Monday, April 26, 2010

Touching down into Minneapolis

June 16, 1987

Rounding the corner of the spaghetti junction in St. Paul, I overtake a vehicle from Michigan. A young family inhabits it. It is a red station wagon - newer model with a plastic storage compartment on the roof. I find these containers quite unusual - they seem to not be all that functional - providing only as much space as a truck might offer. The most unusual aspect is the apparent lack of clutter in the back of the cars - mainly station wagons - no piles upon piles of blankets and suitcases. I imagine the people who benefit most from these devices are those industrious and terribly organized individuals who prefer to travel with only the bare necessities and stopping at night in luxurious hotels and eating in only the finest restaurants.

Although it was only the beginning of a hint of twilight, this station wagon driven by the dark-haired, breaded man from Michigan had its lights on - no less it had its brights on! I overtook them, as I stated, on the curve - accelerating past them on the inside. The lanes opened up. I switched lanes gracefully and as I raced forward into the 55 mile per hour zone. I glanced into my rear view mirror to see the bright lights becoming smaller and closer together in the distance.

The sun was setting in an orange-yellow orb ahead on the highway. Touching down into Minneapolis. I gripped the steering wheel with most of the pressure on my palms. My head was held up - not resting on the head rest - I could hear the bones in my neck squeaking. I could move my eyes upward to the right and see my friends from Michigan gaining on me. They saw me and they wanted to stay close. I had a good two block lead on them as I sailed past the Snelling Avenue bridge.

As I neared the exit to Vadnais, I quickly glanced into the mirror. My heart jumped. They were right upon me. I quickly glanced over my shoulder to check the newly opened lane for obstacles and caught the eye of the woman from Michigan. Her children were sitting forward, arms on the back of the front seat, excited, no doubt, by the nearness of the setting sun.

I pulled into the free lane. The lane I knew would take me past the slower lanes to the left of me - faster than the car from Michigan. Around the top of the turn and quickly change lanes back into the middle. My lane would soon be exiting only into the University. Near that exit ramp, a car had been stopped by a state patrol. I glanced at my speedometer and was surprised by my correct speed.

Onto the bridge, University Hospital is glanced as I switch lanes once again into the new right lane. The bridge connecting the east and west banks of the university. Thoughts of Cris and I walking on it. He holding my hand. And thoughts of Char. As I near the Riverside exit, I see the Michigan car rounding the corner in my mirror. Still the only car with lights on. I smile seeing that I have not lost them. My exit comes up quickly and I search for another glimpse of my friends but they are lost, never to be seen again.

Saturday, June 13, 1987
Driving home from Bayport


I remembered this entry. It started a new book off with a bang. I thought my writing was snappy and suspenseful. I thought I packed in longing and loss. I am an adult now, and see judgment and jealously, imaginary drama and unsupported assumptions.

As an Aspergian, I see the world through Susan colored glasses. I am judge and juror. I am the standard bearer. I see and judge all. The poverty-stricken young mother in me had given up a comfortable upper-middle class upbringing because I had not seeing the path I should take because I was wearing my "Susan Shades".

I fumbled around until I discovered the "hippie path" at the Stillwater library. I had hippie friends, Scott and Conny, to discuss organic farming. His plot always looked better than mine, because he actually cared and I hated weeding. We traded ideas about how to preserve food. We talked a lot about building a dome house, raising goats and eschewing electricity /shudder. I sewed my own clothes - or altered those I found. I tie-dyed hand me down baby clothes to hide the stains.

I made "War Protest Signs" even though there was no war going on except the cold war. I was afraid of nuclear holocaust, so I put an ad in the paper asking people to meet at the library to form an Anti-Nuclear group. Unbelievably, we grew and became very successful. We staged protests downtown (Stillwater) and we bought proposals to Stillwater (rejected) and Washington County (accepted) to create a Nuclear Free Zone.

Since I was a vegetarian, I purchased food at the co-op and in bulk at the grocery store. I used cloth diapers at some point - ick! The early years of my marriage were when my "Susan shades" became opaque. Slowly, only people who acted the same as I did were "right", everyone else was "wrong". My way - or the highway! Which brings me back to this entry.

However endearing this writing has been to me over the years, typing them into this blog reveals them for what they really were. It is Raw Susan. I was jealous that a family had more than I did, that they could travel from state to state, that I imagined they could pay for a new car, stay at hotels, all the things I wished I could give my children.

I experienced those things growing up. I wanted my children to experience those things as well. They did eventually - when the next summer, I asked my parents to let me come back home, with my children, so I could finish school. I will be excited to tell that tale when I get to it.

This journey, stuck in my mind's eye, because I had written it down, reveals me for what I am. I judge. I judge based on my own criteria: The Susan Code. Before my Asperger's diagnosis, I wasn't as aware that I did this. I wasn't fully aware that others had thoughts of their own. I believed that everyone should agree with me, and I was surprised when they didn't.


  1. that was really well written, could have been a book

  2. I thought so too, like a short story. I have always thought it was well written. Don't you think it is weird how the Michigan car is my competitor, rival, and a friend?