Plan L-M-N-O-P

by jkatejohnston

18 February 2014

Dear Max,

We started reading The Great Brain. In one story Tom teaches Basil, a Greek immigrant boy, how to fight American style, adapting his Greek wrestling skills for the purpose. Enzo: “That’s what I like about being an American boy. There’s lots of violence. If you are an Australian or American or Japanese or Asian boy, you have to learn to fight to the death. My specialist move is the Bull Ram. There’s one thing I love about North America. You can smash people.” I think he got the idea for the Bull Ram from the Flying Mare, a move described in the book.


Enzo was reciting, “Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D…” He didn’t say what the plans were, he was just going through the alphabet. “…Plan J, Plan K, Plan L-M-N-O-P, Plan Q….” It reminded me of when he lies back in the bath with just his face out of the water and counts to a thousand by tens, boring, on a mission, until he finally gets to “Nine-hundred-and-ninety! One Thousand!” He calls this counting to a million.


Duncan is sick. He has four different medicines and has to go to a specialist oral surgeon at UC Davis. We are all being extra nice to him, and I’m just glad that it finally isn’t my teeth that are ruining our finances. Yesterday Enzo was looking for him, in order to be nice, and he said, “I thought I saw a shadowy, cat-like presence.” (We’d just read a ghost story in The Great Brain Returns.)


Sometimes Enzo does this fake countrified accent, kind of like Obama on the campaign trail, and it doesn’t really work for either one of them. “Ah’ve been a lover of animals since ah was three. Extinct, pre-historic—Ah love ’em all.”


Enzo has a cold. Last night I gave him a flax seed eye pillow for extra relaxation. We were standing by his bed. He tilted his head back and put it on his closed eyes and then balanced it there, face tilted up to the ceiling as he climbed the ladder to his top bunk. “It feels so soothing.”