Epiphany #96 “One Moment”

            I stood in the doorway and watched her.  She was tired.  Exhausted.  She ran her hand through her long, curly red hair as she got up from the bed.  She took small barefooted steps across the tile floor to the white bassinet in the corner.  She bent over it, peering in at the noise coming out before she reached both hands in.  The small little bundle of blanket was making a racket now.  I could see his tiny little scarlet face pinched tight with mouth wide.  She held him tight against her chest and shook her head.  For a moment, I could see in her eyes that she felt as if she was bailing the sea with teacups.  She was overwhelmed and weary.  She bent to one side and picked a diaper up off the changing table on her way back to the bed.  She turned and sat down on the edge of the bed.  The screaming package was insistent, now, diminutive limbs waving wildly as she placed it on the bed.  She worked mechanically.  Opening the diaper, dabbing at what lie beneath, rolling the diaper into a nice little bundle and then replacing it with a dry one.  The screaming started to subside a little.  She picked it up again and looked into the little face.  It was only slightly less crimson than it had been when she first picked it up.  She used one arm to fluff the pillows up behind her and she moved back into them.  The quilted parcel was now cradled in her arms.  She made herself comfortable and pulled a blanket over her purple plaid flannel pajama bottoms.  Her fingers worked to undo the buttons of the top as she held the shrieking infant up to her breast and pushed the nipple into the caverous hole that now opened to accept it.  She looked down at the blonde head cradled in her hand and leaned back against the wall.  Her eyes closed for a moment and started to sing, “The ants go marching one by one…”  A coughing sound forced her eyes open and down.  She adjusted his head and he suckled greedily.  She continued to sing.  The baby quieted and his eyes locked with hers.  She smiled at him and raised him up over her shoulder patting him until she heard a satisfied burp.  She held him in front of her and smiled at the blonde curls that covered his head.  She brought him close and smelled him.  He had that wonderful new baby smell of baby lotion and powder. She whispered, “I love you” to him and cuddled him.  Finally, he was no longer the awful crying dirty diaper machine that she’d been living with for the last six weeks.  She was in love with him.

Lost jobs and other randomness

     Just a few random notes about losing my job.  Things that I have been thinking about.  People don’t realise that  for a neurotypical person to lose their job, it’s upsetting and maybe even knocks them off kilter for a few days.  For a person on the spectrum, it is devastating.  I know that it’s not a personal effront in this case.  It wasn’t because of something to do with the Asperger’s as many of my lost jobs have been in the past.  It was about money.  I was told that, anyway.  In typical Asperger’s fashion, I wonder.  I always think that it was some sort of personal degradation.  Something about me was just too horrible to work with anymore.  Losing your job feels as if you are being made obsolete as a person.  For someone on the spectrum, it feels as if we are being made obsolete as functioning members of the planet.  This is a big jump for most people, I understand.  However, it does feel as if  you are being told that there is something so extremely dysfunctional about you that you should no longer be allowed to exist.

      My first reaction upon losing a job, as always is to go home and just curl up under the covers to sleep.  I thanked God that my GED class was cancelled that night because I was sure that I couldn’t even cope with their stuff combined with my stuff.  I went home and actually cried.  My husband was scared, I think.  I never have normal reactions to things and this reaction seemed like the normal reaction that someone should be having.  I’m sure it took him a minute to figure out if he was in the right house with the right wife.  It probably was a very surreal moment for him.

     I know certain things are true.  I know that I have talents and assets that any employer would be lucky to have.  I also, by the same token, realise that I have this very anti-social difference that makes it difficult for me to fit in.  It makes it difficult for me to just go on.  I will be stuck in this feeling of being personally rejected for awhile.  It will take me a little bit to get back on the horse.  I usually sit around for a week and don’t do much.  I get absorbed in little projects that make me feel good.  Because it’s like a bandaid smothered in aloe vera.  I need to repair my poor bruised ego before I can go back to rejoin the real world again.  I’m sorry, but that’s how my system operates.  I can’t feel sorry for myself, so I baby myself with obsessions, instead.

