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									    Belonging Creative Story – “Yes he’s Autistic, my brother is Autistic.” OR “My Autistic Brother” –
                                              Adam Booth


My biggest issues I feel is my conversational part of the story. As it is in first person I am finding it
difficult to add actions to quotes. Do I have to have a character say something with an action as well,
but keeping in mind that it is from the perspective of the main character. For example:
          My thoughts were unclear. A minute ago I thought I’d be better off without him but now I’ve
got questions that need answering. “Dad, do you wish he was different?” I said. Dad replied, “I used
but I’ve figured he won’t ever change so there’s no point anymore…” Dad struggled for it but, in the
end he got it out through sheer determination, “David is David and you have to accept that. Stop
trying to change things out of your control son”.

Does that come across as genuine or does it sound artificial?

You will also notice that I have put footnotes in to keep track of my techniques. I hope they are
accurate…

Finally, for some silly reason, the DET is not letting me send this email through their system because
it contains “offensive language”. Hopefully you have other means of accessing email than through
DET.

Thanks, Adam.


[Words 1623]

Close your eyes.

Now, imagine being able to understand exactly everything others around you are saying, but being
denied the ability to answer. Knowing what to say, thinking the thought process through in your
brain, but not being able to [vent it out] / [express yourself]. Which is more suitable???

I didn’t tell you to open your eyes. Close them again.

What can you see? Nothing; just blackness? Try harder. After thirty seconds you will enter a phase of
fuzziness as if you are staring at an un-tuned TV1. Latch onto this sensation, take a deep breath and
listen to your surroundings. Imagine feeling this blurred sensation every minute of your life. There’s
no way out. You would be stuck in the same place and no matter how hard you try to escape it, you
would remain there: Disconnected, exposed, vulnerable and cut-off.

This must be what it’s like being my brother, David.

But, people just assume only he is faced with hardship, that I live unaffected by it all.

If only this was the case.

All around me I see happy faces. There are no signs of distress, disappointment or suffering. Yet, no
matter how much effort I put in, I can't find a way to share in their ecstasy. I'm trapped in a glass
room with no doors2. Not actually, but all the same, {I'm [caged in] / [weighed down] by my own
emotions3} / {I’m drowning in a sea of my emotions struggling to fight the current like a salmon fish
swimming to its birthplace}4.

1   simile
2   simile
    Belonging Creative Story – “Yes he’s Autistic, my brother is Autistic.” OR “My Autistic Brother” –
                                              Adam Booth


My brother is to blame. He has Autism.

Whenever I am close to breaking through the barrier separating me from them, I am ripped back to
reality when he appears. I'm not normal because he is not normal. Our family is not normal because
he is not normal. But I can’t accept that.

My parents are furious with me at the moment, “Why did you leave the keys in the door son?!” I
messed up, “I don’t know! It wasn't like I meant to!” We are currently waiting in the hospital
emergency ward for an update on David’s condition. I messed up5. Earlier today I left the keys in the
house door and David ran out on the street and into an oncoming car. I heard the impact from in the
house, the abrupt screech of tire upon the rough asphalt, and in those brief moments I feared the
worst. I messed up. Miraculously he came away with just a broken leg, fractured shoulder and
various grazes. The doctor said that if the car had hit David any faster, he may not have lived. I could
not have lived with myself if anything worse had occurred. But this event has triggered me to
critically consider my relationship with my brother and family prior to us becoming what we are
now: a near-life less organism, gasping for its last breaths6.

My family is anything but normal. For starters, mum is the bread-winner of our household while Dad
is the full-time stay-at-home mum. I love this sentence lol Dad loves his dogs and his football; he’s
constantly checking the updates on the TV every evening. But, it’s never got to the stage where he’s
wasted all his money away to betting. Probably because we can’t even afford it., because I don’t feel
we could afford it. He never started and thankfully it’s always stayed that way. Dog food on the
other hand, well, that’s a different story.

And this brings me to David.

We are two years apart. I'm the oldest, which means I am faced with the most responsibility. I guess
it would not matter if I was the youngest because I’d still have to do everything due to his disability.
I’m constantly getting ordered around by mum and dad: “The underwear gets hung on the inside! It's
very embarrassing!”, “Don't forget to put the bins out…”, “Get started on those lunches…”, “The dogs
need feeding soon…” 7

Seriously; Fuck that!

I've been told we are a lucky family. Lucky David didn't die at birth, lucky he was able to walk and
hear properly. But how are we lucky?! How is having to take care of the kid almost 24/7 lucky?
Making sure he doesn't swallow his own tongue, urinate in someone else's bathroom, or worse, poo
on our carpet!

I've hated being his brother. Every night, I used to close my eyes and wish that, when I woke up, he’d
be normal. But he wasn’t.

                                                 ***


3 metaphor
4 simile
5 Repetition – ‘I messed up’
6 Motif – Dying fish/Family organism
7 Accumulation
    Belonging Creative Story – “Yes he’s Autistic, my brother is Autistic.” OR “My Autistic Brother” –
                                              Adam Booth

It wasn’t until an argument with Mum last month that it dawned on me how selfish I had been
towards David8. We were bickering over an incident involving David:
        “It's not like I ask for much. Honestly, I wish you’d grow up a bit. You’re almost 18 now.”

