© 2011, Mirror Image Presentations
CAVEAT: This post has not been edited since 2011, and will be one of the last to be re-edited. It is my experience as a Big Brother. I take no responsibility for grammer, though it looks like a good therapy session to me.
HERE IT IS:
I remember the day; I was eight when I told my mother that I wanted a baby brother. In her own loving, motherly way, she simply told me that it was not possible. I then went to my Dad and spoke to him of my desire. He responded by explaining to me the wonders of a vasectomy. Needless to say, I never did get my little brother — until last month — and it only took forty-eight years to come to fruition! That’s proof that if you pray long enough for something, you will eventually pray it into being.
After a lengthy investigation by Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Los Angeles into my past and my character, I received a call and was told that I had been matched with an eight year old named Edwin Osorio. Would I be available, I was asked, to come into their downtown office to meet him on Saturday coming? “Yes!” I answered. Two weeks later, I walked into the Big Brothers Big Sisters downtown office, and Francesca, the case worker, pointed to a young man sitting before her on the sofa.
“Alan,” she said, “I’d like to introduce you to your new ‘Little Brother’.” I was stunned. Before me sat a young man with at least eighteen years behind him. He rose, stood up to about five feet eight inches and extended his hand. For the moment, I was puzzled; Francesca had told me that my new ‘Little Brother’ was eight years of age. Upon looking at my perplexed reaction, she laughed and told me she was playing an early April Fool’s joke on me. She went on to tell me about a comedy sketch she had seen featuring a man who had waited years to be matched with a ‘Little Brother’, and by the time he was finally matched, the little brother was thirty-five. I laughed. The young man she had introduced me to turned out to be Chris Penka, the twenty-four year old potential new ‘Big Brother’ to Sergio, the real life older brother of my potential new ‘Little Brother’, Edwin. “The mother called and said they would be here soon,” she said.
About five minutes later, Mother Araceli Gines arrived with her two boys, Sergio and Edwin, and a three month old baby in tow. Both boys were wearing freshly laundered clothes and they looked neat and clean. The moment the mesomorphic eight year old walked in the door, he reached for my waist and hugged me, exclaiming, “my big brother!” I had been worried, having asked myself “what if he doesn’t like me?” What that really amounted to was, “what if I don’t like him?” After all, some kids are just plain unlikeable brats. I could have been any man and Edwin would have been pleased to meet me.
Señorito Edwin Osorio is a cute kid whose energy is all over the place. He’s not been diagnosed with ADD (yet) but he may as well have been. In the ten minutes we had to get to know one another in the seventh floor Big Brothers office, he wanted to play the soccer game; he wanted to point out to me all the tall buildings outside the window soaring above our heads; he wanted me to read him one of the books on the desk; he wanted to play with one of the puzzles; he wanted to play with the Superman character that he had just been given; and he arranged the plastic sushi that he had just been given and offered it to me as — “lunch”.
After appeasing his many wishes, I got him to settle down for a minute and inquired about school and his teacher. He told me that his teacher’s name is Miss Aqua. When I asked if he liked her and how old she is, he told me, “she’s about a hundred years old.” “Wow!” I said, “she must have been teaching for at least seventy-five years to have reached such a level of maturity!” Edwin nodded, then approached the video game and began looking for the button to turn it on. “Is that yours?” I asked. “Do you think you should be playing with electronics that don’t belong to you?” As if he had heard it before, he responded immediately by looking at me as if he knew what I was talking about.
After our exciting interlude, while Francesca interviewed Edwin about his ten minute experience with me, I had ten minutes to get to know his mother, Araceli Gines. I asked her about Edwin’s brothers and sisters and learned that she is the mother of six, all with different fathers, and no relationship to any one of them. As one who’s refrained for a lifetime from using my reproductive organs for anything other than fun, I couldn’t help but make the comment, “Usted ha estado muy occupada,” — you’ve been very busy.