      Will I find another job?  Yes, eventually, I will find another job.  Will it be as great as the one I just left.  Maybe. Maybe not.  Will I ever feel like a fit in just a little again?  I don’t know.  Will I have friends in a job again?  I don’t know.  Will I miss those things from this job?  Definitely.  This job was the longest that I have ever been employed anywhere.  It’s the first job that I felt like I was truly successful with. It’s the first job that made me truly happy about what I did.  It’s the first job that I made friends and did things outside of work with people.  I have learned to widen my scope and my world with this job.  I am really grateful for that. There is a lot to be said for that feeling of acceptance and semblence of safety.  When you live in a neurotypical world where you know the right thing to do always and where everything makes sense automatically, it’s hard to understand how that feeling is special.  I am not an easy person to get along with.  I am not an easy person to understand.  I am brilliantly witty in small doses.  I am fantastically funny in a wry and sardonic way.  Is everyone comfortable with this?  Of course not.  All I can do is be comfortable with myself.  The more comfortable I am with me as I am, the better that other people get at being comfortable with me and others like me.

    That’s what I strive to do.  Make people understand that not all autistic people are off the “typical rainman type” of autism.  We are a spectrum.  We are all different.  We crave the same things that non-autistic people do.

Epiphany #99 “Rashomon”

Epiphany #99 “Rashomon”

May 7, 2007 1.16 PM  Devan

The sidewalk rushed by in hues of pinks and light greys.  The sky was clear blue and no clouds marred the view.  The street was creeping by in boxes of black, red, and white.  I shifted in my ergonomic chair and tried to adjust the focus of camera 7.  I was going to have to go out and clean off the lens again, the thought of which sent a slight shiver up my spine. I had designed the perfect observation station.  It was the truly the study in point of view that I loved. I could see everything around me for what seemed like miles. It was beautiful.  Almost as beautiful as the red haired girl.

May 7, 2007 1.16 PM Sarah

            I walked down the sidewalk feeling the warm sun on my skin. I loved this stretch of sidewalk in the arts district, even though I could never shake the feeling of being watched. I looked up, it was absolutely cloudless and I loved the glorious feeling of the fading of spring and the beginning of summer melting together seamlessly. I had broken out a new pink suit for today and I was feeling positive as I walked purposefully toward my interview.  This was the day.  I could feel it. 

May 7, 2007 1.16 PM Officer Stanton

I like to keep things moving in my neighborhood.  It’s a busy little stretch of sidewalk in the arts district and the people are….well, interesting.  I don’t really understand what goes on down here, but I swore to keep it a little safer.  I looked up at the corner of the brownstone that sat at the crossroads of the district.  The cameras were busy.  Devan was awake, alert, and watchful as always.  I wondered if that kid ever slept and how in the hell he maintained those cameras. 

May 7, 2007 1.16 PM Peter Summerhill

            I glanced out the window as I wiped tables down.  Damn kids would sit all morning taking up the space of paying customers and nursing one coffee. They made huge messes for no more than what they spent.  They sat pretending to be artists with no idea of what it really took to express themselves.  Fucking posers.

            I heard the argument before I saw it.  The voices were loud and gruff.  I hated my location sometimes.  I thought being sandwiched between a bar and a tattoo parlour would be good.  Stupid of me.  I walked over to the window and looked out.  The voices were getting angrier and it sounded like they were about to come to blows. 

May 7, 2007 1.18 PM Devan

            I moved camera 15 so that I could see what was going on across the street near the café.  Two big, heavily tattooed guys were standing toe to toe on the sidewalk with faces red and angry.  I saw the café owner craning his neck to look out.  The red haired girl was walking brisklly up the sidewalk.  She stopped and looked behind her.  A taxi was stopped in the middle of the street and the driver was yelling at another car. His arms were waving wiidly and the other driver was rolling his window up quickly.

