i’ve never done autistics speaking day before because i never knew i could before. but i figured out it was today just in time to still do it (thanks pacific standard time)! today i watched the one home video of me when i was real little. i’ve been wanting to watch it again for months. i wanted to see myself speaking. i got to see that. it made me happy.
there’s something beautiful about being able to watch your young self learning. i think there’s also something especially beautiful when that learning is like a song. eighteen months old and sitting in a sink-bath, going echo echo echo:
emma taking a bath! emma take a bath. emma taking a bath. jasmine take a bath too! take a bath. take a bath. emma take a bath, ann take a bath too! emma taking a bath! cup! my cup! this is my cup! this is my finger! my finger. finger! emma taking a bath, this is my finger! my cup! this is a cup! my cup! emma go to see kyla. emma see jay and kyla. jay and kyla! emma taking a bath!
i chew on my fingers a lot, i keep putting the cups on my feet like shoes. i mimic people’s actions constantly. i sit in the bath with my knees bent precisely in front of me, feet flat, my arms holding my legs in. at one point, i drink the bathwater from the cup (over and over). i keep getting upset because i say that my hands and feet are dirty, even though nobody else thinks they are. i’m given soap regardless, to appease me. i keep accidentally sitting on the sink drain, and then just repeating ‘ow, owie, ow, ow’; i can’t tell anyone what’s actually wrong, only “ow, ow, owie.” familiar. tiny autistic pretty baby.
i think of myself not talking this year. all the times where i not; not because i couldn’t words, but because if i words people hear noise, and when i movewords people hear silence, and see noise.
but then i remember how loud i spoke on paper, how well i speak in safety, how little i speak in happiness. how i don’t speak a different language, but language differently when speaking (with mouths and hands and bodies and taps of sounds). i speak different now, but in a difference that speaks. watch.
i. i bored a hole bored a whole hour i wore a hole in my shirtsleeve for a tunnel to my skin and tore it open into a loose cry like cotton drifting over soil and grass and time that thyme you find me in the grass like cotton the soared whole i’m sore driving a toll and half an hour in a tunnel through my skin
ii. i never dream anymore haven’t in years i feel dreamt enough as it is a drought of tired ideas a draft any window left open last night i caught a cold and held it to my chest it quivered and cried i loved it and we were happy
iii. i can’t remember when i started breathing but i know it hurt like winding a dial back for a pause a sensible locking of doors at night but where water from taps pours over my skin a chatter sounds like rain against light windows. i contemplate home not built myself a gift but my floors are not yet laid. it rains inside my house and patters on my roof like strings of beads tossed up through the air
iv. when running is a kind of prayer, how should i answer? wings and mountains soft declines kind and movement pebbles of breath a voice sounding in paces stretching conjuring companions: a pool of water, the sense of running beside
sometimes i am quiet, but when i speak i’m always learning
Baby me at a dinner table in a babychair; someone has blown bubbles in the air around me, and I have my hands held up with my fists happy while I watch the bubbles in the air. I freakin’ love bubbles, in case this wasn’t clear.