Rocking her three month old baby in her arms, she nodded in agreement. I proceeded to ask about Edwin’s schooling and learned that his teacher, Miss Akwa, is not quite a hundred, but more like about fifty-five years of age. Then I asked Edwin’s mother how I could be of help. She told me Edwin is all over the place and needs to focus. I asked her if he had been diagnosed with ADD. She said no. I asked her if his diet includes much sugar, candy, or if, perhaps, he drinks coffee or tea. She said no to all of the above. I asked her if he has a television set in his bedroom. She said, “yes.” “Aha!” I thought, “that needs to go,” I said — in Spanish.
Then Francesca met with me alone and asked me how my meeting with Edwin had gone. She told me that he had told her that we had talked about McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and that I had told him that my favorite color was red. “None of that had been discussed,” I explained, but it was obvious that the child was hungry and his mind was on food, which I had already figured out when he presented me with his plate of plastic sushi. Then we all, Francesca, Mother Gines, sons Sergio and Edwin, the three month old baby, Chris and I, sat around the large table in the conference room with the tall wall to wall windows.
Filled with excitement, the boys were bouncing around the room. “We need to listen now and pay attention,” said Francesca, as Mother Gines’ cell phone rang a third time. Immediately I straightened my body language and sat up. Then I pulled my chair into the table, and politely folded my hands. Knowing elementary schoolers I anticipated the boys would immediately follow suit so that they could also be members of “The Good Boy” club. My expectations were correct, as they both showed that they, too, could demonstrate good posture and good listening skills. Francesca went over various pieces of paperwork, gathered signatures, and explained some rules and regulations, matters which were of no interest to the boys. Then Mother Gines parted, with children in tow. Before parting, Biig Brother Chris and Big Brother I, stayed behind for a few minutes of conversation with Francesca.
I prepared for Edwin’s first visit to my home by stopping by one of my favorite establishments, The 99c Store. My motto is, “buy discount but buy the most expensive items they offer.” My purchases included a couple of coloring books, a Spiderman notebook, and a box of 64 crayons. Then I stopped by an elementary school and picked up a school year schedule and twenty sheets of second grade writing paper. When I returned home, I cleared the desk in my dining room and set it up to embrace success.
That following Saturday, I went to pick up Edwin at his home. Upon my arrival, there were eight children meandering about, aged two to nineteen. Five that I know of were his half brothers and sisters. The others must have been his aunt’s dependents, as she was filling in as babysitter for the mother who had gone to work. I had been concerned about Edwin having a television set in his bedroom, until I learned that he sleeps in the living room with at least two other brothers. As I learned, the boys don’t have a bedroom. One sleeps in the upper bunk, one in the lower, and another two on the sofas. There is indeed a television set in the room, but it doesn’t receive any channels; a point I later found out when Edwin told me why he doesn’t get to watch cartoons. Then Edwin led me to the bedroom where another set of bunk beds and a king size bed filled the space. I was speechless.
I told his aunt I would bring him back home in six hours and we walked out to my car. Once a teacher always a teacher, so I gave him his first lesson; “look left, look right, look left again before crossing the street,” I said. When he saw my car, clean and white, he was impressed. I could have arrived in anything with wheels and I think he would have been impressed. I believe a child needs to weigh a minimum of sixty pounds to legally sit in the front seat of a car in motion, so I asked him,
“Edwin, how much do you weigh?”
As if he knew exactly, he answered, “about two hundred pounds.” “You certainly carry it well,” I said, adding that I only weigh in at one seventy-five. “If we are pulled over,” I said, “you just tell the police officer that.’ We put on our seat belts and I lowered the volume on the stereo. He immediately pointed to the sunroof and said, “can you make it up?” I asked if he would like me to open it, and he said, “yeah!” So I did. Then the song, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel,” began playing and he said, “oh, I like that song. Can we turn it up?”
