Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Day of Community Service

So today I spent time with my Little, Carlton. I think I've talked about him before. In case not, I do Big Brothers. I've been matched with Carlton for about 2.5 years. Yeah I know. He's 11. He has Asperger's, which most people now seem to know something about. It's a high functioning autism. So he's really into certain things like the commuter rail or TV. He is a marketer's dream. I had to eat at Dunkin Donuts for three months straight due to their dumb ass flatbread sandwich promotion. He's also not the best with the social cues and he gets distracted easily. This led to problems early on in the match when we would drive an hour to get somewhere, and he'd want to leave 10 minutes into it. It's gotten a little better.

I called him a few days ago and asked what he wanted to do. The conversation went something like this:
G: Hey Carlton, what do you want to do on Sunday? We could hit up the Museum of Science.
C: Umm. I don't know.
G: We could grab a movie also.
G: So...the museum? Or maybe bowling?
C: We've already gone bowling.
G: I know pal, but we've been together for two and a half years so there's a good chance we might be doing something more than once.
G: So we could do the museum? Maybe shoot pool?
C: Muuhfgdfgsdf
G: You want to shoot pool.
C: Yeah.
G: Great. See you at 1.

So I picked him up and asked where he wanted to go to eat. That's how I found myself at McDonald's in Somerville. We both got the #1, but he got the Large size. The Big Mac seemed to shrink as I got older. It wasn't that big in my hands. As a kid, that sandwich was huge. Now it seems like of small. There was a website on the side of the box where I found this gem. I like how the guy's not wearing gloves. Also, I'll trust Fast Food Nation over the website.

Following this, we went to play pool. There's the place in Somerville that's a throwback to the 50's. Sacco's Bowl Haven. Even the name is awesome. We strolled in there and started a game of pool. I brought my new Nikon to take photos. I was trying to show Carlton how to shoot pool. He was more interested in the camera. All I could think of was his french fried fingers all over the lens. As I predicted, he tired of pool about 8 minutes into the game. Good news is that the Bowl Haven will cut the hourly rate in half, if you happen to bring in a kid who can't concentrate on anything longer than a minute.

We grabbed a coffee and a hot chocolate. He put cream in his hot chocolate and I swear I could hear his arteries hardening. One day I have this fear that I'm going to be walking down the street and some guy is going to kick me in the groin. And as he's standing over me, rolling on the ground, he'll say "I'm Carlton's Primary Care Physician. What the hell were you thinking?" I'll just grimace and realize I deserved that.

Then we went to get my car washed. Not in the actual car wash where you put the vehicle in neutral and it automatically washes, waxes and dries. No, the kind with the bays and the high pressure hoses where you put the tokens in and do it yourself.

This seemed like a good idea.

It was about 28 degrees today. Carlton has this incredible ability to spray the water on me and not the car. And then he's yelling at me that we have 1 minute left and the car is still covered in soap. So I sprinted around the car trying to rinse it all off and the water cuts off just after I finish. I pry my frozen digits off the handle of the pressure washer and just sit in the car soaked, shivering and staring at my lifeless hands. He then wants to know where to next.

Then my friends we went to the library. I forgot how much I loved the library. Good books, quiet people reading, some smelly sleeping old people. But they have everything. I picked up 1776 and the Lonely Planet guide to Croatia. Libraries are indeed awesome places that are truly deserving of our tax dollars. It also enabled me to thaw out. Thank you Somerville Public Library.

And then I took Carlton home. 3.5 hours of concentrated mayhem. I love it. If you're interested at all, Big Brothers is always looking for Bigs. Check out this site. Big Brothers and Big Sisters


maikib said...

i do enjoy your tales of days with carlton. what a lucky kid to have a big brother like you. totally indulgent-- i have a glimpse of daddy graham. :) as for the library, they are fantastic... i love the smell of them... dust, old people, rotting paper and all. of course, then there's the burnley public library. it's smaller than my elementary school library. and of the three bookshelves devoted to fiction, only about 10% of that is non-romance. and my romance, i mean the soft-porn, fabio on the cover romance. ah well. it is a library that's a 2 minute walk from my house. i guess i can't complain too much.

Hero to the Masses said...

Do they have the library loan set-up, where if they don't have a book they can get it from another library? That rocks.