Considering I’m a creative writing student with Aspergers, I have not really done any writing on Aspergers. So this is my first attempt at explaining what this complex, interesting, difficult piece of me effects my day to day life. Any feedback would be valued immensely and I hope you enjoy.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
My pen drums against the desk, the sound drives me mad, but my hand needs to move. I’d love to write. But the chances of doing that today are slim. So the pen is just here to stop me looking like I’m trying to play the bongos. Other people start looking at me, the noise must be getting to them too. I stop tapping my pen.
Instantly my world changes.
The lights get louder and the noises get brighter. Did someone just speak to me? When did they learn Japanese.
I smirk and laugh, my default response. They look annoyed, shit, wrong response Steve.
Now I bet they think I’m a terrible person, that’s it, gonna have to avoid talking to them again today. Who was it that talked anyway? At this moment they all look alike. Just complex faces full of over animated expressions, that my fuddled brain tries in vain to understand.
Okay Steve, focus. You are in a lecture. The tutor is talking about something important, probably something you need to know. If only the fluorescent light above my head would stop buzzing, has that computer always made that whirring noise. Why can I smell coffee? Oh, he’s got coffee, I hate the smell of coffee.
Can’t we close the blinds? Daylight is glaring and the students outside are blaring. Too many sounds to see, too many sights to hear. Why did I stop tapping my pen? Where is my pen, shit? Get my bag up from under the table. The chair squeaks as I move it. Did that sound hurt anyone else? Nope just me. I rummage through my bag, looking for a pen. There’s that library book. Should really return that. What was I looking for again?
My leg begins to twitch, beating my frustration out on the floor. It makes me feel better, safer, the sounds begin to dim, and the lights get quieter. The tutor looks at me, my foot must be making a lot of noise. What’s that you’re asking me for an answer? What was the question? My leg has frozen, now I’m getting a cramp. The answer is “uhhhh, well, you see …”
I’ve bluffed an answer, you think I read that book? I tried over and over, but I kept falling asleep. It’d been a long day. Another one like this.
My brain cannot keep up with how fast life is going. Why don’t roller coasters come with brakes. Not that I could use brakes if there was one. This is why I don’t drive vehicles. I crashed that push bike into a parked car. They laughed. My driving instructor begged me not to drive cause I’d be a danger on the road. That hurt.
I don’t understand how people can focus on the road, when the world carries on outside the metal box. That metal box puts you in charge of the lives of you, your passengers and the people around you. I don’t want to kill anyone.
I couldn’t cope in jail, locked up in a cage like a hamster without the annoying squeaky wheel. Those fluorescent lights, buzzing. No control over what I do.
Not that I’m in control now. Just in freefall, deadlines, personal life, wedding, job opportunities, hobbies, all flying at me. I try to catch them like a goalkeeper, but I was never no good at football. They used to laugh back then too.
The trouble with having limited coordination, is that you can literally fall over thin air. Broken bones, but they don’t hurt like they are meant to hurt. I walk on a broken foot all day, then my shoe is too tight to get off. Stupid brain, can’t even feel pain right. Ouch, did someone just touch me, that hurt.
“My shoe was too tight to get off.” Let’s go back to that a minute. My t-shirt feels tight, its already a size too big. I like my clothes, but I don’t like how they feel. But I don’t like being naked either. “Wear smaller clothes … that’s too big for you.” You try wearing my skin and see how you feel in my clothes. I stretch them so they hardly touch me. Why shorts in winter? Because full length trousers scare me today.
Am I too hot or too cold? Of course I am, but the alternative is being in a constant state of unbearable discomfort. At least like this, I can get through my day. I can live with the cold or the heat. What I can’t live with is my skin itching like I’ve rolled around in fibreglass.
Smoking kills, drink rots your liver, caffeine is addictive, these are scientific facts. But do you know what else it does? For me at least it allows me to relax, it blocks the negatives out. For a small time at least, these are facts I can’t prove, but please just take my word for it. You never seemed like you had autism Steve. I know, I was drunk, a lot. Sadly its frowned upon to be pissed all the time. My hangovers are hell, I wake up and all the bad things are back.
I gave them all up once, do you what happened? A one way trip to anti-psychotics, hallucinations, zombie-like life, not recognising the faces of the people I love. Smoking might kill me, drink may also, caffeine not so much. But do you know what’s a guarantee. If I’d kept living on those meds, I may as well have been dead. Steve had left the building.
But now I’ve met a compromise, yes I still smoke, I don’t drink as much, and my caffeine intake is limited. This means that I have bad days like today, where I crack up if I don’t stim or get time alone.
Anyway, where was I? Classroom, why are people packing up? I get my phone out my pocket to check the time, I find my pen. What was the lecture about? What did I miss? Where did I go? I went to my Aspie place, my bat cave, sadly that’s where all the sad memories go too.
I put my phone in my pocket and my pen in my bag. I get up, look around the room, people are not leaving yet. Is it okay to leave yet, fuck it, I need to leave. Sorry if it seems rude. I step out into the corridor stand on my toes, bounce to next lesson, with my hands flapping by the side of me.
Outside the class I roll a fag, smoke it, brain numbed for five. I engage in conversation, hopefully I say the right things. What lesson’s next? Does it matter? It’s one of those days.
“Isn’t everyone somewhere on the spectrum?” An often asked question.
If everyone is, why do I feel so alone