“Free at last!”, he thought and was taken to a waiting room where he sat, waiting, for half an hour. To be precise: 36 minutes and 52 seconds. He did not know whether that timing was irony or fate or both. Nobody told him. He did not ask. It was all new to him. It was a once in a lifetime thing. On the hour a shadow grew on the semi-transparent door whose milky appearance was being watched by five pairs of eager eyes. They had dropped in at irregular intervals and they had not said a word. Nor had he. Eyes had crossed from time to awkward time. Eyes had then been averted swiftly to stare at the milky door hoping to be free again from this torture of captivity.
The consultant’s door swung open and she said merrily: “I’m Hyacinth and I will be your coach. Thank the Ministry of Innovation.”, the way she said it included the capitalization. The Ministry was to be thanked so we murmured “tandeministrovation” – and she looked at us the way one looks at naughty children who still have a lot to learn. And we had, and only a limited time to learn it in, so “Come, come,” she said, “we have a lot of work to get through today.” We went meekly and took the places assigned to our names in the typical ministerial cleanroom, a spacious co-working place designed to stimulate creativity. I felt a little drab. “Chins up!”, she said, pointing to a whiteboard wall, “Here’s our plan for the rest of the day.”
Diagnosed at 48 I am one of those whom people find it hard to accept as autistic. I find it hard to accept the pressure to feel somehow happy about it. That pressure comes under the form of “now you know, you can better learn to live with it”. At the end of The Bridge season 4, the therapist tells Saga Norèn to finally do “what she wants” now she’s liberated from the doubt and guilt that marked her struggle in life. This is disastrous advise in my opinion, and more disastrous still in the case of autism, and this post tries to say why. It’s a post that runs counter to a certain feeling in autistic circles that you can embrace it and find success in life. It’s not a happy post as I refuse to be recovered by a modern fashion to see everything in the light of success. I believe that is autistic as well and maybe I’ll be able to start to explain why.
From riches to rags, raving mad, he sat, solitarily, in his bed. Time and time again a story, a tune, had emerged with a plot that felt it could thicken but just proved to be thick. And, so, he found himself, as ever, on the losing side. The side that did not get sympathy, being still associated to previous success. What he wanted to be was a challenger. He knew that there was no cause left.
His nose was all there. He did not grow sticky feet overnight. Not even that. He just sat, in not so eager anticipation of a plot twist. The story was all out of him. The music had died, and so did he in that very moment. Pufffff, when the air goes out of a wrinkly balloon it’s not even an event. Be specific, he thought. Do something, he shouted to himself, hearing it as the faintest whisper.
Get yourself the fuck back on track.
Posted in JoB
Studying is essentially still this: converting stuff in books to stuff in brains. In order to do well in school you have to have a large storage and excellent read/write access to it. Very much as if processor, programming and sensitivity to context do not matter. It is like our education system is stuck in not caring about anything but our memory capacity. And so it produces the new standard uniform class of power people who have muscled memory, and the disciplined balls that go with it. I’ll try to explain why this is as unnecessary as it is bad and why it’s nevertheless unlikely to change.
They tell me it’s difficult for all of us. The thing is that I know I’m not one of them. Pitch is black. Color is blue. I remember things about wanting to be a member of things. I wasn’t entirely bad at it. Some people were jealous. It seemed like I got it all. It didn’t seem at all like I didn’t get any of it. That’s how easy it is. Yet so difficult. So bloody difficult. Like you want to be run over by a truck.
My half of the car shred to pieces with me in it. Recognizable but maimed. Smiling ready for the thumbs up selfie. He finally made it. Pfew. Instagram it and dare people to like it. I would (dare people, not like it). What’s not to like about the life that once used to be mine to the detriment of everybody around me. Maimed they are and I was the truck. Things it is impossible to say nowadays.
Let’s be normal. Except I’m not. Div zero like thus:
Posted in JoB
Tagged personal, self
For famous people it’s refreshing to get out and about without being recognized. At least, so I’m told. Not being famous it’s a feeling I fear I must go without. I feel like an emperor without clothes who – if noticed at all – is noticed for feeling like one despite his clothes. I have no claim to fame nor is it fame that I claim. I do think I have something to say and, I wonder: is there a correlation between having something to say and being famous? It is certainly a matter of fact that many who are thought to have something to say have, first, said something which made them infamous.
The thing is, confused or not, if you wear the heavy garb of an emperor it has to feel light to be able to shed it. Maybe it even feels enlightening. The other thing though is that once enlightened you can go back to your uniform and feel positively sure you’ll impress. That is the way of your subjects, you can rest assured that they’ll bow for your garb. Or maybe hiss at it. Whichever way, your difference will never be met with indifference.
Let’s imagine I’m born an emperor who has never been crowned. Can I be incognito?
Posted in JoB
It’s such fun to see how people are ever so busy to make our problems go away. They are so busy to the point of being blind to the many marvels of our ways. How many stop and wonder at the world of wonder lying buried behind our wonkish eyes?
“Oh”, I hear you say, “but you have so many problems, and not only because you cause them too”. And that’s oh so true. We live with our problems from day to sleepless night, in which we wonder what problems – on top of our own – we are causing you.
The thing is though that in between all of our problems – and between all of the problems we cause you – we have a life that sometimes is worth living too. If you’ll just let us live it in the way we oddly do, you may wonder if it doesn’t even have something in it for you.
So if you have the time, stop and wonder at my merry autistic ways. Maybe you would at some time like to do some research on that some time too?
Posted in JoB
Tagged ASD, autism