This is an excerpt from an ongoing story about life in the spectrum, written in Tim’s voice, for the National November Novel Writing Month annual event:
The Case of the Longest Day (and the Darkest Night)
By: Linda Joyce Renz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructions on how to read this Story. Don’t read into it what isn’t there.
This story is mostly fiction. Any resemblance to real life or actual people is probably coincidence. Ask Thomas; he will tell you. Anyway, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Introduction: Story Telling in My Family
My family loves to tell stories. Story telling is a time honored tradition, not to mention a habit, with us, with the good part of my family. I am Thomas, in the good part of my family. The bad part of my family is another story.
Sarah tells a lot of Thomas stories and Benjamin stories, that’s me and my brother. She makes sure we have lots of adventures in our life so she will have lots of stories to tell. We tell stories using words, like, “once upon a time” and “did I tell you what Thom did…”. We also tell stories with drawings and paintings. I like to make up poems to go with the paintings. Sarah says there are lots of ways to tell a story. This one is mostly words, but I will illustrate some things with drawings, so you can be sure to understand. There is always a main idea in a story, and the rest is decorating the main idea. There is a main idea in this story, too, and the rest is like a colorful tapestry illustrating my main point. The main point of this story is what I call my longest day, directly followed by my darkest night.
Sarah calls me a special child, with a special emphasis on the “special”, even though I’m sixteen. You can call me a special person, or challenged, but don’t call me handicapped. I am not handicapped. And if you call me retard, you are showing your ignorance. Do you really know what that means? It means “slow” and most of the people in the world are pretty slow in a thing or two. Not everyone can be the fastest learner or the fastest painter or the fastest math solver or the fastest reader or even the fastest driver; someone must be a little slow in the learning curve. I do think differently than most people think. And Sarah says that’s okay. It’s okay with me too. The important thing is to be a thinker. Sarah is patiently teaching me to be a thinker. She wants me to be able to think on my feet, which means to think while things are in actually happening, instead of after it’s all over; she also wants me to know how to get away from the madded crowd and think quietly and carefully. Sarah makes sure that I have plenty to think about! Sometimes I take a break from the heavy real life thinking, and think about food. Food is important, and it’s good to think about, too, so I can make what Sarah calls “quality decisions” which includes choosing only one cup of real coffee or four cups of decaffeinated coffee. I like coffee and later on, I will tell you a story about Maxwell House Coffee, good to the last drop. …to be continued.