I heard some noise out back this evening and went to see what it was. (Since last Monday afternoon, when I found someone I didn't know washing his hands in my yard, with my garden hose, I've been more jumpy about noises outside.) However, this was just Julian fooling around in his backyard next door.
I came out and he said hi right away. We had the longest conversation we've had in quite some time. He's been thinking about quitting school to get a job in a meatpacking plant up Ashland, north of Pershing. We had a long talk about how much more money you can make over the course of your life with a diploma than without one and how much easier it is to get your diploma by staying in school than if you drop out and try to go back or get a GED. By the end he seemed pretty convinced it was worth staying in school at least for the upcoming year, but who knows how long that will last.
He said a couple of very mature things in the course of our conversation. He says he is trying to straighten up and stay out of trouble. He's been bike riding out of the neighborhood, like biking to 31st Street beach, to be able to be outside without getting in trouble. (Maybe a month ago we had a conversation about the best way to ride to the beach from here. We agreed 35th is a nicer ride than Pershing.) Then he was saying he was having a hard time talking with his dad. "I can't talk to him the way we're talking now," he said.
"It's a lot easier to talk sometimes when you're not talking to your parents," I observed.
He grinned in recognition. Then he said, "I think I just have to chill and wait this out. Later on we will get along better."
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