Different

Discombobulated
at a psychologist’s office.
Quiet
except the sound of the AC fan, copier,
faint voices and a low playing, garbled radio.
Double-booked.
A girl with problems
and my child. She’s younger,
but not by much.

I’m not rescheduling.
Up at 6: 30AM, five hours of sleep,
out the door by 7.
Headed for Laguna Beach.
Confirmed July 8th.

I’m not rescheduling.
He said we won the lottery.
He said he never double books.
Today,
he did.

I’m not rescheduling.
School begins in ten days.
Test number two.
Three tests total.

I’m not rescheduling.
He sends her away,
mom and grandma in tow.
I was confirmed first.
“Sorry.”
“No fee when you come back.” He says.
I want that,
I thought.
No.
I want the appointment more.

It takes weeks to get in.
July, August,
September,
October.

I need to know.
I can’t wait past today.
Aspergers? Learning Disability?
Space Cadet?
Which is it?

He’s gifted.
So what.

He needs to know
he’s not stupid.

He needs to know
he’s brilliant.

He needs to know
he is okay.

He needs a boost.

Filmmaker. That’s what she calls them.
Her students.
7th graders. They are filmmakers.
Storytellers.
He likes making movies.
He’s won awards for his movies.

He doesn’t like normal school.
He never has.

He doesn’t make friends easily.
He never has.

He can’t play team sports.
He never will.

But he is incredible.
He is beautiful.
His smile lights up the room.
Adults love him.
Most kids
think he’s weird.
Fuck kids.

He’s always had allergies.
He’s always been sensitive.
He laughs at good jokes.
He has a brilliant musical ear.
He plays drums
effortlessly.

How did I miss it?
Critical thinking. Predictions.
Inferring.
Connecting
the dots.
A web of
confusion.

Waiting for something
to click.
He’s young,
I keep repeating.
That’s all.
Ethereal. Innocent.
Different.

I hate it,
but I fight
for it too.
Being different is good,
I tell him.

I messaged the psychologist.
Could he have Aspergers?
Yes.
His test scores lean that direction,
he said.

Highly gifted,
slow processing.
All I could
hear
was highly gifted.

Highly gifted.
My sweet child.
Another hour of testing.
I’ll know
more
then.

Thoughts

thoughts