May 7, 2007 1.18 PM Sarah

            I heard the tires screeching and turned to look as the cab driver got out of his taxi and started screaming at a Mercedes.  The driver of the Mercedes was rolling up his window quickly.  I could see his face disappearing behind the tinted glass.  I felt a slam against my face and fell backwards onto the sidewalk.  The sky went grey and fuzzy around the edges.

May 7, 2007 1.18 PM Officer Stanton

            I was looking in the window of some faggy little shop with lots of little trinkets in the window when  I heard the yelling. I turned quickly and called it in on my walkie as I started to run across the street.  Just when my feet both touched down onto the asphalt, I heard the tires screech and felt a hard bump against my thigh that made me skip a little to my left.  I quickly regained my footing and saw the cabbie was out of his car and yelling at a silver 2005 Mercedes.   I assessed they could take care of themselves and skirted between them.  I headed toward the tattoo parlor with the beefy tat covered guys yelling at each other.  It was going to be a great afternoon.

May 7, 2007 1.18 PM  Peter Summerhill

            I saw the policeman get smacked in the leg with a taxi as he ran across the street.  It was just about the same time that I saw the flash of red and pink fall in front of the window.  I ran out my front door into the warm spring day, ripping off my apron and tucking it under a girl’s head.  Her face was bloody and her eyes rolled back as I asked her if she was okay.  I looked up and yelled at the policeman for help.  I don’t think he heard me over everything else.  I fumbled in my pants pocket for my cell and dialed 911.

May 7, 2007 1.20 PM Devan

            The girl fell on monitor 15.  The café owner was putitng his apron under her head and yelling at the people on the street.  Camera 22 showed the policeman trying to separate the two freaks at the tattoo parlor.  My phone rang shrilly and I jumped.  I looked at it for two rings before I remembered what I was supposed to do.  “Hello?” My voice squeaked from disuse. 

            “Devan, this is the dispatcher at CMPD.  Did you see what happened at the café?”

            I stumbled over the words.  “Yeah, I have it all on file.”

            “I’ll send on officer over, can you make me a DVD?” I nodded and swallowed hard. “Devan? Can you do that for me?”


            “Thanks.  The officer will be there within a half hour.”  I put the phone down and got to work.

Epiphany #21 Clothes

        She raised the dress over her head and pulled the smooth silk down over her form.  She smoothed it over her hips and saw the skirt flare gently around her mid calves. It was perfect.  She looked down and slipped on the block heeled pumps.  As her feet settled in and she straightened, she looked in the mirror.  She could see herself in three angles.  The fabric of the dress clung to her and she straightened the bow that hung on one side of the square cut neck.  She made a little spin and watched the dress flow out gently and slowly settle in flowing curves. 

            As she stopped her spin and looked in the mirror again, Mara thought about the night that she had planned.  She had finally been invited to a Hollywood party. She could hardly believe her luck.  She was actually starting to leave small town Ohio behind and concentrate on her career.  She was actually being billed as a starlet, which meant a fifty dollar pay increase in her packet every week.  Her pay envelopes every week were more money than her dad made in a month.  Who would have guessed that little mousy haired Mara from Dayton, Ohio would end up in Hollywood, actually costarring in movies.  She looked at the tag on the dress and saw that it was $25.  A few minutes later, back in her old dress, she was paying the clerk.  It was her first major purchase and she was exhilarated.

            Rudolph looked down at the bleached blonde girl in the pink dress and shoes.  She had been drinking all night and there were stains down the front of her dress from where she had gotten sloppy from the champagne. She had followed him around like a love sick puppy dog all night and finally, in frustration, he had pushed her away from him.  She had toppled backward on her heels and tripped over one of the little stone cherubs that were stationed all around the pool.  What stupid things, he thought.  The blonde had been prettier in the evening, but now she lay before him with blood pooling around her head and her skull exposed from a gaping cut.  It was his first murder of a starlet and he was excited.

