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Sweetie

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When I am alone, in public, this thing happens.

“You look like a lost puppy!” said a friend as I was looking for my seat in the college cafeteria. Once someone offered me a glass of water as soon as I walked in. Another time, a man pulled me off the street and forced me to sit down at an outdoor table and didn’t even ask me about the water—he just gave me a glass. And yes, there was that really bizarre time when I was in high school, and a teacher grabbed me by the shoulders, shook me and said to me V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y: “The Sophomores. Are meeting. In the gym.” But what usually happens is, people—other white women, not much older than me, if they are older than me at all—call me “sweetie.”

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The King of Pop is dead.

Michael Jackson’s music is the soundtrack of the ’80s for me. Part of the reason may be that mom banned everyone from Poison to Motley Crüe to Guns N’ Roses from the house (I could want my MTV till the cows came home, but I wasn’t getting it). Still, I think most of it is that everything Michael did was so unique in so many ways that he offered something for everyone–even us drive-in mutants:
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No Words

"Why didn’t you tell me?" my mother says.

When I was very young, I had a book called Stranger Danger. It told me not get in cars with adults I didn’t know, especially if they offered me candy. It told me to tell an adult I did know if such a person ever tried to get me in their car, or touched me "in any way that was uncomfortable." It had pictures of shadow-men in fedoras and trenchcoats.

I met no strangers, no shadows, no men. But I knew a girl.

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There are three places around town that I can walk to by myself: the Target, the dentist and the local library. (Okay, there’s a Pizza Hut on the way to Target, but since starting my diet lifestyle change I don’t go there).

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Friends Duane Graves and Rene Moreno make B movies. Duane writes and directs; Rene acts and does his own stunts. He also has Down Syndrome. In 2000 they made a documentary called Up Syndrome. There’s an abriged version on YouTube:

Part 1

Part 2

Unfortunatley, there are very few subtitles, so it’s not very accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing viewers.

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