Sunday, November 9, 2014

Flash Fiction by April Salzano


Thundershirt

In truth, she did not bubble OMG! or spit like totally when, in medias res, the teacher skipped into the meeting being held to discuss my autistic son, his progress, inclusion in a regular first grade classroom, but this is how I will retell the story of how the twenty-something teacher paralleled my son to her dog.  Again.

My son had begun wearing a weighted vest at school, a replacement for inappropriate touching, which sounds much worse than it is.  Neck, face, smooth undersides of arms of classmates, teachers, support staff.  Extra feels copped for baggy, dysfunctional skin, deformities.  The vest is designed to help by applying constant pressure, to deliver a hug of sorts.  The weights bring him down from the ceiling where he is not hovering, but zipping above his peers in wingless glory, laughing the kind of laugh that makes everyone want to be that happy, able to forget fact families and bar graphs, the meaning of dipthongs and consonant blends.  The vest had been working, progress noted.

"So," and here I will always insert the word like, "when I first saw this vest, my question was, how long can he leave it on?  I had all these questions about [like] how this device worked and I had to laugh at myself for asking because, well, we got one for our dog" (emphasis mine, mostly).

No, she didn't just say that.

Yes, she did, and she went on to describe how this garment "like, calms the dog," that though it was meant for thunderstorms, they knew, the just knew Fido or Fifi didn't want them to take it off.  "What's even funnier," she went on (and on and on), "was how we decided to order one (no it isn't) and if you tell anyone, my husband will just die" (does that apply to you as well?), "but, [like], we put a Christmas dress on her and she was so, y'know, like happy!  So this vest just made sense . . . "  Wait, it gets better, or worse, depending on how you feel about your child, your dog, or both.

In a separate incident, my son had been sick and after missing three days of school, I emailed this teacher to giver her an update on his progress.  He had been weak and I had to carry him to the bathroom, when we made it at all.  Shit, piss, vomit, covered us for several days.  Toilet, tub, washing machine, an endless assembly line of cleaning.  My mistake was adding any detail to the email I decided to send her.  Simplicity would have been so much better.  This time, she actually did say, "oh my God!" adding praise for the strength it must have taken me to haul this stocky boy to the bathroom.  "I can't even pick up my dog!"  How that was relevant, I am still not sure.

When combined with the autistic support teacher labeling my son more a pet than a peer during an IEP meeting, I feel justified in saying I have had my fill of this metaphor rolling off everyone's tongue like thunder.  I feel justified in ridiculing her epic fail as a small token of a smaller act of revenge on behalf of my son, who knows none of this now, and probably never will, dog willing.




April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons.  She is currently working on a memoir on raising a child with autism and several collections of poetry.  Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  Her first chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is forthcoming in spring, 2015, from Dancing Girl Press.  The author serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press (www.kindofahurricanepress.com)







23 comments:

  1. Let your site Best SEO Company In india be the answer to all the solutions. Search engine optimization with a combination of various tools to help the site reach the desired ranking.


    Best Internet Marketing Company in india
    Best Internet Marketing Company
    SEO Services India
    Best SEO Company India
    SEO Company in India
    Best SEO Company In india

    https://www.iaptris.com/
    info@iaptris.com
    support@iaptris.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Luxury cars provide luxury car rental Dubai, exotic car rentals, Sports car rental, luxury cars in Dubai at very affordable rate for more details www.luxurycarsrentaldubai.co"

    Luxury Cars Rental Dubai
    Luxury Car Rental Dubai

    Visit here: http://www.luxurycarsrentaldubai.co/
    info@luxurycarsrentaldubai.co
    +971 56 845 2520

    ReplyDelete
  3. Enjoy our short video promoting Paithalmala Tourism. We are located inside the natural landscape of Paithalmala, which is the highest geographic peak in Kannur, located about 65 km from Kannur, becoming a favorite location for nature enthusiasts, creative photographers and international travelers

    Paithalmala Tourism

    Visit here: https://paithalmalatourism.org/

    Paithal Mala, Chandanakampara Road,, Near Paithal Mala, Vanchium., Kannur, Kerala 670582, India

    +91 9605482389 | 0460 2219062

    ReplyDelete
  4. Property Management Software - Find online information about best property management software, real estate management software, online property management software, simple property management software and related more."


