One Boy’s Story — ‘Buy Me Something’

Circa 2008

I live in a world where, “ya ya ya bobba you knees” means “mind your own business,” unless it means “whatever you say.” I live in a world where it’s okay to tear open a card at a birthday or holiday, shake it loose and gripe, “Oh man, no money!” right in front of the person who gave it to me. So where is this world you ask? It’s here in Indiana, where I live with my mom, my dad and my dog. My sister used to live here, but now I hardly never ever see her.

This morning I went outside the check the mail and there was nothing but junk. It’s always junk when there’s nothing for me. I wish people would mail me letters more often. I like to get them and I like to write them too. Mom gets stingy with the stamps for some reason though. I guess it costs extra to mail things to the North Pole.

So after checking the mail I snuck a few Popsicles in in addition to breakfast, and sat down with my mom to study math. I used to go to public school, but I’m home schooled now. I like it better this way. My teachers were mean to me. At least that’s what I tell my mom.

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Right now, I’m learning plus and minus 12’s. I cheated on a timed test not too long ago, so of course I got an A+. Just as Mom was about to give me the big star sticker, I got choked up and confessed.

“Um, hey Mom.”


“I have to tell you something.” Man was I worried… “I cheated.”

“You what?” (She’s always making me repeat myself.)

“I cheated. You mad?”

Pictures of John Gabriel with caption Welcome to my world. I’m glad you’re here. Want to ride bikes, have some cake, watch while I pull my tooth? Great!
Welcome to my world. I’m glad you’re here. Want to ride bikes, have some cake, watch while I pull my tooth? Great!

Mom lets me slide with a lot of stuff, and luckily she wasn’t so mad. I could have gotten away with it, but I just like to tell the truth. Mom says I’m a good boy.

So after math—man, is it hard to tell which number is the biggest number—and spelling, I woke up my dad. He works third shift so I let him sleep until around noon. He sleeps loud. I told my mom, “Your husband sleeps like a pig!” Then I told my dad, “Dad, you sleep like a pig!” They didn’t quite understand what I meant, so I demonstrated how his snoring is similar to the sound a pig makes. At least Mom thought I was funny.

After waking up Dad, I let my dog outside to go potty. “Come on Sophie,” I yelled. She’s a good dog, a golden retriever, and I like to boss her around. I like to boss Dad around too. We settle disputes by wrestling in the living room.

A while back I wanted to get big and buff, so when a commercial for Bow Flex came on, I wrote down the phone number. It’s one eight zero zero something. My sister told me I couldn’t call and order because it was too expensive. I’m saving my money though. I’d really like to buy a motorcycle.

The truth is that I write down a lot of phone numbers. I like calling people. If Mom doesn’t approve, I’ll just take the cordless and make calls with my bedroom door closed. I even ordered a pizza, breadsticks and Pepsi from Papa John’s one day. I kept saying “I’d like it for wedivery.” It took them a minute, but they knew what I meant, and brought it to the house. I guess since Mom was already making dinner it really upset her. She paid for it anyway, and we ate it. I was in the mood for some pizza! Come to think of it, what happened to the Papa John’s delivery magnet? Well, anyway, later on in the day, after Dad left for work, Mom and I drove to Ft. Wayne to do some shopping. I told her I did not want to do nothing today. Mom was a little confused by the double negative, but she knew I didn’t mean let’s be lazy. I guess I could have just said I want to do something. That would have been quicker.

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Apparently Mom didn’t realize how late it was because when we left JC Penny’s, the smaller stores in the mall were closed and locked up. This freaked me out. Mom kept saying, “Its okay,” but it was not okay. I guess it felt like jail with no lights and bars across the doors and windows.

I’ve seen jail on TV. Mom says I can’t fly to see my sister who lives in Los Angeles until I’m at least 13, or I’ll go to jail. Mom was on the phone with my sister, Sonnie, when she told me this, and I heard Sonnie laugh. I think Mom’s telling a fib about going to jail for flying under age, but I’ll wait two more years to be on the safe side.

I miss my Sonnie so badly and want to go see Hollywood. Still, I talk to her on the phone most days, and every phone call for about the past six years, before I hang up, I tell her to buy me something. And it works! She has something for me whenever we see each other. I think its because she loves me so much. I like it when people buy me presents. Who doesn’t?

Though it was really late when we left the mall, Mom and I stopped at a grocery store that never closes. It amazes me how stores can stay open all night long. I like to ask Mom when places close and open.

So at the grocery store, I said, “Hi,” to a lady when we walked in. I didn’t know her, but she was friendly and said, “Hi” back. I asked her where her husband was and why she was out so late. She just laughed and smiled.

“Come on, busybody,” Mom said. I think she was in a hurry because it was late. I hugged the lady goodbye.

I like to hug people. I’m just affectionate. I can’t help it. It used to bug Mom and Dad, me hugging strangers, but now if a person is willing to get a hug, Mom lets me give one. She says there’s nothing wrong with hugging. “If an adult can’t handle a hug from a kid, then maybe they’re the one with the problem,” she told my Sonnie. Is hugging a problem?

The next day we woke up early for church. Even when I’m up late and super sleepy I get up because man, do I love church. I love to sing and dance and hug everyone! I’ve been going to church since I was a baby. My sister still laughs about something that happened in church about five years ago.

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Well, I’d heard my dad say these words when he would get mad or didn’t believe something. “Boo chutes,” he’d say. Then I told Mom and Mom got real mad. She yelled at Dad for teaching me the words. It’s not like he said it all the time, but I’m very observant and I like to repeat things I hear. I’m still not really sure what it means, and I haven’t repeated it in a long time.

So anyway, back to my sister’s favorite church story. Since it really upset Mom that Dad was saying boo chutes, I figured it would be best to pray for him. And when the time came for prayer requests at the end of Sunday school, I raised my hand and exclaimed, “Me pray my daddy stoppa say boo chutes.” (My English wasn’t so great back then.) My Sunday school teacher didn’t quite understand what I was saying, so she turned to my mom and asked, “What’s he saying, Natalie?” And wouldn’t you know, Mom said she didn’t know what I was saying! I was really stumped because I knew she knew. My Sonnie just thinks this is hilarious.

In church I learn about heaven and Jesus. My grandma and sister, Sarah, went to live with Jesus and so have other sick people from hospitals. I’ve been to the hospital before. I went in to have surgery one day and panicked. I grabbed my mom’s hand and cried “I don’t want to live with Sarah!” Mom got tears in her eyes, but she smiled and assured me that I was just going to go to sleep and wake up a little sore. Mom always makes me feel better about things. I love her very, very much and tell her every day all the time.

But the truth is I love everybody all the time. I like to make sure people are happy, and okay, I like to laugh, I like to learn, and I’m just excited about life. Food too! Most people who know me really well say I’m pure at heart. Well I say, over dead my body! (That’s just another one of those sayings that I picked up somewhere. I don’t really know what it means.)

Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is John Gabriel. How are you today?

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