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A sad morning for one special needs man.

It’s early Thursday morning and Kong is giving the staff a hard time again. This time he appeals to me for help and sympathy.


“I see, Kong. Yes, you have a cd player.” I say, while trying to coax him yet again out of his group home and in to my bus. But the twenty-something  Special Needs Vietnamese man isn’t having any of it. Kong waves, what I now see as a broken discman out in front of his self. He points and softly grunts at me, wanting me to understand and I guess fix it for him.


“I see it, Kong. I’m so sorry but we have to get on the bus for school.” I say with a light but firm tone.

But Kong won’t budge. He now points to his backpack and then pats his ears with both hands. He does this repeatedly with soft grunts and a kind of sad whimper. This goes on for about three minutes until a male staff member barks Kong's name from deep in the house. Kong freezes. The staff member then comes through the entry way. Kong suddenly finds motivation and makes like a running little Buddha heading for the bus as fast as he can get there. He finds his seat but doesn’t buckle his safety belt.


“Kong.” I say firmly. “Buckle your belt, please.”


He starts his protest again by pointing first at me and then to his broken discman.


“Kong!” I say louder and firmer. “Buckle yourself.”


He only protests more frantically.


I said “Alright, Kong.” and entered the bus to buckle him myself.


What I didn’t expect, and what froze me in place, was Kong jerking backwards into his seat suddenly and then shielding his face and head with both arms. I looked down on this poor shaking man and wondered what horrors he has endured at the hands of monsters in the Care industry. I went to him cautiously and put my hands on either shoulder and spoke to him gently.


“No, Kong. You’re okay. You’re okay. I’m not mad at you. Kong is a good boy. Kong is a good boy.”


After I got him buckled and he felt safe enough to put his arms down, I sat in the seat beside him and tried to comfort the shattered man/ child as the tears rolled down his giant round cheeks, still upset over the loss of his discman, his comfort in the dark and his point of pride in the light. Kong quietly sobbed all the way to school.


Submitted: September 21, 2018

© Copyright 2022 R.Guy Behringer. All rights reserved.

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