Andry Brisk's Diary - Chapter 1

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Andry Brisk's Diary

by Piglet

Libraries: General, Humor, Original Fiction

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A fictional and funny diary of a young man of inderterminate age. There is much more to be writtten, this is just a snippet

Steven Burke's diary

Andy Brisk's Diary -© Andrew G. Holt 2009

When I was little, I thought that Christmas was a time for getting, and not for giving. But now that I'm just a little bit older, I know that getting given something gives more to the giver. At least that's what it said on my Christmas card.

I was given this diary as a Christmas present from my Mum and Dad, and was told by both of them to put it to good use. I remember thinking then that a Nintendo system would have been better, but I smiled as best a smile I could smile and said thank you to both, retired to my room, ostensibly to explore my Newfoundland of the written monologue, only to find it was what I really wanted all along.

This is the diary of Andy Brisk:

Thursday, January 1

Mum and Dad were late getting up today, and when they did they looked sick and grumpy. I gave them an unceremonious Happy New Year and made myself scarce. I spent some time with my best friend Roger, who came around early to tell me about his New Year's resolutions. I can't remember all of them, but these are the ones I do:

  1. Get a tattoo.

  2. Legally change name from Roger Smallwood to Thor Graphite.

  3. Marry English teacher, Mrs. Cohen.

  4. Be a lead guitarist in a band.

I had my reservations, but knew that voicing them would only make Roger more resolute, which is a bad thing for Roger's resolutions­­: he has no guitar, no ear for music and is stuck with his name until he is of a legal age to change it to a sillier one.

We talked about the possibilities of his marrying Mrs. Cohen, who was already married, was fifteen years older, and who had a lot less acne than Roger. After much deliberation we decided it was not to be. So we opted for resolution 1: the tattoo. Baby steps, baby steps.

We didn't have a proper tattoo needle, so I lent Roger my black felt tip pen. He wanted to do it himself, being the brave and intrepid young man that he is. He went into the bathroom and wrote WAR on his forehead with my indelible marker. But having written it in the mirror, it spelt RAW with a backwards R. Knowing Roger's unpredictable and oftentimes volatile nature, I pointed out this minor faux pas as tactfully as possible, but he was virtually inconsolable. To amend matters, I penned in WWF in front of ЯAW, so it read WWF ЯAW. He went away quite chuffed, I think.

Friday, January 2

Over a week after Christmas and the tree is still up, but the presents are long gone. I find this mildly depressing, but I can't express why. Mum and Dad have gone to work. Who works in the holidays? I'm alone at home because Chris (my little bottom-feeding brother) is at my Auntie Peggy's. Perhaps I should feel proud to be the man of the house. Perhaps I should feel ashamed that I am my own most durable babysitter.

Roger came around again and though I was not in the mood for anyone's company but my own, I let him in - when Roger calls, don't pretend you're not at home when he suspects you are, otherwise your Dad has to get the men round to put in a new window. We searched all over for gifts I might have missed, past or present (sic). None could be found, so Roger wrapped up my Dad's electric drill in tinfoil and gave it to me as a token of friendship. He couldn't wait for me to plug it in.

Roger's Mum has scrubbed the felt tip tattoo off of his forehead. I made a joke about it really looking raw, backwards R or not. For that he punched me amiably in the arm and I tried not to wince. When Roger punches you amiably, you're lucky if your marrow isn't jellified. Roger is deceptively strong for his size. It is a boon to make an ally of such a boy: Roger only has to stare at you with violent intent and your nose starts to bleed of its own accord.

Roger said that he has two tickets to the funfair tomorrow, which has been in town since forever, apparently. But having been incarcerated in the filial Yuletide prison that was Christmastime, I'd known nothing of it. If I understood what bah humbug meant, I would say it with fervour.

Saturday, January 3


At Roger's instigation, we left my brother Chris at my Grandma's place. Grandma stays in a home for very old, salivating people, and it's only a matter of time before the nurses find out that she is two decades past being qualified to look after him.

Roger's tickets said we could go on all the rides for free, which was awesome! We only had a bit of money between us for snacks. Roger ate both our two helpings of candy floss, and then we went to get tickets for the roller coaster. The lady at the ticket counter complained that Roger's hands were uncommonly sticky. Roger looked at her with sly sagacity, and said that anybody who wasn't sticky on the roller coaster was asking to be flang off. I tried to explain to her (and the indefatigable Roger) that we all were intelligent enough to know that the past participle of fling is flung, but she was wiping her corpulent palms on a handful of ticket stubs, and not paying attention. Roger was right in the end. Neither of us were either flang, flung nor flinged off of any rides we went on.

