It’s been almost three months since Mem gave Steve the boot, Roberto gave Mom the boot, and Mom gave me the boot, or should I say the broom. But Mom won’t stop telling Mem that everyone got the boot because of me. Except, of course, Adam, because he’s almost dead, so there’s no way he’s getting the boot except from God.
Since I’m not allowed to go to Steve’s Market, and Adam is sicker than ever, I’ve spent most of my time at the Bridgeport Library.
I’m also not allowed to go to Father Panik Village, so Yolanda meets me at the library and helps me hide Rib in an old purse of Mem’s, so he can come with us.
We don’t have library cards which means Yolanda and I never get to the end of the books we like because we must leave them behind. I hope to apply for a library card soon because I’d like to finish just one of them, but I need an adult sponsor.
The first couple of times we went, I was paranoid that the librarian was watching us because of Rib, but Yolanda said it was because I was with a girl with black skin. I think it’s sad that the librarian is way more interested in why I’m with black-skinned Yolanda than the dog in Mem’s purse.
Rib is only three pounds, and Mem says that’s as big as he’ll ever get, which is excellent for me because I get to take him everywhere, and because he’s so tiny, no one even knows he exists, which in Rib’s case is a good thing.
Speaking of not existing, Mom still hasn’t heard one word from Roberto since I shoved my stupid face out the window. And she still hasn’t forgiven me for it, even though I make her bed every day and do all the chores she’s supposed to do, like vacuuming, dusting, and taking out the garbage.
My birthday was a bust because Mom refused to participate. Mem and Mere Germaine took me for a birthday celebration at Valley Farm Drive-In on Boston Avenue. I had a hot dog with the works, and Mem and Mere Germaine shared a meatball grinder, but Mom never showed up. When I cried to Mem, Mere Germaine told me that Mom’s heart was healing and to give her some space and time.
Mere Germaine still lives in Samir’s apartment, although I haven’t seen him since he punched out Uncle Luke. You could say Uncle Luke also got the boot, but with a fist to the face instead.
And just to let you know, I check the kitchen cupboard from time to time for any new newspaper articles about my dad, and there are plenty of them, so I’m sure he’s another man that I won’t be seeing anytime soon.
Based on his law-breaking behavior, he’s the only one who deserves to get the boot, although I hope the police don’t shoot him in the head like they did to his friend Anthony.
Maybe Mem is right when she says that all men should get the boot — except for Adam, who, according to Mem, is one-of-a-kind and not like other men. When I asked Mem about Nick, she said only time would tell whether he should get the boot.
I try to bring up Steve to Mem because I miss him terribly, but she’s stubborn and says he got the boot because he wouldn’t stop bad-mouthing Adam. Without Steve, we’re back to chopped meat, hotdogs, and liver, plus no more free cigarettes for Mom and Mem.
Mom is still dating Nick, but I can see his frustration. Nick knows Mom doesn’t love him because he told me so himself. When I asked him why he was wasting time with her, he said he still had hope.
If you ask me, I think his situation is hopeless because Mom cries every day over Roberto, so I’m all but certain that Nick will be the next one to get the boot.