People See Me

By Emmett Perkins (‘20)

Do you ever feel like your brain is ever-changing?

The connections I harbor between body and brain, and mouth and brain, ears and brain, eyes and brain, face and brain — they weaken and strengthen; they ebb and they flow like tides, crackling under the water, not like the steady-strong copper-coated cables of my peers.

A new day, a new symptom, a new adaptation.

Yesterday, body staunchly refused to listen to the commands I barked at it through brain. Fingers twist; legs go limp. I bump into a trashcan.

I reach for the computer mouse, and I knock an item off the desk.

I trip, I fall, I sprawl.

I resort to crayons and paper to draw what my body feels like — corkscrew limbs and a frown on the stick figure face.

Today, it’s my mouth motor that’s failed — I stutterstumble and hmm and um, nothing like the eloquent young man of yesterday who could talk your ear off a mile a minute.

I search for words and come up gasping.

Tomorrow, it could be a bad brain day. A bad body day. A combination of the two is most likely.

I know I’m disabled — it just shows some days more than others. I am lucky enough that people see me, hear me, when I’m well —

It halfway makes up for the confusion when I am not.

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