Saturday, April 10, 2010

I am a Braggart

September 5, 1986

Today, I was sitting out on the porch watching the traffic and a man (who reminded me of my oldest brother) started off the curb (walking it) with a bicycle. As soon as the back wheel hit the street one of the pedals fell off - not just the pedal but the entire crank! He picked it up and attempted to ride the disabled bike. I shouted out - twice before he heard me - "Do you need some tools?" He said he might need a screwdriver so I ran upstairs to get my trusty bicycle repair kit (the tool box with bike tools).

He tried to fix it with a screwdriver but it fell off immediately. I asked to see. I observed that it had a nut that needed to be tightened. He busted off the cap covering it (later we found that we could have been unscrewed). He fixed it with a socket wrench and asked if he could repay me in any way. I told him just to have a great day and he went on his way.

I was am always still the braggart. I love to tout my good deeds, my unusual adventures. Maybe this in itself is not unusual by any means, but I brag because I am trying to fit in. I have observed "good
Samaritans" in action - in real life, in books, on the big screen, etc. I imitate them. It is EASY for me to interact with others if I have a purpose. If I have a purpose, I don't have to feel uneasy about what is required of me - there is a script to follow. 

While looking for some back-up information about Asperger's Disorder, I came across this poem at Tony Attwood's website. It describes how I feel - except I am never mistaken for "shy". I am mistaken for "disinterested". Oh, and I am not emotionally "barren", although I lack subtle emotions. I have big swings of feelings - my feelings are all physical - I can feel the adrenaline, the hormones release, the quickening of my heart, the catch in my throat, the tears in my eyes.

INTROSPECTION - by Adrian Flynn

Locked in a body that knows how to function,
This mind knows the rules, but not how to speak.
Rehearsed interaction is laboured, but managed,
Learning language and actions, but still feeling meek.

Fragments of knowledge are processed and filtered,
To sift out the right way to smile and to cry.
Emotionally barren and socially awkward,
Avoiding eye contact, mistaken for shy.

Hang on to a pattern, a routine, a ritual,
To feel safe with existence, to know how to live.
Avoid changing backgrounds and unknown encounters,
From anxious to full fearful panics, they give.

All manner of subjects researched infinitum.
Obsessive behaviour is par for the course.
First one then another thing learned to its limits,
All referenced and noted to every last source.

First learning then working, to the exclusion of friendship.
One minded and narrow, to a depth never seen.
A gulf holds me far from the mind of all others.
Confused where I fit in; somewhere in between.

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