    Property Management Software

    iRent Sales
    719 Scott Street
    Wichita Falls, TX 76301
    919.473.6805

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cheapest Tickets with special offers for theme parks, attraction, tour, zoo, animal kingdom and universal studio in San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, New york, Orlando, San Diego, Niagara, Chicago and more - All Park Tickets in USA

    All Park Tickets

    Visit here: http://www.allparktickets.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. 7M Tours appreciates the support of all of our travelers, agents and suppliers. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments for us. Thank you for your continued business!

    USA Tour Operator
    Canada tour packages
    South America tour operator
    USA student groups educational tours
    USA student group tours packages
    USA budget fixed tours packages
    brazil tour operator


    Visit here: http://7mtours.com/

    ReplyDelete

  7. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy


    Psychologist Etobicoke
    Relationship therapist Etobicoke
    Therapist Etobicoke
    Top psychologist Etobicoke
    Top therapists in Etobicoke

    Call us Now-416-999-8618
    Visit our websites-http://www.counselling2wellness.com/

    ReplyDelete

  8. This tour also stops at two or three Denver dispensaries

    Green tour
    420 tour
    420tour
    Cannabis tour
    Cannabis tours - Cooking 420
    Hollywood cannabis


    Call us Now-8558687420

    Visit our websites-http://greentours.com/

    ReplyDelete



  9. Gastric band hypnosis involves, how it promotes weight loss

    Gastric band hypnosis
    Gastric band hypnotherapy
    Hypnotherapy for weight loss
    Hypnotherapy for depression
    Stop smoking hypnotherapy

    Call us Now-1-844-415-7124

    Visit our websites-www.hypnotherapysole.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. New Condos in Mississauga, search from hundreds of the pre-construction

    Best condos in mississauga
    Best new mississauga condos
    New condos mississauga
    Newest condos in peel region
    Peel region condos

    Visit here For Info-https://newmississaugacondos.com/

    Call us Now-(647) 919-4703

    ReplyDelete
  11. use our detailed real estate filters to find

    Luxury mls realtor
    Mls listings on golf course

    Visit here for more info- https://residential.golfshirehomes.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Orlandoprinters is one of the leading suppliers of digital printing. The state of the art printing technology we use in our production process gives our customers the best print quality. We are expertise in all kinds of gifts for corporate needs, Industries, Institutions, Banks, Hotels, Social clubs.

    banner standss
    best car wrap
    best yard signs
    blank yard signs
    business cards orlando
    car wrap design orlando
    car wraps orlando
    cheap printing orlando
    cheap t-shirts

    ReplyDelete
  13. We’re a local roastery based in the heart of the Ottawa Valley. Since 1998, we’ve been roasting and delivering fresh coffee each and every week. We have a passion for good coffee and a deep respect for the people who grow it.

    Fair trade coffee in Canada
    Weekly delivery in Canada
    Direct trade coffee in Canada
    Single origin coffees Canada
    Espresso best Canada
    Espresso best Canada
    coffee roaster Canada
    coffee roastery in Canada
    coffee shop roaster in Canada
    local coffee roasters in Canada
    roastery coffee house in Canada
    natural coffee in Canada
    coffee house in Canada
    fresh roasted coffee in Canada

    Visit here: https://www.equator.ca/
    Elgin St.
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5W1
    equatornac.cna@gmail.com
    613.563.7771

    ReplyDelete

  14. West Coast Cannabis Club is a cannabis dispensary located in the Cathedral City

    Cannabis tourism
    Glass blowing & Hemp
    Marijuana tour
    Recreational california
    Santa barbara
    Social lounge
    West coast cannabis
    Yosemite & California adventure

    Visit here for more info-http://greentoursla.com/

    Email-dharmendrayadav564312@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete