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Swallowing the Internet (or Autistic Marketing Strategies)


I honestly think you know quite a bit
I can’t teach you anything you don’t know
except what I’m up to
so now
so perhaps
do you
have you ever seen a droid phone?
you all remain arrested
until I have the droid phone

remember that
Friday and Monday I did so good?
that was the day Josh got arrested
he was a selfish man and that’s why
he lied to me and the Boost Mobile phones
he said he was going to
reward us
with something
instead he rewarded himself
with more
and more

I’m just keeping you occupied while you’re in here
two Boost Mobile phones just walked by
they’re the door guards
I’m guarding you
we arrested you
for an unforgivable crime
you told a student
he had no right to be in the hallway
when this is America
and we have every right
to be where we want to be
I want to be here
because this room is bigger
than all the world outside

I’ll stay in
I’ll stay
it’s because
after the kids said that
not giving me credit for being good
so I decided to be bad
until I can capture the droid phone
and steal its internet
then I’ll look at its insides
at its
and have the internet it has
I’ll swallow it
if I can swallow it
I’ll become a person
I’ll be able to transform into anything
and I’ll be the
in the world
that’s what I want with it

I think I’m ready
you know I think its time
I’m ready
I’ll become the most powerful person on the face of the planet
I’ll just
I’ll just
droid is the most powerful phone on the planet
and I want to steal that
I can use the internet however I want
and then get
get away
get away

droid is a fragile fragile phone
no one’s ever dared to steal the droid phone
because it gets them in trouble because the phone is so very very fragile
there’s a scary rotten cave with
scary things and
rotten things
the droid is the most fragile thing
so it hides in there
in a shiny ball
shiny ball of golden
golden light and the sun shines on it
through a hole in the cave
it looks like royalty
and if you touch it the cave crumbles
to the ground
around it

the cave actually is all black
and the droid just stands there with electric arms
hundreds hundreds of arms
I’ll take its life and the droid phone
won’t be so fragile anymore
everyone glorifies it for its power and internet
it runs everything and
does everything but
no one’s allowed to touch it
because without it there would be no technology
everything would die
would die

so I’m just gonna be aware of the droid phone
I’m gonna have all that fragileness come into me
I’m gonna run all the electricity and be fragile like the droid
fragile like that
in its golden ball of light
I’m gonna
I’m gonna
like technology
and everyone

will worship


I cannot take full credit for this. Much of what is here was written down as it was being spoken by a student of mine; a lovely young boy on the autism spectrum, hence the title. I find the way he speaks about technology both poetic and horrifying. He articulates the American addiction to technology beautifully and without any filters, because he perseverates on it every day. I do wonder, however, in a world of New, Faster, More Powerful, 4G wealth, how much of what he fixates on is unique to only him.


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Making an Entrance or Hidden Talents or Where in Creation Did He Learn How to Do That

“Ms. D–, may I make an entrance?”

May I make an entrance? Of all my advanced students performing monologues, Morgan is the only one who asked if he could make an entrance. Of course he’s the one who asked; he’s my brilliant one. He reads at a post-grad level, writes like a published author, and asks questions which stump me on a daily basis. His wit is sharp, a finely-honed weapon, designed to confuse, dazzle and enrage any so unlucky to cross verbal swords with him. He has class, style, an honest laugh, an easy smile, and a manner which puts all his peers at ease; blessed and brimming with charisma. He could be president one day, or the man to finally discover a cure for cancer, or a renowned journalist, or a science fiction writer with a social consciousness. Or, after what I saw today, a gifted Shakespearean actor.

You see, even though teachers try desperately to treat each child as an individual, we can’t help but categorize and stereotype. We’re human beings (despite what the parents and administration seem to think), and human beings love to label.

That’s not to say I was unaware he possessed a flair for the dramatic, but he is so reserved in his chosen performances that I simply assumed his monologue recitation would be much the same. Well-spoken, quiet, with the vaguest hint of underlying, subtle emotion.

And what a fool I was.

“May I make an entrance?”

“Of course you may.” I smile.

