You love OS, Mikey.
(babbling) Glooflen. glueflen gloo . . .
(A) What’s that?
Melissa: (A) That was from the other night. Another fragment.
Michael: (A) We’re gonna need something like a Fragment Friday.
Melissa: (A) Do you think this could work for it? Although it almost kind of hangs together as a piece unto itself.
Michael: (A) No, it’s a piece unto itself.
Melissa: (A) Right. Now, did you actually get a chance to finish saying what you were saying about the Asperger’s experience?
Michael: (A) Whaddyou mean?
Melissa: (A) You know, before I interrupted by pasting in the earlier conversation about grocery clerks.
Michael: (A) But this starts with “Glooflen”, which I don’t even know what that is. Not about Asperger’s.
Melissa: (A) I know, I was referring to what you say later, which is actually earlier, once again. The “Glooflen” is something you were just singing, or performing to yourself the other night, and I recorded it without you knowing.
Michael: (A) Well, then shouldn’t it say “(singing)” or “(performing)”?
Melissa: (A) Yeah, except it was sort of that in-between talk. Not really singing, not really performing. You know, talking mindlessly to yourself. Like playing. Maybe we need a different term for that.
Michael: (A) Babbling?
Melissa: (A) (laughs)
Melissa: Why don’t you have an orange?
Michael: I don’t want an orange. Oranges are acidic, and right now, my tummy feels nice from eating the candy.
Michael: It’s hard being almost.
Almost good enough to play pro ball.
Almost good enough to get into college.
Almost good enough to win the recital.
Almost good enough.
I’m talking about second place. Also ran. That kind of thing. Almost.
’Cuz I was thinking, it must be hard to be special, but almost normal. So that you’re really only almost special. Not really accepted in either group.
And I think that you and I even responded to a person like this. It was at that art thing and she was being, you know, this was her big day, and she was acting like a big shot, which of course for us is a turnoff, a putoff, and so I got away from her quickly.
Melissa: (E) I know, I was sort of cringing because she was just calling so much attention to herself. Her bright red dress, talking so loudly about her work. It just made me sad. I felt like she was trying to be someone she wasn’t, when who she was really was actually so much more interesting.
Michael: Thing is, she’s a special person. It’s just, she’s so close to being normal, almost normal, and I use the word “normal” with no comfort whatsoever. That she didn’t have those disarming qualities someone who’s fully special would have.
Melissa: Like Will. I mean, Dan!
Michael: Well, understand, that for me, because Dan is so outgoing and popular, I actually don’t like him. Do you understand that? I mean, he’s like a normal, outgoing guy—
Melissa: Oh, come on!
Michael: Melissa, he is. There’s just the same type of people in Special People Land as there are in Regular People Land. You know, there’s the shy ones, the outgoing ones, the smart ones, and the stupid ones. And by stupid, I don’t mean they’re mentally incompetent. I mean, they do stupid things. Y’know . . .
So, I think it’s harder if you’re almost something.
Melissa: Well, I think that’s the dilemma that people with AS face. Like you.
Michael: Yes. I suppose in a way, I’ve always been jealous of special people—how they were all so automatifcally accepted and loved.
Melissa: Right, your disability isn’t evident on the surface. So people sense there’s a little something off when they try to interact with you, but they don’t know why, so they become uncomfortable.
Michael: You know what’s weird?
Michael: I’ve had to live through that so much, I think I kind of actually like making people uncomfortable now. I know that’s terrible, but I also feel like it’s a little bit of that uncomfort that some people get around special people. They aren’t really around special people, so they don’t know how to act, and they’re afraid they’re gonna jump up and drool on them or something. You know, they don’t know, they’re ignorant. And so in the same way that being around special people would help them get used to being around special people, I’m hoping that being around someone like me, they’d get used to being around someone like me.
Melissa: (B) This is actually where I was going to talk about why I think you and special people make neurotypicals uncomfortable.
Michael: (B) Well, the thing is, I think it’s for two totally different reasons. Mostly, with a special person, there’s some physical clue to their specialness. And for me, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with me, but there’s something not right with me. I don’t look you in the eye. I don’t seem to be interested in things that people would typically be interested in. I seem to be very uncomfortable.
Melissa: (B) Only when you’re out there. Not when you’re here, when you’re not feeling judged by the outside world.
Michael: (B) Why did you say “judged”?
