By Ronald Brady and Joseph Casarez
I look around. I see lips moving, and waves of sound assault my senses. Loud and bold, but it makes no sense. Someone is looking at me; they’re making those sounds again. I try to contemplate a response, but question marks fill my mind. The nervousness mounts, as my mind rushes to irrational conclusions. I never know what people want from me, and I always feel so frustrated. The people around me, I see their lips moving and I hear the noises they make. I know that some kind of communication is going on here, so I try my best to mimic those sounds and make my thoughts heard. Theirs are so fluid, it seems as though it comes with ease. I open my mouth, mine is different, broken and uneasy. Have you ever seen those ridiculously ethnocentric comedies about cavemen? Their speech id filled with grunts, few words, and random broken sounds. That’s how I feel.
Never knowing what people want. Life seems like an inside conversation that everyone seems to understand but me. It’s kind of surreal, like walking in a foreign land… Then suddenly realizing my bedroom is only 20 steps away. People point, they stare, often wonder what is wrong with me. I wish I knew the answer. My sounds never match theirs, and as a result I’m always little understood. So lonely sometimes, the vast worlds in my mind are greater than anything you can imagine, but they are never big enough for two. What if you felt like you were in a foreign country in your own home? What if you couldn’t understand that default language you were supposed to know? What if all this weirdness had happened to you? What would you do? Once upon a time, in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, it happened to me more times than I can say. The tears have long since dried, but the scars shall never fade away.