He grins ear to ear. The rest of the class shifts in their seats. Every other student had simply walked to the front of the room and recited memorized words like a computer program. Robotic, devoid of emotion, without movement or even facial expression. I found the stream of monotone voices disappointing. The whole purpose of the assignment was to give life to the words and language we had just finished studying. I thought for certain a group of 25 extremely gifted students would adore the opportunity to vent their hormonal angst through the words of the Bard. And, as sometimes happens to teachers, I was very wrong.

When assigning monologues, this boy had selected Romeo’s death speech from the end of Romeo and Juliet. It’s a wonderful piece, full of loss and extreme desperation. He was the only one who chose this piece. It didn’t surprise me, as the difficulty and length of the monologue was off-putting to most of his peers. Morgan never chooses the easiest path.

He leaves the room and enters a different boy. His walk is slow, burdened, and sorrowful, as though the weight of the world hangs upon his shoulders. He bows his head and drags his feet, reluctant to reach the front of the room, where an imaginary death awaits.

I can hear some of the girls in the class start to whisper. With a slight build, sandy blond hair and intense blue eyes, he catches their attention easily, but either fails to notice or is simply uninterested in pursuing these flighty, teenage things who are-quite frankly-far beneath his own intellectual level.

Just as he reaches the front of the room, he turns to look back at the door, and lets out a sigh that nearly breaks my heart. The class is now silent, all their attention sharply focused on the performance before them.

As he reaches the big empty “stage” at the front of the classroom, I can see tears in his eyes. He reaches the center of the playing space and, like a marionette suddenly released from its strings, he crumbles to his knees.

“How oft when men are at the point of death have they been merry…”

As he speaks, I can hear the truth of his feigned sorrow.

“O my love! My wife!” He calls as does a child who has lost his mother, desperate and frightened. His voice breaks and a choking sob escapes his throat. Then another. He wipes his now-wet cheeks, swallows hard, and continues on.

As he nears the end of the speech, I can see a handful of his classmates fighting back tears. I, myself, am working hard to control the rising lump in my throat. One girl is weeping openly.

“And lips, oh you the doors a breath, seal with a righteous kiss…” He places two fingers on his lips and then lays them gently to the lips of the imaginary Juliet before him. He gazes at her, with the peaceful smile of a cherub. Absolutely content. Certain of his choice.

In an almost inaudible whisper, he lifts an empty up to the heavens. A toast. “Here’s to my love!”

After drinking the imaginary poison, he remains for several moments, gazing contentedly upon the visage of his only true love. The tears cease and a small smile crosses his lips.

Then he coughs. His shoulders and neck tense. His breathing becomes ragged, with periods of choking in between frantic gasps for air. Fear and pain and doubt twist his cherubic gaze into something almost grotesque. He doubles over, as though he’d been punched in the gut and suddenly his whole body is convulsing. He cries out in pain.

“Oh true apothecary!” Its a curse, rather than an observation.

With what seems like a most tremendous effort, he stills his dying body to deliver the final line of the monologue – ‘Thus, with a kiss, I die.’

It seems as though he can barely manage to speak the words. Just as before, he kisses two fingers and then places them upon the imaginary woman before him. Then he cries out again, and falls to one side. The classroom is deadly silent. I can feel tears begin to burn my cheeks as he spasms and little whimpers of pain echo in my eardrums. Then his back arches sharply, he holds his breath…

And with a long exhale, he relaxes. No one moves. No one breaths. Every so slowly, Morgan stretches his back and stands.

He is himself again. A radiant smile begins to spread across his face, and he swells with pride as he looks at his profoundly moved classmates. And teacher.

The applause he receives is thunderous. I’m surprised the classroom next door isn’t forced to stop due to the noise. I applaud along with them, of course. This is, without a doubt, the single best performance of Romeo I have ever seen. This is what Shakespeare should be. This is what acting should be.

No one was brave enough to follow him, so instead of forcing the issue, we talked about Morgan’s performance. About how profoundly moving Shakespeare can be. And because of this wonderful boy, they finally, after weeks of study, finally understood why Shakespeare is so important.

And all it took was an entrance.

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