Aug 12, 2016

My Mentally Disabled Neighbor And the Underwear Stuff

Plains, Last October

Timmy just moved into an apartment down the hall.  I see him often in the laundry room, in the foyer waiting for a ride, and walking down the hill toward downtown.  He is around 30, short, slim, with very short black hair, greased back, a long face, prominent ears, and big veiny hands always clasped together as if in prayer, unless he's carrying something.  He's always smiling.

"Hi, Timmy," I always say.  "What are you doing today?"

"Hi, Boomer," he answers in a monotone.  "I'm going to work" or "I'm doing laundry" or "I'm waiting for my friend."

When he's going to work, he always wears a pale blue long-sleeved shirt and a clip-on black tie.  Otherwise he always wears a very tight t-shirt, yellow or blue.  Nice chest.

Something is definitely off about Timmy, but I can't figure out what.  His reactions are slow, his movements are a little jerky, and he doesn't understand unless you use short sentences and simple words.  Autism? 

I look him up on Facebook.  He's a high school graduate, he likes country-western music, he has 27 friends, and he works at Rehabilitation Services, which provides jobs for people with intellectual disabilities. 

I call my friend Ross in the Psychology Department: intellectual disabilities, what we used to call "mental retardation," affect 2-3% of the population.  90% have "mild" or "moderately impaired cognition."   They aren't good at abstract thought and higher-level reasoning, they need predictability and structure, but they can do almost everything the rest of us can: work, live alone, handle everyday problems, and have social relationships.  

Timmy is very cute....

The full story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.