FOUR - A long way from Costa Rica

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December 18th, Tuesday

Most of the time, I try not to think about Mom, but sometimes she sneaks in anyway. Like this morning, when I woke up earlier than I would have liked, because I thought there was some kind of wild animal trying to get in through the skylight. A raccoon maybe, or a cat. (Hopefully not a llama.) 

All I know is I woke up to something scratching at the glass, and then I couldn't go back to sleep. So, of course, I started thinking about Mom. I haven't talked to her for ages; she and Jocelyn—that's her new significant other—are vacationing in Costa Rica somewhere, doing yoga workshops and getting their chakras aligned or some such thing. Mom says her root chakra has been out of whack for years, but whenever I look at her, I can never tell—I've always thought she had really good posture. Maybe she should have started seeing a chiropractor, instead of a lesbian yoga instructor. Maybe if she had, she'd be perfectly aligned now, and still married to my dad.

Thing is, my mom is super cool. And so is my dad. So, it's really too bad about them splitting up. I never saw it coming, and I don't think my dad did either. But he is ridiculously easy-going and keeps telling me that we are all just getting through life the best way we know how, and that I need to stop being so angry at Mom and Jocelyn because nothing is going to change. He wasn't even pissed at Jocelyn. He actually likes her! He says she is good for Mom. Can you believe it? And before they left for Costa Rica, we all had dinner together at an East Indian restaurant and it turned out that Dad and Jocelyn ended up liking a lot of the same music—80s punk stuff mostly. They even started singing an old Clash song together right in the middle of their Chicken Vindaloo. Should I Stay, or Should I Go. The irony was not lost on me.

I'm just bummed that Mom is so far away, and that Dad and I had to leave our city house to come and live on Garcia Island, population 2,365. Well, I guess it's 2,367 now. I'm also bummed that my first two days at Garcia Secondary have been less than awesome. You now that saying about a fish out of water? Yep. That's me. Today in art class, I stayed far away from Scarlet, but ended up working next to a guy named Lincoln. He was okay, I guess, except that he kept asking me if I knew so and so, who lives in Vancouver. I told him more than once, that the population of Vancouver is about 630,000 but it didn't seem to make any kind of an impression upon him. He also ate his eraser. Well, not exactly ate-ate it, but just kind of nibbled at it like some kind of small rodent. That can't be good for a person's digestive system. I should tell him about Evan Duxbury's grandma's cyst. Maybe that would stop him.

I ended up eating lunch alone in the field next to the school. I sat on a rusted combine harvester up near the tree line and watched all my happy peers sitting inside the nice warm room that used to be the house's living room. They were all checking their phones, laughing, eating nachos, that kind of thing. I came really close to eating lunch in there, but the thought of sitting on the beanbag cushions that nobody ever sits on, made me feel, well, not great. So I stayed out by the combine, with a couple of stray chickens, one of which was very sinister looking and had an unsightly wall-eye.

My dad told me that people are too interested in themselves to give a fat rat's ass about what I'm thinking or doing. Clearly, he has forgotten the rules of high school.

Oh well, I got through the day, more or less. The one bright spot was that I got picked up by Misty, who was driving back from the general store. Her car is pretty sweet – a 1965 Morris Minor with red leather seats. It felt pretty good to be riding in that vintage car with Misty. She ruffled my hair with her hand, too. A little condescending, but what the hell, Misty smells really good.

Maybe there will be someone to eat lunch with tomorrow.

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