I don’t know when it all started. I mean, it was nearly fifty years ago and I’m only now understanding how being a high functioning rustic person has had an effect on my life. I would have written this blog differently at a past point in my life. At a time I just thought I was eccentric. During the time I’d tell people, “I’m half human and half Vulcan.” During the time when autism wasn’t something anyone knew anything about. Way back, way back before Rain Man.
I used to walk around the edge of the large playground crying in first grade. For kick ball we’d all line up and they’d pick who they wanted on the teams. Most days I was left over. One of the “they” was by my friend. His name was Jason. But he didn’t seem to care. He had his other best friend there. A guy named Jason. I didn’t understand how sometimes he’d be my best friend, but when we were at school he didn’t seem to know who I was. But I didn’t think too much on it. I just walked away and spent every weekday walking the edges of the playground balling my eyes out. I didn’t think much more on it. Autism didn’t exist. And how the boys were acting was…as I believed back then…just how it was. I didn’t get picked for either kick ball team so I was just out of luck.
“Buck up, Buttercup,” as I like to say these days.
But when I look back on my life, I see hundreds of examples of people bullying on me—when I was just acting like a high functioning austist.
Before and after church service, I remember people regularly telling me I should smile. “It takes more muscles to frown than to smile,” they’d explain. I’d answer—like a verbal autistic person, “It takes no muscles to neither frown nor smile.”
In middle school I’d spent my lunches in the band room, which was empty of kids playing all manner of social games with each other. I preferred the quiet and the few peers that would show up from time to time to spend the hour with me. My best friend was missing for months but came back at one point. Because I was so forceful and in your face with the, “Why the fuck have you been avoiding me,” (shit) he admitted to me: “Because you’re not popular.” Looking back, doesn’t surprise me that autistic kids aren’t popular. We’re addicted to the truth while our peers are playing games.
In high school and later years, when all my friends were getting drunk and stoned, I may have invibed, but I was keeping my head on straight. If things got out of hand—I didn’t get out of hand. If people were being stupid—I wasn’t being stupid. I was straight and narrow. I was square. I was the guy that would ruin the party because doing the right thing was always doing the right thing even if I was drunk, stoned, or fried, and even if it meant stopping everyone from “having a good time.” I was the kid that would scream, “rape” well before a situation might reach the point where some might consider rape a reasonable and equitable possibility.
And I’m still a bore that way. I believe anyone should be able to fuck anything if that anything gives consent. But I don’t like seeing regular folks at a regular saloon using every day social manipulation to get a lay. If you want something, just say so openly, don’t play, don’t push, don’t manipulate, don’t use your advantages to take advantage. Yeah, that’s the half Vulcan side of me fer sur.
Funny thing is, at the moment I can’t think of any more examples. I know tonight, around 4am when I wake up for no reason and can’t sleep, they’ll all come to me, just like for no reason last night I couldn’t sleep and I wrote a poem in the forefront of my mind that I had to get up and type it out on my phone so I wouldn’t forget when I awoke this morning. What I do know, being different sucks. To put it another way, being autistic does not suck. But being autistic in a world full of neurotypical bullying fuck holes, that does suck. I don’t play games. I don’t bully. I’m just me. I don’t like to play games—unless it’s an actual games with rules like Chess or Monopoly, then I’ll do my best to kick your ass without any guilt. But I won’t play the game of life and pretend I’m your best friend. I’m not built that way. I can, I’ve learned, play according to those rules if I’m forced to or if I choose to (the latter of which I’ve rarely done and only have done in order to prove I can), but it’s not who I am. My rules are fairly straight forward. And unfortunately, sadly, that’s one reason you’ll never understand me.
Ironically enough, I was going to write about loneliness tonight. And I ended up here. I guess that’s okay.