I am masked a “well you wouldn’t know it” neurodivergent who hears go get the ball (which can also be a kind of party) and flips through a thousand images, round, primary colors divided in sections, beach, basket, soccer, kick, ESL I translate pictures into the symbols you need these words to understand the message emotion contained therein. In high school physics lab we examined first grade pics and the boy who always copied my work laughed at me why wear a frilly dress when no one else I couldn’t didn’t say because my mother was first-gen Italian back when people side-eyed her black hair, black eyes, olive skin, and the rosary and what’s with all those saints and the gaa-lic and pass-ta and piercing their baby’s ears I was her first born and even though I inherited my father’s tawny hair and blue eyes no matter how she pin-curled and sprayed my wire hair always Brillo frizzed and maybe maybe if I wore pink princess frills her peculiar daughter would blend in better would play right but I never did nearing the end of high school Andrea sat on Pete’s lap in the auditorium looked me in the eye Mr Colucci told the class leaders they couldn’t give me the Weirdest One Award give it to Chris he won’t care as Peter shushed her so I found out anyway I’d have fist pumped that medal Rocky Balboa style Funny how artists use words like mask code pass which mean something different too. These black holes in my head like in the Yellow Submarine a vibrant land of well-worn paths avoiding the dangerous empty so give me concrete stories for I am literal and detailed and alone, always alone in my head with its vacancy and incomprehension. People are a puzzle mystery a void I’ve studied seek to understand the names I’m called why I am the odd one the weird one. People don’t want to hurt your feelings they’ll say it was nice I liked it but if no one tells you you’re singing off key how will you get better? I don’t get it don’t know what search terms to enter into Google tell me what’s with Flash these days I’m a Realism artist facing an Abstract Expressionist painting wondering WTF is this about am I going to do with what’s the point the greater meaning the universal truth wrapped in I offer line edits calls for clarification better verbs the not passive beautiful language I say no woman thinks like that I don’t understand it feels like lying to me dishonest these little white lies told to get along can’t you. Hurt and angry discouraged devastated you may try may give up may never talk to me again may walk away may leave me alone like all the others did do.
Nina Fosati loves portraiture and historic clothing. Beguiled, she regularly holds forth on her favorites @NinaFosati. Recent work has appeared in OyeDrum Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, Disabled Voices Anthology, and Persephone’s Daughters.