride this," I told him, "but don't go that far."

"I think the bike place is open on Sunday," commetned dad. He leaned against the sink. "Want to do the rest of the bikes?" he asked. Dad's bike needed air in both tires but it hadn't had air in ages. Mom's bike was fine. How many busted tires can there be after all.

"We're bottlenecked again in the shop," sighed dad.

"How come?" I asked.

"Difficult job and Aliza has to get all detail conscious."

"Public relations!" shouted Aunt Aliza from inside the shop. I winced. "I'll take a break to fix dinner when I get this job done," Aunt Aliza added which was a good thing because Stasch and I were both hungry.

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