I thought he was just trying again to be more than he was, until he actually began singing along to the lyrics. “You really do know this song!” I said. “Where did you hear it?” “It’s on my mom’s cell phone,” he said. Then, he looked around. “You’re lucky,” he said, “you have gum!” “Would you like a piece?” I asked. “Yeah!” he replied enthusiastically, as if owning gum was a big deal. Knowing how kids and gum mix, I explained to him that he needed to hold onto the wrapper so that when he was done with the gum, he could dispose of it properly in a trash receptacle. He agreed, put the piece of gum in his mouth and placed the wrapper in his pocket.
About twelve blocks later, I inquired again about his teacher, Miss Aqua, or Akwa, as my homework investigation revealed. “Is she really about a hundred years old?” I asked. “Yeah!” he said. “And, so how old do you think I am?” I asked. “About fifteen,” he replied. “Older,” I said. “About twenty?” was his next guess. I laughed and told him that I was the same age as his teacher — about a hundred. He looked at me in disbelief. Apparently, to him, his teacher doesn’t seem to be as youthful as his new Big Brother.
Accustomed to female teachers, he kept calling out, “Miss”, catching himself, knowing that something wasn’t right, then grasping for a name — Alex. “My name is Alan,” I said, “Mr. Alan if you want to use a title.” “Tell me more about school,” I said. “I have a girlfriend,” said Edwin. “Really?” I asked, in amazement. “Tell me more.” “Sometimes we hold hands at recess,” adding, “and sometimes we kiss.” “How old is your girlfriend?” I asked, to which he responded, “she’s a fifth grader.” I believe, that in addition to wanting to weigh in as an adult, he also wanted to weigh in as older than he was and I had no other reason not to believe him. I told him that I also have a girlfriend and would introduce him to her after we visit the library.
I asked if he had ever been to a library and he told me that he hadn’t — not even the school library, which I found hard to believe. I told him that he was in for a treat and added, “going to the library will allow you to travel anywhere in the world you want to go — instantaneously. “What is instantaneous?” he asked. Then Elton began guessing that’s why they call it the blues and Edwin said, “oh, oh, oh!”, reached to turn the volume button up all the way and began singing along to Elton’s blues. I was amazed when he began singing with the chorus. As one who loves to play my music full volume, particularly while driving, I was even more pleased that he also liked his music loud. We both agreed; the higher the volume, the better. I almost felt like I was sharing the experience with a little adult.
Turning the corner onto Beverly Blvd, I said, “I thought you might like to learn about various careers today.” “Yes!” he said, excitedly. “Okay then,” I added, “let’s go learn what the job of a sales clerk entails and what the job of a postal worker and a Taco Bell supervisor is all about.” I wasn’t expecting such an excited response, but he thought that the idea was pretty cool, so we went to the Post Office, where I needed to mail a package. Unfortunately, Joyce, the clerk I frequent, told us that they were “too busy” to be able to give us a three minute tour to show us how difficult the job of sorting, stamping and moving mail is, but that we could gladly call to set up a field trip.
With that, she handed me a card with the phone number on it, offered her hand and told my ‘Little Brother’ how nice it was to meet him. As we left the Post Office, he asked me, “how am I behaving?” “It’s rather early to say,” I answered, “but if I had to make a decision, I’d say you’re behaving about ten on a scale of eleven. By the way, where’s your gum?” I asked. He produced it from under his tongue, placed it in the wrapper from his pocket, and held onto it until we had reached our next destination.
Next, we learned what the job of a 99c Store clerk entails. We examined the selection of crayons and coloring books in the stationery aisle. Choosing between two products, I asked him to determine which of two was the better buy, and he knew. When we agreed that the box of 64 crayons was the better buy, he asked me, “can we get one for Sergio, too?” “Not today,” I answered, “but I like the way you think of others,” I added.
Then we moved on to the household aisle to the selection of air fresheners. When I sprayed a couple of scents into the air to see which one I liked, he was eager to try out the scents — all twelve of them. Finally, I said, “let’s get out of here before the manager kicks us out!” and we headed for the check stand. As we exited the store, he asked me again, “how am I behaving?” “I’d raise my mark to eleven out of eleven.”
