Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Difference and attraction

Thursday, 28 April 2011
Freak the Mighty

Image via Wikipedia

27. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

I have read this before, and both times found it funny, poignant and a great story. Our narrator, Max, is orphaned of his mother, because his father (who he increasingly physically looks like) killed her. He lives with his maternal grandparents, and obviously no-one has anything good to say about his father. Unfortunately his family is well known locally, meaning people (including his grandparents) are constantly reminding him of the things that happened when he was a little boy, and worrying aloud that the resemblance will be more than superficial. This seems to have caused him to retreat into the persona of a big lug: large, physically strong and with little or no academic prowess (even though at least some of his teachers think he has potential if he’d use it).

Things start to change when a good friend of his mother’s returns to the area, moving into the house next door with her son, happy to be nicknamed Freak, who Max remembers going to preschool with. Freak is physically weak and very small in stature, but has a highly developed intellect and taste for pretence and adventure. The two strike up a strong friendship, with Max becoming the Mighty part of the duo, and each enabling and encouraging the other to be more than he can alone.

While each retains some secrets, the two boys do each other a lot of good in many ways, with Max in particular being a stronger, more confident and more accepted member of his family and community.

There is apparently a film of this book, entitled simply The Mighty, but I haven’t seen it.

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The best kind of mountain

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Room filled with boxes of books
This is a picture of eight of the boxes of my books we moved to the flat last night. (Um no, that isn’t all the books. It’s probably about half the ones I own. In this country.) (See, eight boxes doesn’t sound very much to me, but I’ve been given a maximum of one month (by my flatmate) to sort them out, take several to the charity shop, and get shelves for the rest. And then get those shelves into my room, which isn’t big.)

We didn’t just move the books, and bookcases, however. We also brought up a massive (and I mean massively heavy – it has a solid metal mechanism) sofa bed. Or rather, we (my flatmate and I) helped the delivery guy get it half way up the stairs, and then we all got stuck, with us above the sofa, it completely blocking the stairs, and the delivery guy at the bottom.

Panic struck, while we tried to think of local, strong, healthy males we could call upon. (This needed people bigger, heavier and stronger than us or any of our female friends, much as any underlying feminist principles might object. There are plenty of women who could have done this – we just don’t know any of them. We tried ourselves, and physically just couldn’t.)

So I wouldn’t blame the people we phoned (or their spouses) for not answering our calls for awhile (although we have no intention of requesting anything in the foreseeable future) but they were wonderful, dropped everything and really came to the rescue. (And were lovely about it in every way.)

The lessons learned:

  • We have wonderful friends and relations.
  • Always always always check on the size and weight of something that needs to go upstairs, even if it’s free!