Apr 16, 2024, 06:26AM

Conversation With Someone I Used to Know

My autistic diary, latest entry.

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Woke up at the bleeding edge of a dream, it was still going strong. Opened my eyes. Swung them open.

Liz spoke to me about parting as friends. She was at one end of a wood platform. I was at the other. I didn’t see her well and I had to listen for each word. A platform set in a massive tree. I think a ladder led down from her feet. Anyway she was on the ladder side.

Liz used an “I’m calm” voice; that’s different from an actually calm voice. From my end I said we each had to do what we thought best for our lives. My voice was calm, the real kind. I chased out any hints of the fake stuff, the deliberately “I’m calm” stuff.

She was facing into the dark and I suppose I faced the same way. The dark was just straight black; even so it left our platform glaring with light. No idea from where, all just a dream.

In real life, not the dream, Liz invited me to a party. Before she left the job, she threw a party and I was supposed to go. I’d been to a few parties and knew I found them hair-raising. Now this, with the ex-relationship—even worse. So I didn’t go, nor did I explain. Few people, and especially Liz, want painful personal facts disclosed to them, and I wouldn’t know how to go about it anyway.

Looking back, I see a lot of “One size fit all.” She wanted to reach out, so she invited me to a party. When we first started working together, she spent two and a half years wondering why I wouldn’t talk. Answer: I couldn’t. Nor could I go to a crowded room and be fun with all the people. At some point she might have picked up on that: I’m not a party sort of guy. But it didn’t compute. Everyone’s a party sort of guy.

In the dream she told me we’d never see each other again, so we should show that we liked and respected each other. I kept my voice matter-of-fact. My subtext, if I remember right: maturity offered me what I didn’t want, and it took away what I wanted.

But I said something else. That each of us, we have to do what we think best with our lives. I hope I didn’t sound sniffy. Always a great way to start the day. You think of the one person you ever felt close to and you hope you didn’t sound sniffy.


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