They say I’m too loud, too odd, too absurd.
They say because I’m smart, I should be calm and mature.
Quiet and calculated.
I’m too easily surprised, too emotive, too outspoken.
Always speaking, saying nothing
But movie references
And gibberish.

I used to be withdrawn, reserved, silent.
I would have shown you nothing, no hint of personality.
Every day I wore my mask,
And every night I wept, alone.
So maybe now I talk too much
Or too loud,
But it hurts less.

You’re never just invisible.
You’re never just unseen.
Everyone talks over you.
Everyone ignores you.
So what, if now I talk too loud?
It’s better than being invisible.

– Joseph Aldridge, 2017