Right around Valentine's Day, Eugene, Arnold's dad's best friend, is shot in the face in the parking lot of a 7-11.
Eugene was drunk, and so was his friend Bobby, who was wasted and accidentally pulled the trigger. (The police think they were fighting over the last drink of a bottle of wine.)
Bobby hung himself in jail a few weeks later.
Arnold's dad goes on a drinking binge, while Junior gets mad at God and Jesus and draws cartoons about it (fig 24.3).
Gordy introduces Arnold to Euripides' Greek tragedy Medea as a way of understanding grief and loss.
Arnold becomes depressed and misses a bunch of school. When he returns to social studies class, the teacher, Mrs. Jeremy, makes a sarcastic comment about Arnold deigning to show up. She tells him he shouldn't be missing this much class.
In Arnold's defense, Gordy stands up and drops his textbook on the floor. Then Penelope does. And then Roger does. And then everyone does. Then they all walk out of the room.
All Arnold can do is laugh. He delivers a pretty good line to Mrs. Jeremy about the world being broken down into two tribes: assholes and not assholes. And then he walks out too.
He finally has hope again.
Arnold makes lists to keep joy in his life. He makes a list of people who give him joy, of musicians who make joyous music, his favorite foods, books, and his favorite basketball players.
Arnold keeps making joy lists. He keeps drawing cartoons, and he keeps writing. It gives him joy and helps him grieve.