You know, until you don’t

By Laryn Hilderbrandt

“Who do you want to be? What do you want to do?”

I remember the clicking and tapping sound throughout the computer lab, the whirr of the monitor and the hushed conversations of the children around me. The smell of Expo markers uncapped, the musty but cleaning agent smell that only schools seemed to have. I was a child, seven or eight. Mrs. Vicki walked around the room, preaching about dreams and goals, peeking her slightly grayed head over small shoulders.

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My small, black suitcase

By Kacie Brockman

I remember the continuous packing. Every Friday afternoon I would gather up my clothes for the coming school week and my ratty, stuffed golden retriever, Shadow, who was my riding companion from house to house. I would cram my belongings into my small, black suitcase that rested at the end of my twin-sized bed. I would say my goodbyes to whichever parent I was parting from for those seven days, always ending with a kiss on the cheek and an “I love you.” That was my weekly routine for as long as I can remember. From the age of 5 on, I lived out of that small, black suitcase.

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Jimmy with Asperger’s: The Early Years

By James Humphrey

It was a typical preschool classroom in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on a hot August day in 1997. Four-year-old kids were playing with toys and socializing with one another as they waited for someone to pick them up. There was one boy who didn’t have any toys out. He was sitting in a corner, reading a book, alone by choice. This boy didn’t play with toy cars often, but he could point out the difference between a Honda and a Toyota in a parking lot. He saw little reason to socialize with other 4-year-old, and preferred the company of adults. He read books, and scribbled in them – not drawings of far-out space aliens or cartoon characters, but coherent words like “Dual Airbags.”

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Almost Famous Friends

By Jamie Williams

My friends aren’t famous to the public by any means, but they’re definitely more famous than me. After being one of thousands of viewers of their online gaming channels for years, and then being trusted enough to moderate those viewers for them, we met for the first time in person at a convention in Indianapolis. They were featured guests; I was a fan who paid to see them.

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Deep Cuts

By Jacob Dick

It was an average looking CD case, like any other my dad left behind. I had pulled it from the shelf by chance as I was searching for something to listen to. I never expected to be holding a portrait of an anthropomorphic hairless cat chained to a dartboard outlined with throwing knives, surrounded by chimera with Satan heads. My 8-year-old mind couldn’t comprehend what I was looking at. This wasn’t like the stoic morbidity of the cow skull on the front of the Eagles Album. This was more unsettling than the crooked old man on Led Zeppelin IV.

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