Blue is the color for April’s Autism Awareness Month. Proud moms are coloring their hair blue. Kids’ pictures on Facebook are tinted blue. People are donning blue ribbons and displaying blue symbols. I thought this short story, entitled Blue, was fitting for the cause.
I wrote this piece several years ago, as part of a manuscript. I have since broken the manuscript into several short stories. Some of which I share on this blog.
Learning to write took a lot of hard work and practice. In the beginning, I wrote every single day (but one day in April) for a year. I was still a terrible writer then, in my opinion, entirely obsessed with my works, and reading my prose to anyone who would listen.
After the first year of writing, I spent another year editing. Then another year rewriting. Then another rewriting, yet again. I calculate that I spent fifteen hours on each page of the two hundred fifty pages. My biggest hinderance to writing was my dyslexia and difficulty seeing errors. Also, I had a tendency to mix up words and punctuation, and a habit of rambling. (Smiling.)
I hope you enjoy this story.
Everything inside was blue—the seats, the ceiling, the floor, even the steering wheel. I tugged on a string from the backseat cover, wrapping layer upon layer of blue taught around my finger. This mid-afternoon it was my tiny index finger which turned a slight shade of indigo.
“Nothing to get hung about,” Mother sang out smiling happily, as if the coming rain had already washed away her worries. She didn’t have a singing voice, never had, but the effort and soul were there, the wanting to sound good, and the need. Inside the rearview mirror, her eyes the color of amaretto, glimmered, reflecting the narrowing sunlight. From the backseat I hummed along to Strawberry Fields Forever and jingled my clear-red plastic piggybank in the air, lifting him high and turning his gaze outside.
High atop the rolling grassy hills the enormous oaks stood like rows of fresh cut broccoli, rich and green—the bold color before the broccoli is boiled to a dull olive. In the shadows of the day tall eucalyptus trees were sprinkled between the weathered fruit stands; their silvery leaves rustling, fluttering up and back, yielding to the autumn wind. I winked one eye, then the next and then winked several times again to form patterns of gray, brown and green. A gust of moist wind pushed in through the partially-opened side window, tossing Mother’s chestnut hair and bringing a sharp scent of diesel smoke and wet asphalt… (full story available in the book Everyday Aspergers)
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