Once in the car he asked me again, “can I have another piece of gum?” “I don’t know, can you?” I asked. “I imagine you may, as long as you dispose of it properly,” I added, inquiring as to his taste in books. I wasn’t surprised when he told me “I like ‘Sponge Bob’ and ‘Curious George’,” so we grabbed about ten ‘Curious George’ books and, looking around, headed to a table with two empty seats across from a woman who was reading. As she looked up to acknowledge us I said, “we’ve just met and we need to hold a little discussion. We’ll try to be as quiet as possible.”
“Not to worry,” she said, flashing a smile at Edwin. He began running his fingers through the books, ‘reading’ them three pages at a time, as I asked him, “which of these books are you interested in?” He said that he liked the volume, “George and the Security Guard.”
Evidently, I thought, the security guard is a male authority figure that he can relate to. He promised, that if I allowed him to check the book out, he would give me a report on the story in two weeks. Then, out of the blue, as if to reassure himself, he asked me again, “how am I behaving?” “Like a little gentleman,” I answered. But then he spit his gum out on the grass and I threw a big frown his direction. “What did we discuss earlier about disposing of your gum properly?” I asked him. “When you spit your gun out on the grass someone is bound to step on it and it will make a mess.” “Like dog poop?” he asked. “Exactly!” I responded, laughing.
“Now, what do we do when we cross the street?” “Look left, look right and look left,” he said. “And always keep your eyes open for gum and dog poop!” I added. I asked him how interesting the job of librarian seemed to him, to which he responded, “are we going to go to Taco Bell?” “After we’ve finished running our errands,” I said. We made a couple more insignificant stops along our way to Taco Bell.
We drove into the lot, I parked the car and we entered the Taco Bell. Since I can never remember whether I pushed the button to lock the doors or not, (when I had to physically place a key into the lock, it seemed easier for me to remember), I placed Edwin in charge of assuring that the doors were locked whenever we parked. “Before eating lunch,” I began, “let’s proceed to the restroom and wash our hands.” We entered and I washed my hands first, hoping that he would follow my lead and he did — except that he ignored the soap dispenser above the sink.
“Harrumph!” I grumbled, as I focused on the soap dispenser.
Immediately, he caught my drift and put it to use. I taught him how to hold the door open with one foot so as not to touch anything, and after my little lecture on germs, we proceeded to the counter to meet Geeze Louise. Geeze Louise is a woman of about eighty years and she appears to own every one of them. She is the mother of twelve (!!) — all boys (!!), a grandmother of many, and is a shift supervisor at my favorite local Mexican restaurant,Taco Bell. She tells me, that in spite of having been born an American citizen, never once in her life has she voted. Louise is very nice and I put aside my personal beliefs and enjoy her for who she is. She always has a smile, not only for me, but for everyone, and, adding me to her group of “seniors”, she always gives me a “free” soft drink.
“Louise,” I said, “this is my new little brother, Edwin.” “Well, it’s nice to meet you, Edwin,” she said. Looking directly at Louise, and then back at me again with a perplexed look on his face he questioned, “she’s your girlfriend???” “Yes!” I said. Then he looked back at Louise and asked, “can you give us free stuff?” “No, but I can give you free smiles,” she replied. I was happy to hear Edwin say that he didn’t like the taste of meat; much to my agreement, so we ordered vegetarian; a burrito, two tacos and an empanada. For good measure, or maybe she was trying to make a new friend, Louise threw in a “free” junior and a senior drink, without Edwin being aware that his wish was being fulfilled. The boy couldn’t eat fast enough and appeared to be as hungry as a wolf. I asked him if he had eaten breakfast.
“Yes,” he said. Upon further investigation, he informed me that he had eaten a bowl of cereal before I picked him up. “What kind of cereal?” I asked. “Cherry,” he answered. As I currently weigh in more than I need to, upon seeing that the burrito didn’t seem to satisfy his hunger, I offered him my second taco, which he devoured as fast as he had the burrito. Suddenly, the empanada his big eyes had wanted no longer fit in with the demands of his stomach. He pointed to it and said, “this is for you,” “No,” I said, “I’m done. You wanted it. Now it’s yours.” “Can I take it home for Sergio?” he asked. “That’s an excellent idea,” I said.
