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Free epub download and pdf download. No Surveys! . Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Aristotle and Dante Discover th - Benjamin Alire Saenz - dokument [*.epub] Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an.

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As I was walking out the door, my mom took the old towel I'd slung over my shoulder and exchanged it for a better one.

There were certain towel rules that existed in my mother's world that I just didn't get. But the rules didn't stop at towels. She looked at my T-shirt. I knew a look of disapproval when I saw one.

Before she made me change, I gave her one of my own looks. Something else. A T-shirt for my birthday? I was smiling too. I remember. It's old and ratty. I loved the different rules of summer. My mother endured them.

She reached over and combed my hair with her fingers. But only if you promise not to put it in the dryer.

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We didn't have one. Mom, she got my sense of humor. I got hers. We were good that way. Not that she wasn't something of a mystery. One thing that I completely got-I got why my father fell in love with her. Why she fell in love with my father was something I still couldn't wrap my head around. Once, when I was about six or seven, I was really mad at my father because I wanted him to play with me and he just seemed so far away.

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It was like I wasn't even there. I asked my mom with all my boyhood anger, "How could you have married that guy? That was always her thing. She looked straight into my eyes and said calmly, "Your father was beautiful. I wanted to ask her what happened to all that beauty. Even the birds were laying low. The tarred patches on the cracks of the street were melting. The blue of the sky was pale and it occurred to me that maybe everybody had fled the city and its heat.

Or maybe everyone had died like in one of those sci-fi flicks, and I was the last boy on earth. But just as that thought ran through my head, a pack of guys who lived in the neighborhood passed me on their bikes, making me wish I was the last boy on earth. They were laughing and messing around and they seemed like they were having a good time.

One of the guys yelled at me, "Hey, Mendoza! Hanging out with all your friends? And then I flipped them the bird. One of the guys stopped, turned around and started circling me on his bike.

I gave him the bird again.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

He stopped his bike right in front of me and tried to stare me down. It wasn't working. I knew who he was. His brother, Javier, had tried to mess with me once. I'd punched the guy. Enemies for life. I wasn't sorry.

Yeah, well, I had a temper. I admit it. He put on his mean voice. Like it scared me. He just took off on his bike. There were a lot of things I was afraid of-but not guys like him. Most guys didn't screw with me. Not even guys who ran around in packs. They all passed me on their bikes again, yelling stuff.

They were all thirteen and fourteen and messing with guys like me was just a game for them. As their voices faded, I started feeling sorry for myself.

Feeling sorry for myself was an art. I think a part of me liked doing that. Maybe it had something to do with my birth order. You know, I think that was part of it. I didn't like the fact that I was a pseudo only child. I didn't know how else to think of myself. I was an only child without actually being one. That sucked. My twin sisters were twelve years older. Twelve years was a lifetime. I swear it was. And they'd always made me feel like a baby or a toy or a project or a pet.

I'm really into dogs, but sometimes I got the feeling I was nothing more than the family mascot. That's the Spanish word for a dog who's the family pet. Ari, the family mascot. And my brother, he was eleven years older. He was even less accessible to me than my sisters. I couldn't even mention his name. Who the hell likes to talk about older brothers who are in prison? Not my mom and dad, that was for sure. Not my sisters either.

Maybe all that silence about my brother did something to me. I think it did. Not talking can make a guy pretty lonely.

My parents were young and struggling when my sisters and brother were born. Sometime after three children and trying to finish college, my father joined the Marines. Then he went off to war. The war changed him. I was born when he came home. Sometimes I think my father has all these scars.

On his heart. In his head. All over. It's not such an easy thing to be the son of a man who's been to war. When I was eight, I overheard my mother talking to my Aunt Ophelia on the phone. When I was eight, I didn't know anything about war. I didn't even know what a conscience was. All I knew is that sometimes my father was sad. I hated that he was sad. It made me sad too. I didn't like sad. So I was the son of a man who had Vietnam living inside him.

Yeah, I had all kinds of tragic reasons for feeling sorry for myself. Being fifteen didn't help. Sometimes I thought that being fifteen was the worst tragedy of all. That was one of the rules.

Yeah, rules. I hated taking a shower with a bunch of other guys. I don't know, I just didn't like that. You know, some guys liked to talk a lot, like it was a normal thing to be in the shower with a bunch of guys and talking about the teacher you hated or the last movie you saw or the girl you wanted to do something with. Not me, I didn't have anything to say.

Guys in the shower. Not my thing. I walked to the pool and sat on the shallow side and put my feet in the water. What do you do in a pool when you don't know how to swim? I guess that was the answer. I had managed to teach my body to stay afloat on water. Somehow, I'd stumbled on some principal of physics.

And the best part of the whole thing was that I'd made the discovery all on my own. All on my own. I was in love with that phrase. I wasn't very good at asking for help, a bad habit I inherited from my father. And anyway, the swimming instructors who called themselves lifeguards sucked. They weren't all that interested in teaching a skinny fifteen-year-old punk how to swim. They were pretty much interested in girls that had suddenly sprouted breasts. They were obsessed with breasts.

That's the truth. I heard one of the lifeguards talking to one of the other lifeguards as he was supposed to be watching a group of little kids.

You just want to climb up and tear all those leaves off. Yeah, sure, they were budding Walt Whitmans, the two of them. See, the thing about guys is that I didn't really care to be around them. I mean, guys really made me uncomfortable. I don't know why, not exactly. I just, I don't know, I just didn't belong. I think it embarrassed the hell out of me that I was a guy. And it really depressed me that there was the distinct possibility that I was going to grow up and be like one of those assholes.

A girl is like a tree?

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Yeah, and a guy is about as smart as a piece of dead wood infested with termites. My mom would have said that they were just going through a phase. Pretty soon they would get their brains back. Sure they would.

Maybe life was just a series of phases-one phase after another after another. Maybe, in a couple of years, I'd be going through the same phase as the eighteen-year-old lifeguards. Not that I really believed in my mom's phase theory. It didn't sound like an explanation-it sounded like an excuse. I don't think my mom got the whole guy thing. I didn't get the guy thing either.

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And I was a guy. I had a feeling there was something wrong with me. I guess I was a mystery even to myself. I had serious problems. One thing was for sure: It was better to be alone and miserable.