By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Larry's Bronx respite home had other disabled young adults living there. When he was 26, Larry remembers waking up to find one of his housemates in his bed. He called her Sazon, a spicy blend of seasonings, because despite her severe developmental disability, she was hot in the pants. She snuck up to his room after the staff went to sleep. Her mind didn't work well, but her body did. Larry functioned on a much higher level, but the sex was good and he didn't want to be the one responsible to cut it out. Plus, the sex every day was an enjoyable diet; he started losing weight.
Sazon asked him not to wear a condom. Larry always used condoms, remembering the lessons in his sex-ed class. Whenever he thought he was going to get lucky, he'd carry the condoms in a ziplock bag in his pocket; carrying them in his wallet made them yucky. Larry knew what she wanted: She wanted to have a baby, someone who would love her and fill the empty void inside. He knew it, because he felt it too. Despite the times they tried, she never got pregnant. After two and a half years, the staff found out. The state was contacted, and Larry moved out. He was faulted for making a bad decision. His higher IQ level made him responsible; he should have known not to have sex with someone with as little judgment as Sazon, let alone try to get her pregnant. The state just doesn't know where to put someone like Larrynot quite fitting into the disabled world where he's called responsible, or into the so-called normal world that keeps him at bay as well, often calling him irresponsible. Larry went on his way, assuming Sazon had been infertile, because he'd been tested; his sperm were virile, just waiting for the right moment.
Larry wants to leave a legacy. He'd like to have three boys: Lawrence Seiler Jr. (making an exception to the Jewish law that one is not supposed to name a child after oneself), Sammy Seiler (for Sammy Davis Jr.), and Joseph Seiler (for his deceased grandfather). His children will all take after him; they will all be advocates for the disabled. If they are disabled, that's OK; Larry knows where he can get all the services they will need. When Larry dies, his children will arrange a magnificent funeral. Larry will lie in repose like many great and respected men before himlike Gerald Ford, Martin Luther King, and Gandhi. There will be an hour of silence, and clips from his early life and his time anchoring for CBS will be playing on a huge screen behind him. On his tombstone, there will be etched, "creator and host of Special People Special Issues." His wife, who will be an exotic mixture of the model Iman and the figure skater Michelle Kwan, will also be there. She'll be in mourning, but so proud that Lawrence Joseph Seiler was her husband. She'll look back and remember their beautiful wedding day: Larry wore a white tux with long tails. Tons and tons of people were there. Larry pulled all the stops. It was at the New York Botanical Garden, a big venue and one hard to book, so people could tell the event was important. Special People Special Issues broadcast live from their ceremony. Everyone who tuned in could see that disabled people were normal; they got married, looked good in tuxes, and could attract smart and beautiful women. When Larry pulled the white veil over his bride's head, the way she looked at him was clear: She wanted him for him, for every fault that he had.
When Larry turned 31, he got rid of all his porn and vowed never to waste his money on that industry again. With the help of Luis Torres, an advocate who helps Larry budget his money and who has provided him the support of a second family, Larry said goodbye to bestiality and lonely lap danceswell, almost: He kept one tape, a soft-porn flick from Playboy. It features women doing nasty tricks in fast-food uniforms.
Larry never feels more normal than when he goes out with Luis. While out on the town, whether it's out to a movie or just for a corner-side burger, they scout out the women who pass and comment on their beauty. But there's always a distinction between Luis and Larry; it comes out when they interact with the so-called normal world, of which Luis is 100 percent part. Larry went with Luis to a Christmas party. All the women there were giving Luis hugs and kisses on the cheek. They were beautiful and dressed in tight holiday dresses; Larry wanted the hugs and kisses too. Even though Larry asked, the women walked away without indulging. He felt a flash of resentment. So what if they were Luis'sfriends? Larry is hisfriend too; shouldn't the benefits roll over?
Then there was a woman Larry met through Luisone of his neighbors. Larry calls her Fatback, because she's black and has a generous layer of skin. He gave her a card with his number on it and asked her out to coffee. She always hugged him when she said hello, giving him hope that a relationship could grow, but she never even called him. That hugging stuff, it's so superficial. She didn't even look past the outer facade to see the sexy man inside. People just don't get him. The rejection couldn't be for any other reason than the obvious one: because he's disabled.