Christopher introduces himself, informing the reader that he knows a lot about geography and prime numbers. Eight years ago, he tells us, he met his teacher Siobhan. She showed him pictures of cartoon faces with various expressions, but he couldn’t say which expression fit which emotion. He had Siobhan make a guide of various faces and what they meant, but it didn’t work very well when he tried to use it to decode real people’s expressions. He eventually tore it up, so now if he doesn’t understand someone, he asks for clarification or just leaves the conversation.
This chapter provides insight into Christopher’s character, implying that he has an autism spectrum condition, since he can’t interpret people’s facial expressions. However, he proves that he’s comfortable being who he is, and doesn’t hesitate to advocate for himself in interactions with people who don’t understand how his brain works. Christopher portrays himself as very smart, with an excellent memory.