By Vardo, Mostly
Bradley Ernst, author
Cleveland’s got diversity and missionaries and sewage-surfing and bookstores and autistics: I’m one of them—Belle. Come have coffee with me and I’ll tell you about myself. Wait … I’m mute, so I can’t. I’ve got a cat aptly named Queequeg, a Tourette’s-afflicted Myna bird named Epiphany, a mother who suffers from RBF (resting bitch face), a father who performs acrobatics on a ladder, and a beautiful sister who doesn’t, in fact, have chlamydia. Don’t pity me, I won’t have it. Things could be worse: I’m neither a cutter nor a stabber nor a public masturbator, and I’m loved. Are you? Beneath the awkward mask fate painted on me, I do have a voice. Try having complicated opinions whilst unable to communicate them—the awareness of great words you’ll never say aloud. If you stop dwelling on masturbation, I’ll point out that despite the hassles I create for my loved ones, I deal with my autism more than anyone else. Hear me?