            Sara silently took the brown paper bag from the funeral director. She knew that it contained the pink dress and shoes that her sister had been wearing the night she was killed.  She stared at the bag on her lap and felt the sadness threatening to engulf her again.  She didn’t know how she was going to live without her sister.  They had come into the world only seconds apart after sharing the same womb for nine months.  Her sisters move had caused their first separation ever.  She looked inside the bag and saw the soft mauve dress inside. She felt the weight of the shoes through the bottom of the bag.  She felt separated.

Christine walked down the street with purpose.  She had just gotten paid.  She looked up to see the familiar outline of purple neon around the window of Heathers, her favourite vintage stop.  She saw a gorgeous soft mauve dress on the dress form that Heather used as a display.  She put her hand on the doorknob and took a deep breath before walking in.  The little shop was no bigger than her bedroom had been growing up and it was stuffed with items from the past.  Christine looked around and marveled at the items that were beckoning her to step backwards in time for just a minute.

            “Hi, Christine,” she heard from somewhere behind the giant round rack that dominated the right side of the room.  She saw a peacock feather poke up first and then slowly, a midnight blue hat appeared followed quickly by Heather.  She was a stout woman that had bob cut auburn hair.  She walked toward Christine with her arms outstretched ready for a hug.  “It seems like forever since I saw you.  “You’re not cheating on me with another vintage store are you?” 

            Christine looked at her with mouth agape. “Heather, you know better.  Our relationship is special.  I would never cheat on you.”  She accepted the other woman’s hug and looked at her closely.

            “Well, look at you Ms. Stylish with your little blonde spit curls and your spectator shoes.  I told you those shoes would be spectacular.”  Christine grinned as she looked down at the brown and white shoes that Heather had found at an estate auction last summer. 

            “I couldn’t do it without you, Heather.  I would love see the dress in the window.”

            “Isn’t it great?”  Christine nodded as her friend hurried to the window and whisked the slick fabric over the top of the dress dummy.  She picked the shoes up on her way out of the space and turned.  “You’ll never believe me when I tell you about it.  Go…”  Heather motioned her back toward the dressing room at the back of the room.  Christine wound her way through the racks and shelves that all smelled of history and time.  She stepped behind the curtain that hung from an ovular fixture.  Heather handed her the dress and the shoes then grabbed the heavy brocade drape, jerking it around the curtain rod, concealing Christine behind it.

            “Wait until you hear.  I got it at an estate sale in Hollywood.  It belonged to a starlet.”  Christine raised the dress over her head and pulled the smooth silk down over her form.  She smoothed it over her hips and saw the skirt flare gently around her mid calves. It was perfect.  She looked down and slipped on the block heeled pumps.  As her feet settled in and she straightened, she looked in the mirror.  She could see herself in three angles.  The fabric of the dress clung to her and she straightened the bow that hung on one side of the square cut neck.  She made a little spin and watched the dress slow out gently and slowly settle in flowing curves.  She was exhilarated.

Of shitheads and other dastardly beings

January 6, 2010

I’ve come to the conclusion that some people that you meet in life will always be shitheads and that it is completely out of your control to do anything about it.  I’ve had more than my fair share of stupid shit in the last three years.  I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming through most of it.  Today, I am still standing and none of it has kicked my ass.  Knocked me down and left lots of unsightly bruises, but not killed me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m feeling pretty bitter about most of it.  I think that I have every right to be.  When I think about all the injustices in the midst of all this, I want to scream.  I just don’t think it would do any good.  I try to not slip into melancholy and apathy.  Damned difficult on most days.

I sit and wonder about everything. I overanalyze it and turn it around and around in my head, trying to examine every angle and figure out every move.  It never seems to change anything and I never seem to find any answers.  Thanks to the Asperger’s, I obsess about it.  That’s where the overanalyzing comes in.  I wish there were a script for every moment in life and that everyone else followed the script as well as we need to.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those little unpredictable awful moments that leave the pit of your stomach feeling absolutely bottomless, suddenly weren’t?  What if we could actually have some modicum of control over them.

