CORRIDORS

  A students' magazine for mental health advocacy

Autism is my date to Bianca Clark's sweet sixteen

SARA WEXLER

 

I didn’t want to take her but she insisted on coming and following me around like a puppy

Instead of staying home and watching America’s Funniest Home Videos

Like we both know she would much rather be doing

She’s not easy to recognize in heels and red nail polish

But if you look, you can always find her

 

Autism loves this dress as much as I do

But can’t stand how it scratches the back of her neck

So she drags my fingernails over it until my skin’s red

She won’t stop kicking me under the table

Asks how long until she can take off these shoes

 

Autism can't understand the lyrics to the song the DJ is playing

Because the beat is pounding harder than my heart

My date talks too much to people who don’t care about what she has to say

It’s not that she doesn’t know how to make friends

It’s just that she’s not always sure she wants to

 

Without warning, autism wants out of this room

Wants to go somewhere the music won't hurt her

So I bring autism to the bathroom

Let her play with the basket of tissues and bobby pins

Until Becca Meyerson and her friends make it clear that we’re not welcome here either

 

I want to dance, but autism knows that if we dance together

Everyone will laugh at her

She was born without the coordination I was meant to have

So we sit at this table we have been assigned to full of people we would rather not speak to

I try to ignore them, but autism engages like always

 

I hear my own voice get higher as Ben Solomon refuses to shut his mouth

I try to stop her, but the next thing I know autism's shouting at everyone

The boys are throwing their onion rings and French fries at her

I wanted to save this outfit but autism’s gotten stains all over it

Neither of us know how to wash them out

 

I want to be a good sport, get over it, and stay until the end of the party

But autism grabs my arm, drags me outside

Puts her phone in my hand

Says she can’t put up with this anymore

Says I need to make the call because she's too upset to do it herself

 

My mother picks us up fifteen minutes laters

Disappointed but unsurprised

Wondering if we will be able to get through next weekend together

If I will ever outgrow this

If I will ever have a date to a party besides autism

 

ABOUT Sara wexler

Sara Lane Wexler is a graduate student at Boston University earning her Master of Social Work degree. As an undergraduate student at Wheelock College, Sara was a member of her school's College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) team for two years, and she plans on participating on a Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam (FEMS) team this year. Sara is thrilled to be published in CORRIDORS, and is thankful for the opportunity. She probably has something she wanted to talk to you about, but can’t remember at the moment. She can be reached at saralw@bu.edu.