Sept/Oct 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 5 |

Twelve Words

Read a micro-conversation with the author here. My twin brother, Danny, could say twelve words: Eh. Eh-eh. Hi. Yeah. More. Momma. Dada. I-an. Arra. Dayday. Annie. Eddie. At the end of our visits, I wanted just one. “You say my name right now,” I said. “Say I-an.” We were in “Cascade Falls,” though there were no falls. It was just what his group home renamed “Unit B” to sound more like a home, more like the nearby, overpriced housing developments in the exurbs of Cleveland. “Cascade Falls” was a wing in a facility for severely disabled children and adults. It was clean and antiseptic, with walls lined in gold-plated donor plaques and elaborate, swirling abstract canvases drawn by the residents with an art therapist’s “assistance.” The art therapists said the residents told them what to draw through their body language and eye motion, that they could infer intent, could tell what the residents were thinking: move left, move right, circle here, square. I

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Photo of Brian Trapp
Brian Trapp teaches creative writing and disability studies at the University of Oregon, where he directs the Kidd Creative Writing Workshops. His fiction and essays have been published in the Gettysburg Review, Narrative, Ninth Letter, Black Warrior Review, and Brevity, among other places. His nonfiction has been selected as Notable in Best American Essays 2013 and has won an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship. He is at work on a novel and a memoir, both of which are based on growing up with his twin brother, Danny.

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Read a micro-conversation with the author here. My twin brother, Danny, could say twelve words: Eh. Eh-eh. Hi. Yeah. More. Momma. Dada. I-an. Arra. Dayday. Annie. Eddie. At the end […]

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