Have I mentioned Lamar? He’s Justin’s younger brother. He’s about 13 but you might guess he’s ten. A sweet kid, but I worry about him.
He reminds me of myself at his age, kind of quiet and a little bit shy. I was very quiet and painfully shy.
I found refuge in books, and I’ve tried to interest Lamar, but he doesn’t seem to have acquired the reading habit. His current goal in life is to be a bus-driver, and he watches in fascination as the streetcar rolls past on Canal Street.
We played Frisbee in the street for a while yesterday. He’s got no father in his life, and I sometimes find myself seeming to play a stand-in for that role. Sometimes I help him with his math homework, when the instructions are oblique enough to stump his mother. As a student in the local public schools, he’s not allowed to take any textbooks home.
He often helps us with our groceries. He knows all our cats by name and likes to say hi to them when he comes in the house. Sometimes Xy gives him a little treat, like ice cream. Today when Lamar was eating his ice cream he suggested Xy might want to make Halloween cookies. “You know,” he suggested, in his thick and slightly slurred New Orleans accent, almost incomprehensible to me, “black cats, pumpkins… You could make them tomorrow!”
He’s a walking weather report, and he can always tell you the forecast. He’s excited about Halloween. 20% chance of rain. He’s planning to dress as a clown. Xy and I have both tried to interest him a godawful velvet clown painting I plucked from a local debris pile, but Lamar has proved a tough customer.