Imagine that one Family Guy scene, where Stewie just keeps saying, “mom, mommy, mom,” to Lois. Over and over and over until she finally snaps.
Thats Thumbs and me. He always knows, and hates when I pull my camera out. So I sit, finger on the button, ready for him to finally look at me, calling his name, “Thumbs, hey, Thumbs,” over and over and over.
He finally glances at me briefly, very briefly, then allows the Yawn to photobomb…
My luck equals this: Burned out and needing some time off. Finally get suspended for the second time over the same incident. Woop, 14 whopping days, most likely to start the 13th of July, after the board meets again. Oh yeah, did I mention, I also have a jury summons for… you guessed it, the 13th of July.
Radiolab did an interview with Andy Mills, about his amazing friendship with Kohn Ashmore. In college Andy Mills heard a strange noise down the hall, and upon further investigation, discovered fellow student Kohn Ashmore. Most striking about him was the fact that he moves and speaks extremely slowly. It wasn’t until much later in their friendship that Andy discovered that for years Kohn didn’t even know that he spoke slowly.
It is an example of how resilient the human mind can be. That after living with the sound of his own voice for so long, it no longer seemed a strange thing. And admittedly, after listening to this interview over and over, Kohn’s voice no longer sounds strange to me.
Here is that interview by Radiolab. In honesty, the song at the end of the interview always chokes me up a little. It is filled with so much pain, and courage, and maybe a bit of hope.
Here also is the original audio story by Andy Mills that had initially caught Radiolab’s attention. Though most of the information is the same, and some of the clips were used in Radiolab’s interview, this version is put together and told entirely by Andy Mills.
(And for a deeper look into the life of Kohn Ashmore, he published a short biography, which can be found here on Amazon.)
That awkward moment when you return home with a new bundle of joy in hand. Big brother Thumbs thought it weird how affectionate you’d been being all morning. Saying words at him in that cooing voice that annoys everyone.
He immediately smells something off when you set the bundle down in the cardboard box containing his old bed and a couple of his long forgotten toys. He spies something perk up from inside the box and his curiosity is peaked. Everyone stops and holds their breath as he cautiously approaches. The smell grows stronger and in a moment, two eyes blink back at him. He rears back with a growl as she opens her mouth to mew at him, but yawns instead.
He jumps away, heads straight for the door demanding his exit, meowing loudly about how unfair this is and how you’re always trying to ruin his life! You tell him you’ll always love him as you watch him stalk off. He’ll be back, and he’ll grow to love his little sister as much as you already do in time..
I admit that I’ve never been one to choose the easy route. I’ve always made my own decisions and faced my own consequences. And its been a long haul. I have dragged myself, hands and knees, blood, sweat, and tears, through the mud, to the top of this life. And I’ve never turned back.
Its been challenging since turning 30. A small number in the grand scheme of things, but the highest one I’ve known. I’ve faced alot. I’ve dealt with alot. And I’ve grown alot.
And it routinely feels like at this point in my young, old life, people keep needing to tell me how to live my life. I can’t turn without feeling the pressure of some wall against me. Yet I am spinning and spinning and everything is still pressing in. I can’t even breath..