In the fourth grade, I asked my mom why I had a bad brain. She promised me I’d always be wonderful. I’d repeated second grade. Two years later, I spent too much time jumping on the trampoline in the sensory room. I never liked to read. Disliked math and AP history. But graduated from South Side with honors. I suffered death threats as a senior. Bullies are worthless scumbags.
I play Mortal Kombat and Uncharted as Blue Dragon, the warrior who shoots blue fire from the palms of his hands. I climb skyscrapers to combat the thugs and mercenaries in the adventures I imagine. There are no superpowers in Uncharted. In battle, I fight with my fists. To play Manga and Pokemon, I learned to read and write Japanese.
At Cousin Vinny’s, I wash dishes and take pizza orders over the phone. Sometimes, I bake the Deluxes and Veggie Revivals. I take my turn walking the advertisement along McGalliard. I don’t have to dress like a lizard. Just work clothes. Khaki pants and shirts without neckties. I answer the questions asked of me. If the answer is yes, I say yes. I say no when the answer is no.
After attending church for all the wrong reasons, I came to Jesus at fourteen. The only book I’ve ever enjoyed is the Bible. Matthew says, “For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” I wear robin’s egg blue neckties to worship. Taught myself to tie four-in-hand knots. I am learning to forgive.
Sometimes I need days to answer questions my friends can answer with the snap of a finger. The left side of my brain works less than the right side. I want to program video games and work in Japan. My mom said I’d always be wonderful.
Watch the performance of Brian’s Poem from the Facing Autism Event.
As told to Michael Brockley by Brian White.
Michael Brockley has been writing poems since he was a boy with a burr hair cut in Connersville, Indiana. One of his recent poems appeared in the original Facing Project: Facing Poverty in Delaware County.
If you connected with Brian’s story, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story originally appeared in Facing Autism in Muncie, Indiana, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Interlock in Muncie, Indiana.