We placed the empanada into una bolsa, he neatly emptied our tray into the trash receptacle, and we proceeded to leave the dining establishment. I always make it a point to say, “thank you,” mostly because I like to collect as many free smiles as I can get and it pays off in “free stuff.” Edwin approached Louise from behind as she was filling the napkin dispenser. Not quite able to reach her shoulder, Edwin tapped her above the waist. “Thank you,” he said. I was pleased to see that he was generous with his thank you’s and that he showed appreciation for everything he received. I told him how much his appreciation is appreciated. Then, as we headed for the car, he asked me again, “how am I behaving?” “Like a little gentleman,” I said, “now get in, sit down, buckle up and hold on tight.”
He buckled up, and asked me again, “can I have another piece of gum — please?” “I don’t know, can you?” I responded again in my smart allec way. I continued, “I imagine you may — but only if you dispose of it properly.” I informed him that if he was going to spit the gum out on the grass or sidewalk again, that that would be the last piece of gum he would ever get from me. I asked if he understood; he nodded and the next time he was done chomping on his gum he took great effort to show me explicitly how he took it out of his mouth, got the wrapper out of his pocket, wrapped the gum into it and saved it for the next trash receptacle he was going to encounter. I held out my hand and he gave me the wrapper filled with ABC gum. Then he turned up the volume button on the stereo and said, “you’re nice! I like you!”
“Thank you,” I responded. “I like to be nice. It’s so much more fun than being mean, and I like you too,” I added.
Upon our initial meeting, I had shown him pictures of my kitten, Miao, on the toilet and reading a book. He was impressed that my cat could read (he really believed it) and he was very anxious to meet her. He had never met a cat that reads, not even “The Cat in The Hat.” As we entered my apartment, I asked him to please take his shoes off. Surprisingly, he was wearing clean socks without any holes in them. I noticed that he kept pulling his pants up, so I put some extra holes in a belt of mine and had him run it through his belt loops. This kept his (brother’s) pants from constantly falling down. Upon turning the key, Miao had already heard the voice of a stranger and had made her way under the covers, just as she does when the Big Green Monster, (more familiarly known as a Dirt Devil) comes out of the closet.
About my home, there are many photographs of loved ones strewn about, those who have left me to join The Heavenly Choir. He wanted to know who each person was. “Those are friends of mine,” I answered. After giving him a tour, I called Miao and uncovered her under my feather comforter, shrunk into a tiny little ball of fur, nearly the size she was when we met when she was twelve weeks old. She took to him quickly. My belief is that she recognized that they both were about the same age. He “ooed and aahed” over her, and petted her for some time before pointing to the set of pillows on the other half of my queen size bed and asking,
“who sleeps there?”
“Miao does,” I said.
He looked at me in disbelief. I realized how strange it must have seemed to him that a cat would take up as much space as probably three or four of his family members must occupy. “I also stretch out when I sleep,” I added. That didn’t seem to make any difference to his initial reaction.
After oohing and aahing for some time we headed back into the dining room. I pulled the box of 64 crayons out of the bag and, like a magician, produced a second identical box of crayons that I had bought the week before. He looked at me, amazed, like I really did have magical powers.
“Do that again!” he said.
So I did it again, this time with the calendar we had just bought and the one I had purchased a week earlier. Amazingly, the calendar I had bought the week before was identical to the one he had chosen that afternoon; automobiles. Okay, so I used a bit of persuasion to get him to choose the automobile calendar instead of the popscicle calendar. He was amazed at my magical talent. “One calendar is for you, the other is for Sergio,” I said. “Let’s keep this box of crayons here so you will always have something to color with when you visit, and you can take this box home with you to share with Sergio,” I told him.