          “It was an accident Mum. How was I supposed to know David would do what he did? I’m
          sorry.”

          “It's too late for that. Watch your brother, that’s all I asked, but I guess I can't leave you to do
          anything, can I?”

          “He shat everywhere! Yell at him.”

          “Well, what was he supposed to do? Don't be so bloody selfish son!”

          “He's not my responsibility!”

          “He's your brother!”

          “He's a freak…” and then Mum slapped me in the face, “I don't want anything to do with
          him!”

          “Now, your brother will never be able to do the things you can. He'll never get a job, or have
          a family. He'll never be able to look after himself. He will live with us for the rest of his life.
          It’s about time you started thinking about others.”

‘What about me?’, I thought in silence, ‘No one ever considers my suffering.’ It was at [?? that or this
??] point that I looked at her face and the room around me, and my eyes feel upon a solitary smudge
in the carpet. It seemed out of place amongst the otherwise pristine carpet pile. I felt that I was a
misunderstood blot that could never be a part of my mother’s world and its false expectations9.

[This next anecdote is a bit shaky. I’m not good at forcing on a scene with imagery and descriptions.
But I actually was at Palm Beach so it’s kind of annoying. Can you please give me some suggestions.
Thanks] Last Christmas was pretty decent.10 I was actually shocked at how pleasant it turned out to
be. We travelled to Palm Beach in a packed car as a family and spent the full day swimming, eating in
the shade and enjoyed a failed attempt at beach cricket. Mum, well she was paranoid as usual, in
her individual battle with the sun. It felt as if every 5 minutes she’d be nagging down our backs,
“Have you put the sunscreen on? C’mon hurry up and do it. All it takes is one bad burn and you’ve
assured yourself cancer.” The constant thrashing of the waves against the sand and the glorious
grandiose and blue sky above fused into a scene of tranquillity and for once I could forget about our
troubles. Autistic non-existence.11 We had a sense of connection that day; a genuine togetherness
that we normally could not generate in our everyday lifestyle.

But it was short-lived.A short-lived getaway.

                                                    ***


8 Anecdote/Flashback – An argument with Mum
9 Motif – Out of place blot on carpet representing intolerance and difference.
10 Anecdote/Flashback – Last year’s Christmas at Palm Beach as a family
11 Imagery (amateur work…)
 Belonging Creative Story – “Yes he’s Autistic, my brother is Autistic.” OR “My Autistic Brother” –
                                           Adam Booth

 Three hours have passed now since David was taken to hospital. My parents have calmed down. I’m
still awaiting an apology, though. Mum was feeling sick so she went home. Sitting here with Dad
beside David’s hospital bed has gotten me thinking. I feel that I’m very close now to breaking
through the social barrier but I need some questions answered first.
         “Dad, do you ever wish David was normal?” I asked while waiting besides David’s hospital
bed.

        “Yeah, at the start. I don't think about it much anymore, though,” he’s thinking hard, I can
        see it in his eyes. C’mon Dad, just say it, “You have to stop wishing David was normal. He's
        never going to change. David's David.”

        “Yeah, but don't you think it's kind of unfair?”

        “Your mum reckons we got David because we're capable…” Dad’s getting emotional. This
        doesn’t happen often, “…we're strong enough to deal with him.”

        “Do you believe that Dad?”

        “I don't know. Your mum is that's for sure. All I know is he's my own. You're weak as piss if
        you don't look after your own.”

I never appreciated David’s company until heit was gone. It eats me up inside thinking about how
selfish I was towards him. I used to think that having him gone would have solved all our family’s
issues. If anything, it’s exacerbated them. The oxygen has been sucked clean from our family
organism.12 [Meant to be a reference to the earlier metaphor of a ‘near lifeless organism’] Now it
seems that David’s autism is what brings our family together, through better or worse. It gives us
life, it gives us meaning. David is like a loyal dog13; never judging, always by your side, and happy, he
is always happy. We are the “house with the autistic kid” or “the spastic” and as much as those jeers
enrage me, they’re what keep me waking up every morning, to confront the critics.

Now I realise that I am meant to live like this. Life’s not going to change. David will always be
Autistic. It’s what defines our family and instead of continuing to run away from it, I should embrace
it and be proud of it. It doesn’t matter about being different. Gone are the moments of worrying
about being different. It’s what makes me unique, what enables me to stand out against all the rest.

Just as I thought this my eyes lingered on a disjointed dark blot amongst the nicely woven carpet of
the hospital wing14. It was an imperfection, and with that sight, a slight smile began to form on my
face. I felt satisfied; finally. GOOD!!!

But I don’t understand above – did he die? Until he was gone where? You mean in hospital make this
more clear!

THE END.




12 Recurring Motif – Dying Fish/Family Organism
13 Simile
14 Recurring Motif – Blot on Carpet

								
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