"Herbie carried the tin dish with care to the dusty little table with two wire-backed chairs that stood in a corner by the magazine shelves, and sat down to feast like a mighty man. He had bought the privilege with the frappe. (Nobody ever sat at the table except a rare "big guy" who, too lazy to walk his sweetheart around the corner to Hesse's, would regale her amid Borowsky's dinginess.) All that was needed now to fill the boy's cup of joy was some other boy to come into the store and envy him. But it was a quiet time; he waited until the treat was half melted, and was forced at last to eat it alone and unadmired. Every pleasure in life seems to come equipped with such a shadow.
"Still, it was an event to be treasured. Come what might, he had eaten a frappe on a weekday. Herbie was ignorant of the French origin and pronunciation of the word, but the dish was not hte less lovely for that. Some adults, who have nothing better to do, like to argue about what the most beautiful word in the English language is. The leading contenders are usually dawn, violet, starlight, golden, moonbeam, and the like--which proves nothing except what kind of people the arguers are. For the boys on Homer Avenue there would hardly have been a rival for that glorious sound, Frap.
"Licking his lips, and wondering why life was not an eternal eating of chocolate frappes, Herbie left the candy store and went home..."
I finally finished City Boy: The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder. It was a delightful read and I thorougly enjoyed it for its comic relief effect--the inner workings of the mind of an 11-year-old boy carry an air of seriousness, acknowledging the serious things in life, while coming up with the most ridiculous 11 year old answers. It's a great balance, to be an 11 year old, and at the same time my heart pities poor and chubby Herbie Bookbinder as he learns the lessons of life. haha. I've now moved on to Wendell Berry's Jayber Crow and 50 pages in I am only able to declare it "interesting"--I won't speak definitively until I have finished it. But it is different than anything I've read before, I will say that.
It's been a busy week--and quite a packed week in many ways. I'm still waiting to hear anything about any job at all. In the meanwhile this job suits quite well. I think you can say a job is good for you when you realize on a daily basis the levels of your stupidity. The quite unconventional position of housemother at Saint Gianna's Maternity Home is a challenging and 'rewarding' position. While helping unwed mothers through an often scary and unexpected pregnancy I'm also put in the role of discipliner, pseudo-parental, friend and counselor. For myself, to be put in such a position amidst girls nearly my age has always been odd to me. I lack much...regardless I am daily *allowed* to share the burdens and the joys these women face in their lives. I'm never surprised with the frustration I feel, and am always surprised when the frustration dissolves. I can spend countless amounts of time being frustrated with the problems of how people think, or the low expectations people have for themselves, or the inability to see situations clearly--but in that one moment where I am 'addressing' it, my heart breaks over and over again and I am always amazed at how these women who come from such broken homes endure and persist. They have a strength I'll never know.
It's also a very convicting experience to address homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, chastity, the rosary, Mass, priests and 'priestesses', explaining the beauties and truths of the Church in a way that can be understood by the non-oriented (and dis-oriented) mind.
...On a lighter note, I have decided to fly out to Seattle in August for a good friend's wedding. I can hardly wait. This also means that I must find the perfect dress for the occasion. Let the search begin...any fun ideas, let me know. I'm looking for bright colors and belts as well. :-)