Then I sat him down at the desk with a timer, which I set for five minutes. After a short lecture on posture and how it affects the outcome, I handed him a pencil and told him that I wanted him to write his name ten times as neatly as he could. I added that I would rather have him write it once beautifully, than ten times, “muy cochino,” — messy.
I added that I would be doing my work in the kitchen while he did his work at the desk. He nearly ignored me as his mind was on getting answers to his questions, not on his posture or penmanship but he did as I requested and I was impressed at the beautiful results he produced and I broke out my rubber stamp collection and stamped his paper and told him to take it home to show his mother and his teacher. I want them to know, though he has not demonstrated it in school or at home, that he is capable of producing excellence. Besides offering me copious thank you’s, he kept saying, “you’re so nice,” to which I repeated myself, “It’s much more fun than being mean.”
While he was practicing his penmanship, I prepared some strawberry shortcake which I had already made in advance. One would think that he hadn’t eaten strawberries before, as he was very excited when I presented him with a bowl full. Then we sat down to watch Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat In The Hat.” Even after having filled up on a burrito and a taco, I was amazed that he was able to (almost) finish three pieces of cake. After his second big helping of strawberries on shortcake, having finally filled the bottomless pit, he leaned back on the sofa and with a sickly look on his face said, “I’m full!”
I looked at him and laughed, “don’t barf!” I said. “Can we take the rest home for Sergio?” he asked. “I don’t think Sergio would like that left over piece of mush,” I said. “How about if we do one better; let’s cut him a fresh piece of cake,” — an idea which we both agreed was better, to which he offered me another, “you’re so nice.” About fifteen minutes into the Cat, he had had enough of the Good Doctor and asked, “can we color?” Knowing that it made no sense to force him to enjoy, “The Cat In The Hat”, I said, “Absitively posilutely, yes!”
He colored as I cleaned up the kitchen, talking to me the whole time. Looking up, I said, “It’s almost time to take you home.” “No!” he said. “Aren’t you bored with me yet?” I asked. “No!” he said, “I like you. You’re nice!” “Well,” I said, looking at my backward clock, “twenty minutes more and we’ve gotta go.” Then I asked him if he’d like me to read him a book. “Yes!” he blurted out, and with that I reached for a French book I enjoyed having read to me as a child, entitled, ‘Les Vacances de Caroline.” I opened the book and began reading to him the adventures of Caroline and her friends, Pour, Noireau, Youpi, et Bobi.
As I pointed to the pictures to assure that he understood what was going on, he crooked his head and looked at me like my dog used to when I would ask her if she wanted to take a, “Walk?” After each page I asked him, “Qu’est-ce-qui se passe?” Without needing any translation, he looked up at me and asked, “what’s happening?” “You’re smart!” I said, “you understand French.” By the end of the story, he loved this new found phrase which he kept repeating over and again, having heard it at the turn of every page. When he would not stop asking me, “qu’est-ce qui se passe?” like a broken record I had created, I gave him an answer, “rien du tout. Not much,” I added.
Edwin was excited about having learned two new phrases in “France”, but not so excited that he didn’t tell me by page eight, “I’m boring.” “I’m sorry you are boring,” I said, “perhaps together we can find a way to make you a more interesting person. Let’s go,” I said, closing the book and placing it aside. “No!” he exclaimed. I want to spend the night.” “That is not possible today,” I said. “Why?” he asked, to which I answered that he was not mine to keep. After putting on our shoes and saying good-bye to Miao, he asked me once more, as if for assurance, “how am I behaving?” “I like the way you are on top of things,” I answered. “Does that mean I’m behaving well?” he asked. “Yes,” I said with a smile. “You have behaved so absitively, posilutely wonderfully, that I am going to see you again next weekend instead of waiting two weeks. Next week,” I continued, “we’ll go see what the job of a horse trainer, a policeman, and a fireman entails but first, let’s go see what the job of a technician at Radio Shack is all about. Come along and I’ll introduce you to my friend, Kouda.”
