Saturday, August 21, 2010

Part 14 of "Miracle Boy”

Two weeks later my photo appears in the Daily News, another paper my family never gets but we do this time. I don't pay attention to the words under the picture, but Alec tells me it says Santa cares about Jerry's kids. I have trouble understanding the phrase "Jerry's kids" because, for one thing, I've never met Jerry. I'm even invited to appear in the New York studios during the next Labor Day telethon, but still never meet Jerry. I meet the hosts of TV's Wonderama, Sonny Fox and Bob McAllister, at a later fund-raising event, but that's about as exciting as it gets.

When I'm eight, I pose for a full-page magazine ad "standing" in uncomfortable leg braces under the caption, "If I grow up I want to be a fireman." If? My life expectancy is normal. Mom and Dad and Dr. Spiro have told me so. Sure, I want to be famous but don't spread lies about me! Besides, I don't want to be a fireman. It's someone else's boyhood fantasy, someone who can walk and climb, perhaps, but not mine. I want to be a superhero, a police detective, a starship captain, a brilliant scientist like Dr. Quest on Jonny Quest, but never a fireman. I keep my fingers crossed behind my back as the camera clicks. I visualize a secret laboratory and computerized panels in an attempt to communicate by E.S.P. my true desires. Afterward I tell Mom I want to quit being a poster child. She asks if I'm sure but offers no further objection.

The truth is, I'm beginning to recognize that I'm not particularly interested in being able to walk.


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