Jerry From the novel “Tangled Ties to a Manatee” by Kalen Cap

Who are you?

I’m Jerry. I work at the Court Jester Coffee Shop. I clean it good. I get to work by riding my bike my Aunt Vera gave me. I’m the only one in the group home with my own bike.

I like animals a lot. My favorite animal is a manatee named Ankh. By following the directions written out beside my computer, I can watch her on the zoo’s webcam each day for a little while.

Where do you live?

Like I said, I live at the group home. They teach us stuff so we can one day live on our own. At least I hope I get to. Aunt Vera says I have to study hard and behave for them at the group home. Aunt Vera’s the one that took care of me once my mom passed away when I was sixteen.

Do you have any handicaps?

My body’s okay. I’m slow in the head though, but not as slow as others in my group home. Except for Caroline. Mrs. Washington, she works there, she says Caroline can “give me a run for my money.” I think Mrs. Washington’s wrong about that though. I don’t like Caroline much. But she never chased after me for money that I can remember.

What do you want?

What I want is to be treated just like a regular guy. I want to be able to be on my own. But, there’s still stuff I don’t know how to do by myself yet.

I went to this different place for my haircut yesterday and I think nobody there could tell I had “special needs.” ‘Course, they could just been being nice and pretending they didn’t know. But nobody there treated me funny. I liked that.

So, being a regular guy on my own, and being treated regular. That’s what I want.

What was your childhood like?

When I was a kid, school was hard. I didn’t get it. Now, they’re teaching me how to work around some of my learning problems. So, learning the easy stuff is better, but they got me learning harder stuff now.

As a kid, I had bullies that gave me a rough time, but I had friends, too. It was kind of hard for me to make friends though. But, mom was good to me. And my aunts too, though they’re not the same as mom.

What is your most closely guarded secret?

I don’t have too many secrets. I do keep quiet about sometimes knowing what animals are feeling, but that’s just because Aunt Vera doesn’t like it. She thinks that’s crazy talk.

My mom didn’t think it was crazy though. She thought it was a gift and said I was supposed to keep it a secret.

Uh oh. I wasn’t supposed to tell you that. It only happens sometimes though, so maybe you could just forget I told you.

Do you have any skills?

I do hide good. Before I got taken out of regular school’s special ed when I was little, another kid taught me how to hide. And I practiced and practiced, and got pretty good at it. Mostly I hid from bullies. But, sometimes I hid at home, too.

Who is your true love?

Janelle is real pretty and smart. She goes to college. She was supposed to volunteer for the zoo trip today, but she got Gavin to sub for her instead.

I was careful not to let no one see, but I teared up when I found out she wasn’t coming today.

What makes you angry?

One thing that makes me mad is getting teased.

I put on some cologne this morning, before I knew Janelle cancelled on us, and Mrs. Washington said it was too much. Then Caroline teased me about it. The others teased me, too. Then, at the zoo, after finding out the manatee building was closed, I got mad. Then, everybody started teasing me about liking Janelle. So, I got even madder and ran off.

What in your past would you like to forget?

I would like to forget getting knocked out by Craig a couple of hours ago. He’s the big guy with Stan. I came across them after I left the group at the zoo. I just wanted to cool off some, but I guess I was snooping around, and I got caught. Craig walloped me hard, so I’d like to forget that. But, I can’t since my head hurts and they got me tied up in this basement.

They say they’ll let me go after this job at the high voltage place is done. But, I got a job, too, and I’m supposed to be at work tomorrow morning.

Are you honorable?

I had to ask what that means. But, if it means doing the right thing because that’s the right thing to do, then I try to be honorable. I work when I’m supposed to work. I do my studies like I’m supposed to. I don’t lie hardly at all. I’m nice to most people most of the time. Oh, except maybe Caroline. She bugs me too much. But everybody else, I’m mostly nice to.

So, I’m not perfect, but honorable enough, I think.


Author website:

The novel is available at in paperback –

& kindle ebook –

One Response to “Jerry From the novel “Tangled Ties to a Manatee” by Kalen Cap”

  1. Kalen Cap Says:

    […] That’s why I’m glad to announce that the character, Jerry, from Tangled Ties to a Manatee has his first interview posted in Pat Bertram’s blog. You can read the interview here. […]

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