I’m forty-two and I’ve never worked a day in my life but I helped my neighbor this morning. I like planting flowers. If I do it wrong, he shows me the right way, but he never yells at me.
My parents yelled at me… and fought a lot; usually about me… I think. My dad left when I was little, then, one day, Mom went to the store and never came back. The people I live with now say she died and went to heaven. I don’t understand dying… or heaven. My friend, Bill, says heaven is where Jesus is, and I get to go there when I die, but he didn’t know much about dying.
The other men that live in the house with me and Bill are like us. It’s all good most of the time, except when Jerry gets excited and starts yelling. We try to make him stop by talking real soft to him. That usually works, but sometimes one of the ladies has to give him a shot. I hate shots.
After I helped my neighbor this morning, he said, “Thanks for the help, John.”
I like that a lot.
In case you’re wondering, I used to be retarded, but a few years ago one of the ladies that take care of us told me, “You’re not retarded anymore, you’re mentally challenged.” I don’t know what either one means… I’m John.