Roger said he got our tickets from a scalper. I don't even want to know how many scalps he had to trade for those tickets.

Sunday, January 4

Mum and Dad were very quiet all day, which boded poorly: the proverbial calm before the tempest that I had anticipated. I got a “sit-down” before dinnertime, for leaving my little brother with an incarcerated old lady when I was supposed to have been watching him. How do you watch a six year old, anyway? It's like watching a lightning bolt: bright, fast, and gone before you even hear the thunder.

A “sit-down” involves both parents being in the same room as me, arguing about who should tell me off.

It was a moot point. As soon as I found out that the food du jour was to have been green bean and pea gumbo, I immediately banished myself to my room without supper. Self-punishment is sometimes the lesser of two evils. I can empathize how some monks flagellate themselves to avoid pleasures of the flesh, especially if the greater of the aforementioned evils are mushy vegetables.

Someday, I would like to establish a sausage, egg and bacon fund for men of the cloth.

As I was sidling away from the table, I heard Mum say, sotto voce, to Dad that the man who runs the old age home said that seeing Chris did a world of good for Grandma. What world of good it did for Chris is yet to be discovered.

Monday, January 5

I was sent to my room again tonight, this time not at my behest, and given no stimulus whatsoever; my books, phone, DVD's, games and misc. were locked away in my cupboard and the key was out of my grasp. So I had no choice but to either sleep or think. I couldn't possibly sleep, because willing yourself to sleep only makes you more restless. Try counting sheep when you have a young brain full of sprightly lambs. It cannot be done! If you aren't tired at all and have a rampant imagination, you might try to start off with a couple of fluffy cotton wool balls with matchstick legs leaping a small fence, and before you get to five, they have superhero capes and metal claws. Before you know it, there are armies of anti-mutton sheep guerillas battling it out with venomous space wolves: no hope of sleep whatsoever.

This was probably the most boring Monday in the history of Mondays, dating back even before the Roman calendar had a Monday on it.

What's worse, it's back to school tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 6

This morning I tried the age-old tactic of innocent nonchalance, sauntering downstairs and bidding my breakfasting parents a hearty good day, hoping that all was forgiven. I could see in Dad's eyes he was on the brink of capitulation, but Mum was not amused, Victorian as always. With naught but a bowl of crispy cereal and a glass of juice, I was sent off to school.

I have some new teachers this year. I've still got Mr Scolfield for Maths and Mrs. Winters for Geography, but other than them they're all new to me:

There's Miss Everett-Jones who teaches a kind of new-age Biology, who seems very nice, in that she's quiet and pretty in a hardly-worth-a-second-gawp kind of way. Plus she hasn't sent any of us to the Headmaster's office yet, which is a good start. Our History teacher is called Mr Perkins, who is so old that he's probably experienced at least half of his syllabus first hand. I have got Mrs. Cohen, Roger's obliviously betrothed, for English, but he's not in her class this year. To be fair, he never was in her class. Ha ha. As far as my teachers for this year go, the only real glass shard in the porridge is Mr Delport, our art teacher. He's pretty nasty. This is a pity because art is my favourite subject. I'll have to watch out for him.

Again I was sent early off to my room tonight, but around eight o'clock I was briefly allowed out to stretch my legs. I immediately scampered downstairs and scared the cat into clawing the curtains.

I feel a semblance of normality.

Wednesday, January 7

When I came home from school, Susan, my erstwhile babysitter, made an appearance with Chris in tow. I hadn't realized until today that he'd been missing since Saturday, when we'd left him at Grandma's Home. Much to my chagrin, I was only recently aware that home with a capital H is not the same as home, lower case.

It's only now I realize that we forgot to fetch him after the funfair. Where has he been since? What was I thinking? Was I thinking? I believe I have had the first epiphany of my short life: Roger may be a good friend, but a bad influence.

Absence must make the heart grow fonder, just as they say, because when Chris saw me, he wet himself. Puppies do that too, when they're happy to see you.

Susan has obviously matured since she last babysat me, eons ago. She now has that no-nonsense alignment of facial musculature that immediately tells you that you can't get away with anything, unless you're plotting to nefariously keep quiet and behave yourself. Tactfully, I did both.

