School picked up right where it left off after Aaron moved. Fina and I spent an increasing amount of time together, lamenting the absence of our over-protective do-gooder.

I’m thankful when Gina returns and isn’t obviously on speed. She runs up to me laughing and pulls out a giant bag of mushrooms.

You see, I was told I was a nice boy. I imagined I had friends, that despite my penchant for rude, dismissive, obnoxious rants, I was still somehow, well, charming and interesting.

I decided to scoot up a little closer to him, so I could casually strike up a conversation in which I help him locate the science-fiction section. However, the moment I moved my butt, a giant, unexpected fart came out.

My favorite saying of my dad’s, however, was “Don’t force it if it’s not on.” He used this when a player would try something outrageous on the soccer field when there was a simpler option.

One day, Lisa, her mother and I sat making bracelets on the floor in the den. Lisa sleeps upstairs. A black man singing about his favorite McDonald’s breakfast item came on the television behind Trudy and she turned around. “Obama!” she screamed. With pure delight.


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