We went downstairs and he reminded me to look out for gum and poop, then to look left, right and left again, and we got into my car, buckled up, and headed to Radio Shack. I handed Kouda a cup of hot coffee and had Edwin present Kouda with the strawberry shortcake. “Kouda,” I said, “I’d like to introduce you to my new Little Brother.” Kouda looked at me with a puzzled look as Edwin extended his hand and asked, “Qu’est-ce qui se passe?” “What?” asked Kouda. “What’s happening,” I said, “– in France. It’s a new phrase we learned today.”
After his many thanks, I asked, “Kouda, can you give us the grand tour of ‘the shack’?” “Sure,” he said, and with that he proceeded to show Edwin all of the electronic delights a kid could imagine. Of particular interest were the remote control cars and helicopters. “Can I have this?” Edwin asked. “Oh, look! Can I have this?” he asked again, after seeing one amazing toy after another. “You can have anything you want,” I said, “as long as you pay for it.” “You can come back another time when these toys will go on sale,” said Kouda.
“Just what he needed to hear,” I said. “Come on, Edwin, let’s go,” I said, “your mother is waiting for you.” We bid our good-byes, Kouda told him how nice it was to meet him and we exited the shack. As we walked out to the car, he asked me just one last time as if to reassure himself, “how am I behaving?” I told him that I would give him a 10+. “Is that good?” he asked? “Good?” I said, that’s absitively, posilutely superflous!” We got into the car, buckled up, and he placed a request for another piece of gum. I was glad that he wasn’t asking me for a cigarette so I said yes, again, provided he give me a trade in later.
“Now, what did we learn today?” I asked, remembering that learning is reinforced when followed up by review. We talked it over and I asked him, “what was the most fun part of the day?” to which he replied, “meeting Kouda.” I imagine he was excited about meeting an adult male who was darker than he was, to whom he could relate, either that, or it was the remote cars and helicopters that stuck firmly in his memory. I had thought it might have been eating out at Taco Bell, or meeting Louise or Miao, but I imagine they came in as close seconds.
Then, upon approaching his home, he asked me, “Miss — ter — Alan — what does the world look like through blue eyes?” I wasn’t quite sure what exactly he meant but I told him, “It looks pretty cool.” For the few bucks I invested, I got a lot of kicks for the buck. After one last, “How did I behave?” just before checking back in with Mom, I dropped him off at home and with one last, quick “thank you,” he disappeared into the house, probably to drop into his bed, exhausted, and fall fast asleep. It had been a full, exciting day for both of us. I bid my good-bye’s, drove back home, took two aspirins and shed my clothes. I turned on my ceiling fan, grabbed my pussy and put her into a pillow case, (this always causes her motor to run), crawled into bed and felt her purr recharge my batteries. The little rugrat had exhausted me but I felt good.
The following week I had a long conversation with Miss Akwa, who told me about his problems in school. Among them, were telling the truth and making an effort in his studies. Either I made him feel too comfortable in my home, or he wanted to let me know how mad I had made him. When I confronted him on his behavior in school, he suddenly needed to go to the bathroom. There he stayed for half an hour. After I took him home and returned to my apartment, I found that he had stolen some dice and pooped in my trashcan. I asked myself, “what did I do wrong? I have a seven month old kitten who poops in the toilet and an 8 year old boy who poops in my trash can??” When I went to meet him and his mother at the laundromat on Monday to discuss the matter with him, he assured me that he hadn’t done it. I told him I found that hard to believe, since Miao and I live alone.
I asked Miao and she assured me that she hadn’t done it. Unless she’s learned how to cover it up by tossing in a disheveled roll of toilet paper, then put the lid back on over it, I have no reason not to believe her. I know Miao tends to “steal” toys, but as long as she’s been in my care, she’s never pooped anywhere but in the toilet. She assured me that yes, she has stolen toys from me in the past, but that she didn’t take my dice. That’s when I knew that Edwin was not telling me the truth. I told him I’d give him two weeks to show his teacher that he’s serious about telling the truth and doing his homework. If he is, we’ll see each other again then. We’ll see where our relationship goes from there.
And so it was.