The Summer Diary of Gerger McDrywall

June 11
This new house doesn’t smell anything like the slum. It’s a little crowded but I guess I’ll have to get used to it. In the Orphan-itch, I didn’t have to share my bed like I do tonight. That part’s really beat. They didn’t tell me it would be like this when they came and picked me up. But dinner was good, especially dessert (homemade cookies). So it looks like the food is better here. And my pillow’s pretty soft and it has a clean sheet on it. That part’s good.

June 12
They gave us each a present today. I got a pair of sneakers. And Randy, he’s the big kid, got a pair of cleats. He’s on the soccer team. Mr. Riordan said it’s too late for me to join. Maybe next year, he said. Yeah right, I felt like saying, as if I’m still going to be here. Randy’s little brother, Rodney, got a silver bracelet that spelled his name. They said it was to celebrate his three-year “gotcha date.” Man, three years in the same place, that would be a record for me. I’m not sure how long the other kids have been here. In all, there’s six of us. Lucky me, I’m the only white one. Randy and Rodney are black. Marie and Nadine are Chinese or Japanese or some Asian thing. And then there’s Max. He’s a retarded Puerto Rican kid and I’m stuck sleeping with him. Well, at least he doesn’t smell.

June 13
We took turns reading from the bible tonight. It was weird. I don’t know what the big deal about it is. They gave me a bible at the Orphan-itch but I never opened it. I used to dream about burning down the Orphan-itch. I bet Doctor Klaus didn’t tell them about that.

June 14
I found out that Marie and Nadine are from the Philippines. I’m not sure where that is. Max talks in his sleep sometimes. I think he was beat up as a kid. I feel kind of sorry for him.

June 15
I beat Rodney in a race today. Who says a white kid can’t run fast? Well, Randy won the race but I came in second. Randy’s 11 and Rodney’s 9. That puts me right between them in age.

June 16
Max turned 8 today and we had ice cream cake. I made him a card but I didn’t give it to him. I thought it would look stupid. I’m going to put it under his pillow tonight. Maybe he’ll open it when no one’s around.

June 17
I hate Max. He showed everybody the card and now I feel like a dork. Randy and Rodney laughed at the drawing on the front. And Marie and Nadine said it was nice. Mr. and Mrs. Riordan said it was “very thoughtful.” Why did Max have to show them?

June 25
We went bowling today. It was the first time I ever tried it and I kind of liked it. It made me feel good to knock the pins down. Mr. Riordan said that maybe I could join a league. I’ve never joined a league before. I wonder what that’s like.

June 30
I just found out: Marie and Nadine aren’t really sisters. I thought they definitely were. They look alike and they act alike. But Marie says they’re not even cousins. She’s smarter than Nadine. She’s OK for a Philippines girl.

July 1
Max has a fever so he’s sleeping with Mr. and Mrs. R tonight. It feels good to have this bed to myself. He’s such a runty little kid but he takes up a lot of room.

July 3
We went swimming in a lake today. All of us. We even pushed Mrs. R in with Mr. R’s permission and then I got to dunk Mr. R with Mrs. R’s permission. It was fun. Tomorrow we’re going to a party and Randy told me that there’s going to be fireworks. I can’t wait.

July 4
The fireworks were awesome! We laid out a blanket and spent the whole night just looking up in the sky. Mrs. R brought watermelon and Mr. R let us light our own sparklers. Randy’s sparkler kept going out and he kept getting so mad. It was really funny.

July 5
I hate Mrs. R. She made me get a haircut today and I hate it. It’s short and it makes me look like a dork. I hate it.

July 9
Marie told me a secret today. She said that Max may have to leave. I’m not sure why but I think it has something to do with his real mom. If Max leaves, I get to sleep alone but I wouldn’t mind if he stayed. He’s a runt, but I kind of like him.

July 11
I drove in the car with Mr. R today. He delivers newspapers in the morning before he goes to work. It was the first time I drove in the car alone with him. He asked me if I liked it here. I told him I did. I asked him if Max was going to leave. He said he wasn’t sure but they’re doing everything they could to keep him. I think he was telling the truth.

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