Wise Boy

20 Feb

My cousin Jake has curly blonde locks and a pale complexion. If I were going to guess, I’d say he’s just over half my height (I’m 5’8). He’s in grade six and has had three girlfriends (a detail he’s understandably proud of).

We’re  having dinner. We—Jake, my brother, my Aunt, my second cousin, etc—bat possible professions, for Jake, across the table. My second cousin suggests Jake enter the law profession and join his brother in practice. My brother pipes up, “Hey, that’s going to be me.” Jake’s eyes glaze over. He doesn’t want to be a lawyer.

“Perhaps an astronaut? Do astronauts make a lot of money, Maiya?” he turns to me, eyes boring into me, searching for an answer.

“I’m not sure but I think so,” I say.

“What about journalists?” Jake asks. “Why do you want to be a journalist and not an ambulance driver?”

I tell him I like writing. He can’t imagine why—says it’s hard. He’s good at math. His eyes roll to the side. He’s thinking. “Do journalists make a lot of money?

“No,” I laugh.

He and my family continue to debate. My brother suggests plumbing at one point because it’s underrated but you do make a lot of money.

“What about a gonorrhea surgeon?” Jake asks, a smirk creeping across his face. He’d just learned about sexually transmitted infections in school. We laugh. His mother covers her face with her hands, but laughs nonetheless.

At some point the conversation ceases, probably because Jake loses interest. He trots into another room. A few moments later he returns.

“I’ve been thinking Maiya,” he says to me.


“You like journalism right?”


“Well, then that’s all that matters—not making money like he thinks,” he says, jabbing his finger into the air in the direction of my brother.

Thanks Jake, I say.


2 Responses to “Wise Boy”

  1. Blake March 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    I don’t think money is all that matters, he was just asking about what jobs made a lot of money and so I told him. Don’t judge me!

  2. Tyler March 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    This was good stuff.

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