It was Sunday and it was time for my Latin lesson with Pat. I parked and walked up to his house. In the driveway his pickup truck had both of its doors open. I thought: huh. Was Pat in his truck? But he was actually at the front door of his house. He greeted me with a hug. Rubicon, his dog, jumped on me. It was time for Latin!!
"Did you get the RV pricing info?"
"Now, now, ask your question in Latin," I said prissily.
Pat stared blankly.
"Right. No, I didn't really find much on RVs, except for this old book from 1997."
The week before Pat had been in distress that his parents were going to evict him from his house. As his evil 80-year-old father was on the title, Pat feared his father was going to show up with some thugs at any moment--all part of the endless intractable Kafkaesque war with his father. That meant that Pat needed a plan to get away and that plan consisted of buying a used RV and bumming around Kerouacesquely at KOA kampgrounds, all so he wouldn't be put in a state home where he'd be fed a daily diet of rape lol.
"Okay, thanks. I just don't know how much longer I can stay here." He flipped through the book. "It's not a home. I can't get organized! Though all my underwear is tightly folded."
"Yes. They're standing at attention."
I opened my Latin book. Pat's Latin book was lost amid a flotsam of books on disability rights, dog training, political action, ancient philosophy, judo and self-help. All around us were potted plants and cacti, boxes, books, weights, shoes, more books, dog toys and clothing. While Rubicon nudged at me, Pat told me how he'd flunked his Wilderness First Responder class on the first day. Apparently he had been very anxious and asked many, many, many questions and made many, many, many demands--until finally the instructor told Pat to leave. Now Pat's dad was out of the tuition money. Pat was deeply depressed.
"Your Latin is doing great, though. In fact, I think it's because you don't care. Am I right about that? You used to stress about getting words right, but now that you don't care you're doing great. You should apply that lack of caring to everything else!"
Pat shrugged, not terribly tickled by my flip whimsy. He then brought up topic after topic. I was stunned by how much I had blissfully forgotten:
* The patent pending on the new type of dog collar, one that he was still waiting for his evil father to finish doing the patent search on.
* His manual typewriter so he could write that novel about autistic people in society
* The amicus brief he was planning to file with the courts about getting more rights for those with autism
* Plans to do surveys of prison populations and the percentage of those with autism
* His judo career whereby he was going to go to Japan to become a judo master
* His adoption papers, wanting someone like me to adopt him
* His medical proxy papers, wanting someone like me to sign them
* His bottom surgery, the money needed for it and where precisely he'd have his balls attached
* The sports psychologist trying to seduce Pat into joining his cult
* The book he wanted to write on people who survived the sixties, interviews with hippies so millennials could gain perspective and hope
* And many more!!
Exhausted, trying to get the conversation back to our lesson, I decided to ask about his truck. The doors were open?
Pat looked at me. "Are you squeamish? Did you just eat?"
A few days before Pat had been driving in his truck during a thunderstorm. Rubicon was in the car with him. The dog hated thunder. He started whining and turning around and around in the passenger seat. Finally Rubicon started squirting diarrhea.
"Diarrhea got everywhere," Pat said with a rue smile. "Diarrhea on the seat. Diarrhea on the dash. Diarrhea on the windshield. The smell was awful. I was driving on Lowell Boulevard and trying to breathe out the window. But you know how Rubes has a down tail like that? Well, the tail was getting in the diarrhea and it was like a poop paintbrush getting diarrhea on everything and then the tail got in my mouth and I had diarrhea in my mouth! I started to gag, and you know how you get diarrhea up on the roof of your mouth and you can't get the diarrhea off?"
"Yeah, I hate that."
"I started vomiting. Just chunks and chunks exploded out of me. I tried to barf out the window, but it was only halfway down because of the storm--so most of my vomit slid down the door and got in the cupholder. I was covered in shit and vomit."
"The best of both worlds."
"When I got home, I tried to hose down the vomit and shit but a lot of it just permeated the seats. So my dad had to hire a detailer to clean out my truck, and that's why you see it airing out."
I looked at Rubicon as he tried to climb on me rearwards. "Please don't poop on me," I said.
And that ended our Latin lesson for the day. Progress!