The thing that’s the hardest about living on the spectrum is that uncertainty.  The failure to act based on the not knowing.  I do” x” and expect you to do” a” but instead you do “m” which makes no freaking sense whatsoever.  In frustration, I do “j” which is completely not the right thing to do which pisses you off and makes me the most horrible person in the universe. 

I over compensate in these situations. My radiant wit which looks really and truly sharp most of the time, all on a sudden becomes absolutly dull and intolerable.  I reach for the script and it is not there.  This just degenerates as I’m sure that you’ve witnessed.  By this time, I usually have said something absolutely not socially acceptable.

Another question I have to ask, what the hell does socially acceptable mean, anyway.  Whose society is this that determines what is acceptable?  It certainly wasn’t my society.  Can you imagine what the rules of society would look like if society was ruled by Asperger’s people?  I imagine it sometimes.  A world where there was no such phrase as “social faux pas”.  A world where nothing ever looks “weird” because weird is normal.  I’m starting to get excited.

I was in the book store the other day and I overheard such a disturbing conversation and I just wanted to run up to the child and hug her.  The mother had two children in tow. One pre-teen and one teenager.  The teenager was trying to talk the mother into leaving. The pre-teen was clutching an armload of books.  I smiled to myself thinking of how I was at that age.  pre-teen who incidently was a daughter, was telling her mother that her friend so and so had told her that a certain vampire series was really good.  The mother suddenly went into a major diatribe about how the daughter was glorifying death and how tired she was of the craziness of glorifying death all the time.  It was terrible that the daughter was trying to act so weird all the time and she needed to be normal.  This is where my spontaneous hug was screaming to come out of me.  I looked at this daughter.  She was skinny as a rail and looked like a boy complete with ultra short and not even stylish haircut.  Her clothes were far from anything that would be considered stylish.  But here she was, trying to stretch her weirdity just a glimmer, and she was being squashed.

I remember this feeling. I remember hearing, “Why can’t you be like everyone else? Why can’t you just do it like everyone else? Why do you make everything so hard?  Why can’t you just stop being weird?”  I tried. I wanted to.  No matter what I did, I could never do it like everyone else.  I could walk toward the door in the exact same outfit that the head cheerleader did and the at the last second, I would slide on my old chucks or a rhinestone something and it was all for naught. 

What people don’t realise is how much courage it takes to live through being so weird.  How the difference deposits on your soul and makes you kick yourself in frustration.  After awhile, you start to think that there’s something truly wrong with you.  If you’re lucky, you learn that it’s not you that is the problem. It’s the world.  We have to fight everyday to put a little bit of us out there so that the world starts to learn to live with us.  Pretty scary endeavor for a 5’2″ former redhead with lots of purple streaks in her hair.  I’m only one little Asperger’s girl in this universe.  I need help.  I can’t do it alone alhthough by definition, I should be doing it alone.  The definition only guarantees that I’m more comfortable doing it alone. 

Most people don’t realise that I have Asperger’s. I’m smart. I don’t expose people for too long at one sitting.  I make my quirks into funny little mistakes.  I can laugh at myself, thank goodness.  I was in a meeting today where the special ed director told the job coach that I would be training that I was the best person to do this because of my own special issues (as if rhinestones were a problem).  The job coach looked at me expectantly.  I looked blank.  The special ed director finally aluded to me disclosing that I was autistic.  I wouldn’t have had any more of a clue if she’d kicked me.  So then, I had to tell the job coach that I was Asperger’s and that my son was Asperger’s.  I wasn’t exactly sure how this was relevant, but somehow I was dragged to the “workshop” and was suddenly asked for all sorts of suggestions to help the spectrum kids. I’m glad to do it, don’t get me wrong, but it was weird. Much weirder than me, that’s for sure.

I have to think of it as opening a gate.  I will continue to do that.

Depsite the shitheads and the other dunderheads in my universe.  I’m glad this rant got turned around. It was starting to look bad.  I pulled it together and made it positive. Not a talent I display very often!

