“I read somewhere that 77 percent of all the mentally ill live in poverty. Actually, I’m more intrigued by the 23 percent who are apparently doing quite well for themselves.” — Jerry Garcia
. . . . . . . Huwoh there! I is Danger Boy!
. . . . . . . First time seein you, it’s good. You’re really, really nice. I can tell. I’m nice too! But I smoke. Hope you doesn’t mind that very much. I love my ciggies.
. . . . . . . Me ‘n the boys went to university the udder day. What a lot of pretty girls! All legs and titties! I could not keep my mind on tings. And the boys kept pushin’ me forwards to them. Sayin’ go Danger Boy, innerduce yourself to a few uv em.
. . . . . . . But I’s shy. Cuz I’s incapable. I could never get into uni on my own. I don’t have the smarts. But that’s okay, they said, go up to a gurl anyways.
. . . . . . . So Danger Boy went up to the prettiest girl he could find.
. . . . . . . I wuz wearin’ my suit and tie. I don’t think I did my tie quite right, but that’s okay. She said hi. Can I help you?
. . . . . . . I said yeah can I sit on your lap. Then we talked:
— No. I don’t think so. (she said, hidin’ her lap under her hands)
— Please. Jes for a second.
— No, I really don’t think I can do that. I’m sorry. What’s your name though?
— I is Danger Boy! Danger Boy the hero! The baddest, sweetiest motherfucker out there! Who is you?
— I’m Amanda. Not much of a hero, I’m afraid. (weak smile) Pleased to meet you. You can’t sit on my lap but you can sit beside me for a while. Do you have Down’s Syndrome?
— I think so. That’s what peepul tell me. It means I need to think harder for all sorts of things. Are you lonely? I is lonely.
— I have a boyfriend and a few good friends, so I’m doing okay. (smiles, then fading smile) You’re sitting a bit too close to me now, Danger Boy. Could you move back?
— Oh, sorries. (brightens) Hey, pretty girl. Did youse know you’re the prettiest girl on campus? It’s true! You are like sunshine on a gray day. You are the blueberries in my pot.
— Uhh … thanks?
— Can I touch your hair?
— No, I really don’t think so. Danger Boy, you have to stop creeping up close to me. I’m not going to let you touch me, hair or body.
— I’s about to cry.
— Oh, shit. C’mon, don’t cry. I didn’t mean anything by it; I just have my … boundaries. You understand, right?
— I’s crying now.
— I have a kleenex. Hold on now. (riffling through her purse) Here. Dab your eyes with this.
— (eating the kleenex)
— (shocked) You’re not supposed to eat it. It’s for your eyes! Danger Boy, what’s the matter with you?
— Can I have anudder one?
— Please? Pretty please with sugar on top of it?
— I’m all out.
— You’re lyin’. Now I’s getting mad.
— You’re scaring me.
— Why? (curious)
— You may have Down’s Syndrome, but you’re a big guy. How old are you? 25?
— I is 35 years old. They said I wouldn’t live past 30. The doctors said I has a weak heart. Weak heart! Bullspattle, I say.
— The world is better with you in it.
— You’re a special person, is what I’m saying. (taking Danger Boy’s hand) Be happy with yourself. That’s the only way to go through life. You can’t control what others think of you, but your self-esteem you can manage.
— Sure, pretty lady, sure. Hey — can I touch your titty?
— (shocked) What?
— (taking it back) Oh, nuttin, nuttin. Hey, there’s a squirrel! Isn’t it pretty? (looking shyly at the university girl) But not as nice lookin’ as you are. Amanda.
— Danger Boy and Amanda. Star-crossed lovers!
— No, I don’t think so.
— Danger Boy and Amanda — like Batman and Robin!
— (reluctant smile) I’m Robin?
— Robin iz a boy’s name and a girl’s name. It’s like Pat or Chris. I love words! I’s the best wordsmith around! But not as good as my friend Catxman.
— Who’s Catxman? (leaning forward intently, arms underneath mid-to-large breasts)
— He made me.
— Made … you?
— He is the god of this world. He made the flowers, Amanda, Danger Boy, cars, the university buildings, the act of sex with imaginary figgers …