He Sat On The Carpet

He sat on the floor.
On the carpet.
With his legs folded
Indian style.
His hands
Resting on his knees.

His eyes were open.
And he looked
Straight ahead.
Breathing deeply.
In and out.

And as he sat there
On the carpet
Of his home,
He thought
Of the people
That he knew.
Those he called
His friends.

He thought of the church
That he’d been going to.
How very much
The people there
Had welcomed him.

He knew
That he was different
From them.
That it was hard for him
To understand
His friends.
And the people
Of his church.

It was hard for him
To understand
How they behaved.
How they acted.
The things they said
And the things they did.

He had spoken with his friends
Many times.
About the problems
They had endured
In their lives.
And the problems
They were facing
Even now.

He knew how many of them
Were hurt.
Were facing problems
Of so many kinds.
Physical injuries.
Unemployment.
Divorces.
Family problems
Of all kinds.

He knew too,
That the people of the church
Were also facing
Problems in their lives.
They had a prayer list
That they reviewed
Every Wednesday night.
With over 200 names
Of people
And of families
Listed on it.

All kinds of cancer.
Heart diseases.
Broken bones.
Unemployment.
Personal problems.
The list went on
And on
And on.

He’d seen people
At the church
As they prepared
For surgery the next day.
There were so many people
In the church
That were hurt.
And dealing
With so very much.

As he sat there
On the carpet,
He did the best
That he knew how
To ask God
To take care of them.
If the were to be healed,
Then he asked
That God heal them.
If they were not,
Then he asked that God
Take care of them.

He wished very much
That all his friends,
And the people of the church
Would know
He was concerned for them.
That despite the appearance
That he felt nothing for them.
That he just seemed angry,
And aloof.
That it sometimes
Seemed to them
That he was laughing
At them.

He wished everyone
Would simply understand
That he wasn’t
Cold and heartless.
And uncaring.
And unfeeling.

He wished that everyone
Could see him,
Sitting there.
On the carpet
In his home.
So they could see
How much he cared
For the people in his life.

But he knew,
As he thought those words,
That many of the people
That he knew,
Would see him
Sitting on the carpet
In his room.

And would conclude
That something was very wrong
With him.
Just like they had
So many times before.

He’d lost count
Of the times
The people he cared for
Had told him
How wrong he was.
That he needed to speak
To a doctor.

That he was broken.
And needed to be fixed.

He asked God,
As he sat there that night,
Why it was
That people tried so very hard
To have him remade.
To be just like them.
Why it was
That people could not accept
That he was different.

And that’s all
That was wrong
With him.
Is that he was different.

And it wasn’t his fault.
It was no one’s fault.
He’d been born different.
And he knew that.
He’d learned,
After so many years,
What the Autism Spectrum was.
And how he’d been born
With genetics
That blessed him with
An Autism Spectrum Disorder.

And that left him
Different.
From the people he knew.
So that they didn’t
Understand him.

And he didn’t
Understand them
Either.
And he knew
That his lack of understanding
Of other people
Left him so frustrated.
And confused.

That at times
He had no idea
What to do.
What to say.
How to behave.

And sometimes
All he could do
Was retreat.
Hide.
Somewhere all alone.
So that he
Could clear his head.
And have time to think.

And that had the benefit
Of getting him away
From the people that he knew
For a little while.
A day or two.
So that his friends,
And the people at the church
That he went to
Would not have to deal
With him.

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