Jack by Samantha Mattox

Tired, have you ever been tired? Bone tired, weary, like you’re running on nothing but fumes?

I love summer camp, I do, I promise! I just—

I get tired. Real tired. The kinda tired they talk about in old books where the character dies at the end. I get bone weary.

Buses are loud, loud like hurricanes. But worse because hurricanes are a force of nature and don’t have a choice in their awe-striking voices—

I can’t handle another dozen off-key renditions of the current Top Ten Pop Playlist. 

I want to be home. 

I can’t look out the window without my brain trying to leak out of my eyes, you know? Everything a blur, are we really going that fast when a bus doesn’t even have seatbelts? 

I’m tired. 

But the rumble of the bus and the blurring of the trees and high-pitched voices of my friends, acquaintances, and annoyances, keep me awake. 

You ever been bored? 

Bored out of your mind while your head hurts and you’re exhausted and no one wants to stop talking. 

Summer camp is fun. 

But bus rides will be better when it’s cold enough that I have a hood to cover my head.

Samantha Mattox is a highschooler from Knoxville, Tennessee. She hopes her writing will show a neurodivergent view of the world few people get to experience.

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