Out of My Mind
I'm surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.
Cathedral. Mayonnaise. Pomegranate.
Mississippi. Neapolitan. Hippopotamus.
Silky. Terrifying. Iridescent.
Tickle. Sneeze. Wish. Worry.
Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes - each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands. Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs.
From the time I was really little - maybe just a few months old - words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade. I could almost taste them. They made my jumbled thoughts and feelings have substance.
My parents always blanketed me with conversation. They chattered and babbled. They verbalized and vocalized. My father sang to me. My mother whispered strength into my ear. Every word my parents spoke to me or about me I absorbed and kept and remembered. All of them.
I have no idea how I untangled the complicated process of words and thought, but it happened quickly and naturally. By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meaning.
But only in my head.
I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years old.
Excerpted from Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. Copyright © 2010 by Sharon Draper. Excerpted by permission of Atheneum Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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