Dan hadn’t had the greatest day. He’d been looking forward to this new aid that Baum was supposedly getting for him for, what…2 months now? And yet, nope. She was the #spawnofsatan, if Dan had ever seen it. Not only was she like, 70 years old, which was about 50 years too old for her to be someone that Dan could identify with, or converse about anything that was #relevant and not like, income taxes and social security and boring stupid stuff like that, but her ASL also sucked. Her fingers were clumsy and wavered over every sentence, which would have been fine if she was just someone Dan was trying to talk to, but she was literally supposed to be TRANSLATING for him. Like, what? How her translations could possibly be in any way accurate when her signing was so bad, Dan could only imagine.
But today had been a particularly #nogoodhorribleverybad day. It hadn't been just his aid's comically terrible sign language, any more than it had been the stupid fire alarm that had gone off while Dan was in the bathroom trying desperately to finish a sheet of Algebra II problems #fuckhomework #seriously, or just the high school principal's cold fingers against his collar, dragging him through the door, or just his lips moving before Dan, before the entire school on the front lawn, his beet-red face, his fists pounding upwards, downwards through the air, the rising sense of terror as Dan slipped further and further into the realization that he had absolutely no idea what was happening to him, what was going on, what he was supposed to be doing, how to make the big scary man stop yelling. It wasn't just the sense of being twisted further and further into a knot of confusion as he tried desperately to read the principal's lips as they flew through the tirade, catching only something about "fire codes", "irresponsible", and "stupid", anymore than it was just the humiliation, the heat rising in his face as he'd walked through the crowd of kids on Baum's front lawn, feeling every eye in the school latched onto him as he took his place at the back with the other Special Ed kids. No, it was all of those things. I would be the one person who ends up with acidic lemon juice when trying to make lemonade with the lemons life gives him #happytweets, he tweeted, conscious both of how little of a shit he should be giving about any of this and of how fucking much he did.
But when he’d seen the text from Mikey erupt on his phone as he rounded the corner between the bus stop and his dorm, he’d been overwhelmed with a sudden happy sensation, a knowledge that he could finally put that stupid shit behind him. Mikey was in town, and Mikey wanted to hang out. Mikey. Mikey. #MIKEY!
And now he was in Mikey’s apartment, with a controller in his hands, beating the shit out of some zombies. Okay, #great. This was exactly what he’d needed. A reminder that he actually had some friends in the world, at least one person who wasn’t convinced that Dan was useless invalid, and the opportunity to take out his irritation on fictional dead bodies that walked around. #Ohtechnology.
Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, he saw that Mikey was signing. Or, the hands were attempting, at least. And that was all Dan could ask for, from most of these people at least. He watched Mikey’s hands intently, trying to divine all the words he could from the clumsy hands. Sorry…girl…upset…oh, okay. Someone hated him. Aforementioned girl, presumably. Some question. How do you…like you. Get people to like you.
You could lose those ridiculous boat shoes, for starters, Dan signed back instinctively. Okay, so he’d been saving that snarky retort for a while. #Whateverguys. Nobody needed to know.
The real question though. Hmmm. Well, you could get a twitter? he offered, lamely. Oh, and being a good listener. My brother says girls really like that, apparently.. Dan wouldn’t know, obviously. God, he was just the worst advice-giver in history.
you were never on your own