Epiphany #172: Arrivals

            Mara’s eyes opened slowly.  At first, it felt like any lazy Sunday morning at home.  Except for the pounding headache.  She tried to sit up, but found that her body would not move.  She blinked, trying to get some of the morning crustiness from sleeping in her contacts out of her eyes. They were dry and itchy with that wonderful burning sensation caused by her eye make up having found it’s way into her eyes rather than just decorating them.  She tried to assess what was happening, but was getting nowhere fast. It seemed as if her brain was sluggish and her body wasn’t even responding.She decided to look around the room but didn’t see anything that gave her the most remote clue as to where she was or how she got there.  The room was plain and white.  So white, in fact, that it almost hurt her already abused feeling eyes.  The bed was the only real furniture that she could tell, but she sensed that there was a table in the room where she couldn’t see.

            The man walked down the hallway slowly, savoring the moment of his impending arrival.  He padded down the hallway in his slippers, pausing outside of the first door in the hallway.  He put his ear to the door and listened.  There was no sound.  He knew that there wouldn’t be. He had insulated the rooms himself.  He had especially enjoyed the woman on the other side of this door.  He looked at the small screen that he had mounted next to the door and pushed the blue button that would allow him to see into the room.  There were four cameras mounted in the room and this allowed him to see the woman from every angle.  Her eyes were fluttering opened and closed. He could tell that she was trying to process what was happening to her.  He pressed the button that turned the monitor off and walked down the hall.

            Dakota was starting to panic.  Her mouth was dry and her throat was sore from screaming.  She hadn’t seen anyone since she had woken up here.  Occasionally, she felt as if she were being watched. The room she was in was blindingly white.  She had been drifting in and out of sleep.  She couldn’t feel any part of her body except for her head, which had been pounding since she had first woken up here.  She only felt safe when she was asleep, but suspected that she was somehow being drugged.  She had woken up to see little things changed. A table had appeared with a water pitcher on it.  Sometimes it was full of ice water, sometimes not.  There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

            The man watched the woman scream silently on the small monitor next to her door.  He desperately wanted to hear her, but knew that sound in the hallway would be heard by others.  Not that he had ever had visitors.  It was getting to be close to time for this one.  She had dark hair and piercing hazel eyes.  He didn’t know what had attracted her to him. She was different than the others.  He would miss this one.  She even screamed in her sleep.  He watched her drift off to sleep again.  He turned the monitor off here, too. Then continued down the hall.

            Susanna was tired. She didn’t think she’d eaten for a long time.  Her stomach was growling and had been for a long time. She’d lost track of time because her sleep was all messed up. She’d stopped wondering where she was.  She’d stopped wondering why.  She felt terrible.  After she had woken up the first time and vomited from the headache that she had, she had been given a little more movement.  Now she could turn her head enough to actually vomit over the edge of the table.  She didn’t know how she still had anything to vomit, it seemed mostly like bile and left an awful acidic taste in her throat that burned.  She felt the bile rising in her again and she turned her head to throw up.  Her body convulsed against what she figured was straps.  She closed her eyes and swallowed hard.

            The man swallowed with her.  The little blonde girl was starting to lose weight already.  He didn’t really like cleaning up after the pukers, but it was a hazard of the hobby.  He didn’t like having to loosen the straps that held the girls down, but he also treasured watching them.  This one was getting messy.  He turned the monitor off here too and continued to the last room in the hallway.

            Krista was lying on the bed curled up in a ball.  There weren’t any thoughts in her head anymore.  She hadn’t moved in a few days.  The man watched her for some time every day, but it hadn’t changed in three days.  He knew that she had gone, but he was enjoying the thought of what he had done.  He smiled.  It felt odd, but it was good.  This girl was going to look beautiful in his album.  She looked so angelic with her blonde hair splayed out behind her.  He’d brushed it until it shone.  She was so beautiful.  He went to the hall closet and opened it.  He reached in and took the digital camera off of the shelf.  Digital cameras were so much better than film.  He smiled again as he thought of how these pictures were going to look.  He turned back around and stopped in front of the door taking one last look at the monitor as he put his hand on the knob and started to turn.