Chris has developed an irritating tic just beneath his right eye. It's irritating to me, anyway.

Thursday, January 8

We were supposed to dissect frogs in Biology today, but Miss Everett-Jones is something of a softy. We were given live frogs to hold onto while she showed a slideshow of what their innards would resemble if the slimy things weren't still using them. After we learnt what amphibian viscera looked like, she put all our frogs in a cardboard box and let them loose outside - shoo, hop to freedom. Some of the kids seemed disappointed - a few had even brought their own scalpels.

Roger approached me for the first time this week in P.E. and said that he's sorry for getting me in trouble. He has resolved to mend his ways, which I took with a pinch of salt.

All is now revealed. These are the three new big things I found out today, in no particular order:

  1. Chris was at Auntie Peggy's place since early Sunday morning after being liberated from the Home - hence, no missing persons' report.

  2. The reason I hadn't seen Roger all this time was because he had been grounded indefinitely by his Mum and Dad, which was tantamount to Satan's parents taking away his matches.

  3. Susan is no longer a babysitter by trade. She is now our social worker! God have mercy.

Susan will be paying us unannounced visits until she is satisfied Chris and I are loving siblings. We even have to sleep in the same room. On bunk beds, no less!

Friday, January 9

History was a blast because Mr. Perkins fell asleep halfway through the Franco-Prussian war and we all played noughts and crosses on the blackboard until the bell rang.

Art, on the other hand, was a stinker and I don't mean that euphemistically. Not only does Mr. Delport have a volatile disposition, he also has possibly the worst case of halitosis ever. Yet he insists on bellowing directly into your nares that Beethoven may have had an eye for music, but Van Gogh had an ear for painting. So passionate is he about art that he is quite willing to tutor you into toxic shock.

Mum and Dad seem to have warmed to me now: they talk to me, they listen to me, and they allow me to sit at the table with them. I am suspicious - maybe Susan has put surveillance cameras in. I can just picture her a block from here in an inconspicuous mini-van, wearing headphones with a dozen black-and-white monitors around her showing different angles of our kitchen. Paranoia really creeps up on you when you know you're being watched. Ask Gordon, he's even taken to combing his hair.

Saturday, January 10

First night on the bunk beds last night and I dreamt it was raining. At first the dream was sort of pleasant, because in the dream I was lying down on soft loam and the rain was warm. Then I snapped out of it in that awful realization one gets when the stuff of reality literally seeps through slumber.

Chris had wet both his bed and mine, what with him having the top bunk. I am ashamed of the words I emitted as I sprang soggy from my bed, and I will not repeat them here, dear diary. Suffice it to say that Mum heard them as did most of the neighbours, most likely. My Dad, thank heavens, is a heavy sleeper and didn't wake up.

When Mum barged in, scraggly from sleep to find out what all the profanity was about, her ire was somewhat mollified by seeing the sodden mess Chris had produced from his deceptively small bladder. From his elevated post, he was looking innocent, bleary-eyed and a little sheepish at us two wild creatures as if to say: “What's the ruckus? Has the earthquake been and gone? I seem to have left my Richter scale in my other jammies.”

While Mum changed the bedding, I went to the shower and all but scrubbed my epidermis off, then took some clean pajamas out of the cupboard and finished my night's sleep on the couch. I did not dream of rain. I forgave my incontinent brother as I hope he will one day forgive me.

This morning I carried on working on my tree house, which my Dad had started building when I was about nine. He built the walls and a hole for the door, and a bigger hole for the roof, and told me I should finish the rest, because, he said, a boy should finish his own tree house in order to name it his own. Personally, I think his back just got sore and he'd run out of wood. So, I've spent all this time sticking up pictures on the walls, having the pictures partially washed away or blown off by bad weather due to sans roof, and then sticking up more pictures. Now the interior looks like a psychopath's collage. I was determined today to start putting the roof on. I momentarily considered dismantling the late Fencemagnet's kennel for the job, and in a twinkling chastised myself for even thinking the thought. That kennel will one day, I hope, be home to another dog. This is the only entry, dear diary, I hope my parents will read and take note of.

Sunday, January 11

Still no structural improvement to the tree house, though I did manage to stick up yet another magazine picture or two on the walls. The next time there is a storm they will doubtlessly meld with the rest. I am the Jeffrey Dahmer of interior decorating.

I was lonely today. I miss Roger a bit - in the same way someone who has had all their teeth yanked out misses the dentist's conversation, I suppose.

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