— David Mitchell explaining what it’s like to have autism, in the forward of The Reason I Jump
It was a rough school year. Since Day 1 I felt overwhelmed. Why does everyone want something from me all of a sudden? I struggled with all my responsibilities and had to make sacrifices.
But enough time has passed for me to realize that I got shit done and had good times too. I finally had the courage to check my grades from last semester. Not the terrible flaming ship wreck that I was expecting. I’m getting good at my job and my finances are in check. I have some great people in my life. I’m moving forward into adulthood and I don’t want to go back to how things were.
Every time the caller ID flashes “Home,” I have this gut wrenching feeling that when I pick up the phone my parents will simply state "We know."
The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behing the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside him in her apron
To tell them “Supper.” At the word, the saw,
As if it meant to prove saws know what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap -
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all -
Since he was old enough to know, big boy
Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart -
He saw all was spoiled. “Don’t let him cut my hand off -
The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!”
So. The hand was gone already.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then - the watcher at his pulse took a fright.
No one believed. They listened to his heart.
Little - less - nothing! - and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.
So. A cat call.
"We were just inviting people to—"
A huge frat party? A small gathering to “watch a movie”?
"—to our church in Cambridge this Sunday."
I want to say “no thanks, I have my own church”…well I haven’t been for a while now because I work a lot. At least that’s the excuse that’s most acceptable to my parents.
Instead I acknowledge the invitation with a strained smile.
"I don’t know if you have any faith..?"
I know I should allude to my parents past missionary work to prove my own godliness. That way I don’t have to acknowledge my own lack of fervor.
I feel pity for these guys. At least that’s the emotion I’d rather feel, than acknowledge the discomfort that this conversation is causing me. Because in these strangers I see myself. A past self who would balk at the person I’ve become.
Japanese Poster: Kengo Kuma Talk show. Daigo Daikoku. 2013
so the saddest shortest story is attributed to hemingway:
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
and this came to me at breakfast and i thought it was hilarious.
And yet she had loved him—sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!
"Free! Body and soul free!" she kept whispering.❞
— Kate Chopin, “The Story of An Hour”