Brain Machine

Sunday, August 16, 2009 | |

I knew I was different when mother banged on the table. Everyone was laughing, and mother was banging on the table. Mother bangs on the table when I am wasteful with my food or if I am not listening to her and watching the television instead. Mother was banging on the table, but everyone was laughing. I started crying and apologising, Mother laughed even louder and banged on the table harder. Everyone was laughing and I was crying. Later when I was put to bed I asked Father why everyone laughed when Mother banged on the table, Father said it was an added thing people do when they find things very very funny. But it is not very very funny when I am wasteful with food or watching television instead of listening to Mother. Father said that was a different kind of banging on the table and that's how I knew I was different.

Last month in gym class, Kate Bishop looked crummy and when Mr Nelson asked if she was sick she pointed her thumb to the sky. Then Kate was sick on the floor and Mr Nelson was very angry with her. He got a big bucket to clean up her sick and the school nurse had to call Mr Bishop to come and get Kate from school. Mr Nelson asked for someone to help clean up Kate Bishop's sick. I didn't want to clean up the sick so when Mr Nelson asked for help I pointed my thumb to the sky like Kate did when Mr Nelson asked if she was feeling crummy. Then Mr Nelson made me clean up the sick and the boys laughed at me and called me a "sick lover". When Father picked me up from school I asked him why Mr Nelson would make me clean up Kate Bishop's sick even though I pointed my thumb at him like Kate Bishop did when he asked if she was sick and she was. Father said that the sky thumb is called Thumbs Up and it means "okay" or "I agree with you" or "that's a great idea" or "I am fine" or "yes". Father said that people do not think like I think. He said people say things they don't mean to make jokes or lie about things or to compare things to other things or to try and not be a burden to other people. I said I say things to say things. Father said people sometimes smile and say they are feeling great when they are feeling crummy. When a person asks me how I am and I am feeling crummy I say I am feeling crummy, but now when they ask me if I am feeling great I give them a Thumbs Up because I am saying "yes okay I am fine".

My Grandma is a nice old lady and when Mother takes me to see her she gives me biscuits and fruit juice. Mother doesn't let me have biscuits and fruit juice at our house because she says I will gain weight and have too many fat cells for a young boy and have trouble when I am old because I will become a fat man. Mother says I have to have a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and a little bit of fat and exercise sometimes if I want to become a normal man and not a fat man. Grandma is a fat lady and when last time I went to her house I told her that Mother says biscuits and fruit juice will turn me into a fat man like she is a fat lady. Grandma looked at Mother and then started moving very quickly and taking plates from the table to the kitchen. Mother looked at me for a long time while Grandma made a lot of noise with the plates. Grandma was moving very quickly in the kitchen, scrubbing plates and putting things away and stacking things back on the shelves in her huge pantry. She was sweating on her shirt and I could see it on her face so I went into the kitchen. I touched her sweaty face and told her that she is good for getting exercise because it will stop her from being a fat lady. I don't go to Grandma's house any more and Mother says it is because fat ladies don't like being told that they are fat even though they are. Mother said that all ladies don't like being told what their weight is and I got angry because I was trying to be nice to Grandma and wanted to have more biscuits and fruit juice at her house. I made fists with my hands and told Mother that she was a skinny lady, but she laughed and said she liked being called a skinny lady. I went to my room and cried but decided to not talk about ladies and their weights any more just in case I got it wrong.

Sometimes I don't understand words like normal people do, and Father says that's because I have a special brain that means I think about things differently. When I was little I would read words and if they didn't make sense to me I would get very angry and cry, but now I can sometimes look at words as silly. People are funny when they use them and don't know that their words can mean two things. In English the other day I wrote a story about a very sad tape dispenser who cried a lot because its tape was tearable. I laughed and my teacher Miss Pike didn't because she said my story would not be funny unless I read it out to the class because tear and tear sound different but look the same. Father told me that my special different thinking brain will help me write great stories. Today I wrote a story about a machine that makes brains like mine and gives them to people so they can think differently like me.


Anonymous said...

Turns out 'crummy' is an awesome word.

Sara Luxe said...

wow . your words are really powerful. glad i found you

Hannah JV said...

Thank you so much SaraLouise, it really means a lot. I'm just a small town girl with meagre goals, and when people just find me, I brim with joy. Thank you.

Ms. Areyan said...

Very intriguing... reminds me not just of Safran Foer, but also _The Perks of Being a Wallflower_ and _Flowers for Algernon_, but in a good way, not a "You're a hack" sorta way. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm a friend of Ashleys. I commented on another post using my Blogspot ID but I dont really use that one. I have linked to your blog from my page so I guessed that there was need for a polite communication.

Awesome work. I'm a fan. (I'm the English teacher)

Hannah JV said...

Hi! Thanks for linking me, you're a sweetheart! I'll return the favour - thanks for the nice compliments.