Distant and Incoherent

April 16, 2010
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Richard, a young boy, just six years of age, sat in his backyard. The wind was blowing, the birds were chirping, and his two year old dog, Max, was running around and barking, while chasing a squirrel. There was so much sound, it could almost be called music. The way the leaves rustled in the trees and the birds sang their everyday song, sounded like a soundtrack of life.
Richard heard none of it though.
Richard was born deaf and he was mute. He never knew what music was, or simply even sound. When people talked to him, he saw their mouths moving; but he didn’t know what they were saying. See, Richard didn’t understand there was such a thing as speaking or language. When he would see people move their mouths he would imitate them thinking it was a game. When people would verbally abuse him and laugh, he would laugh too because he didn’t know he was being made fun of. He wasn’t even aware of what verbal abuse was.
Richard never experienced the love children receive from their parents. His mother died giving birth to him and his father gave him up when he was three. Richard was living the life every child dreads.
Richard was homeless.
His backyard was a junk yard behind the abandoned factory he slept in every night. The clothes he wore on his back, were mere rags, they barely covered his body. There wasn’t much body to cover though, his body was emaciated. His spine protruded from his skin, and his rib cage barely had any meat on it. He rarely ate, because he never ventured out from the factory walls. The only time he left was to rummage through old metal garbage cans for food.
Nothing came easy for Richard. He rarely smiled. There was really only one thing that brought a smile to his face. It was a toy that his father had given to him one day before he left. It was a little black and yellow bee with blue wings, blue feet, and red cheeks. Richard loved his wind up toy. For hours he would sit on the cold cement and wind up his bee, then watch it hop around. A smile would creep across his face. This was his only memory of his father and he loved it, couldn’t go without it. Despite all his troubles, Richard could still smile at his little plastic bee.

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