Poets from the latest issue of The Bridge read their work.
Life with Asperger’s is like being put on a stage.
I’ve rehearsed my lines countless times,
and I’m expected to perfectly perform
the part of “a normal boy.”
I nailed the audition, bright eyed with a carefree grin.
The casting call calls me back to
see me reprise the role, see me improvise
new lines in front of a crowd.
There’s some days where I have clarity, despite all the
awkward pauses, trembling hands,
legs and body, I make it through the scene with
some help from the director.
Some days, after the curtains close on the matinee,
and I’ve stunned the crowd with my charm,
I find myself absolutely drained, craving
seclusion, quiet and peace.
I go lounge in the library, where I can turn off
my mind, put on my headphones and
get lost in what some call “A world of my own.”
I open up my notebook
and I begin writing my next favorite poem.
I’m at an inner peace until
the daydreaming stops and I remember I’m
made to play my role for you.
So suddenly, the spotlight is shining on me, this time
I’m stumbling across the stage,
searching for the stage exit or the director
to lead me through this scene that
I haven’t rehearsed yet. I see a crowd filled with
comedy and tragedy masks,
covering the friendly and familiar
faces I once knew so well.
They are all expecting me to perfectly perform
the part of “normal boy” again.
But I can’t handle the pressure today.
Do they know it’s all an act?
Can they tell from watching my movements, or listening
to my monotonous mumbles
that I’m just an Aspie thespian acting out
the part of “a normal boy?”
Adam Blowers is an undergraduate and English major at Bridgewater State University. He has read his poetry at The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, the 2019 Greater Boston Intercollegiate Undergraduate Poetry Festival, and Unnameable Books’s Boog City Festival. One day he hopes to publish a collection of his poetry and begin writing novels, or at least tell everyone he meets that he plans to. Unfortunately, his name does not rhyme with flowers. You can follow him on Instagram at @ablowerswrites.