Shantih Journal 3.1 - Page 105

overturned crabs, and leg-pieces flew in all directions. Now Andrew gave the ball one last fierce kick and it shot across the lawn into the side of the house. ​ e decided to walk down to Buelo’s house again, as he often did when he felt H angry and scared like this. It also got him away from everyone who thought he was strange. It didn’t matter with Buelo and the other people there, because everybody thought they were strange too. Even his mother thought so. She never spoke Spanish at home, although she could, and she tried very hard to be like all the other moms--which she was, except that she had a father who lived in “a shack,” as she called it--the house she’d grown up in. Most of his mother’s friends had never met his grandfather. He couldn’t treat Buelo that way. Still, he was swift and careful as he walked to the bungalow because he didn’t want his friends to see him going there. They would sometimes taunt him for being one of “the Spanish people” or “the Spicks,” words they mostly used for Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Mexicans. They also ragged him for being small and for not much liking to fight or to play rough games. Only in soccer did he feel like one of the guys, and he was outgrowing that, so he mostly felt like a freak. ​ He rang Buelo’s doorbell, and the familiar, grouchy “who’s there?” came from the dark inside of the house. “Andrew.” “Come in.” ​ he door was unlocked--not like his own house, which had complicated alarm T devices that you had to be careful not to accidentally set off. ​ il sat at his desk with a book open in front of him. At the sight of his grandson, G he felt a lift. He’d been hoping for someone to read a passage aloud to, as he used to do with Olga, when she’d listen. “Hey, muchacho,” he said. “Just in time. I want you to hear this. Thoreau is writing about walking on the beach in Cape Cod.” ​ e began reading: “We still thought that we could see the other side. Its surface H was still more sparkling than the day before, and we beheld ‘the countless smilings of the ocean waves’; though some of them were pretty broad grins, for 105