Melissa: (B) Because that’s what makes you uncomfortable.
Michael: (B) That’s paranoia. Not Asperger’s.
Melissa: (B) Ah, but don’t you think they’re related? For one thing, I think having AS makes you more of a social target. Not that anyone targets you. But you think they do, because you know you don’t think like them. And you think they know it, too. And that gets back to what I was saying earlier about what it is about you and special people that makes neurotyps uncomfortable. That thing is the truth. I mean, you don’t do small talk. You operate at a deeper, more conscious level than most people care to—and you do it all of the time. So if they were actually to engage in conversation with you—if you were, this is obviously hypothetical—
Michael: (B) Yes, when you said that, I became a little bit terrified.
Melissa: (B) Haha. So anyway, I think people don’t like to be made too aware of reality, of truthfulness. They want to inhabit their mental media asylum. It’s like all of these people have agreed to participate in this collective insanity just so we can get through day-to-day life.
Michael: (B) It’s interesting because when you were saying that, I saw an individual that from the moment they got up with the television on in the background—
Melissa: (B) Mm-hmm.
Michael: (B) To when they’re driving in the car, listening to the radio, that kind of thing.
Melissa: (B) Mm-hmm.
Michael: (B) Getting to the store and racks of magazines behind them, it’s just a constant bombardment against us of this artificial life that we’re given to care about when in fact it has NOTHING to do with our own lives whatsoever. In fact, I think it serves to make us just unhappy enough with our own lives to keep buying more things in the effort to achieve that nirvana of happiness that always comes from buying something that time and time again we have learned actually doesn’t make us happy.
Melissa: (B) Exactly! This corporate comatose state of mind everybody walks around in. I think we’re much more conscious of how odd that is because we’ve been out of the television uh-
Michael: (B) Loop?
Melissa: (B) That’s exactly the word I was about to use, but it didn’t seem foul enough. Because it really does feel poisonous, like mental pollution, and it wasn’t until we were away from it for several years that we realized how toxic it was.
Michael: (B) That makes me think of They Live, where the brainwashing made you feel sick.
Melissa: (B) I was just about to bring that up! Not the getting-sick part. Just the movie. People need those sunglasses.
Michael: (B) Haha. Yeah.
Melissa: (B) But the other part about that that I was going to say is how unbelievably caricaturesque and grotesque television news seemed when we dipped into it for a few minutes. There was that one day when we watched a few minutes of all these different news stations, and it was one constant WTF after another. To think this actually passed as news, even on something supossedly respectable like CNN, was truly ridiculous. And yet, it did, and it does, and you have to wonder, where the hell are all the critical thinkers out there? Doesn’t anyone see this is madness, “mass madness”?
Michael: (B) Yes, there are people who see the madness. People like Naomi Klein. Glenn Greenwald. But they’re a part of this whole giant entertain-us-all-to-death system, so nothing really ever changes.
Melissa: (B) I don’t think that’s true. I think a lot more people are aware than they used to be. And that means corporations can’t get away with quite as much shite as they used to. Although they do, they just make sure we can’t see as much. They just pull the curtain around themselves a little bit tighter and paint sunny faces on the curtain to distract us.
Michael: (B) Look at the pretty curtain! Look at the pretty curtain, and those faces make me so happy! I’m gonna go buy something.
Melissa: (B) Hahaha.
Who is ever around you except me?
Michael: Well, when I used to go and get my soda after dropping you off in the morning, I would have to talk to the checker.
Melissa: Oh, this reminds me of an excerpt from an earlier unfinished post.
Michael: You know, it’s interesting because I wouldn’t really express myself this way around other people, so this is kind of—hmm. Unnatural for me.
You know what might be interesting?
Michael: If in this post, I responded more like if our reader was right here. So they could see the difference. Get ready to hear from me, maybe about two or three times, tops. And even then, I would mumble it.
Melissa: Right, but you would never talk that way with me, so maybe I should pretend to be one of the few people you actually encounter in person.
Like a grocery store clerk.
Michael: Well, I don’t say anything. I mean, I say, “Hi.” I always wanna be polite. I say “Hi,” or “Hello,” or “How are you doing?” And occasionally, “What’s goin’ on?”
Melissa: When have you ever used that phrase?
Michael: Well, I did say “occasionally”. Maybe I should’ve said “rarely”.
Melissa: Rarely as in never.
Michael: Maybe I did when I was a kid, who knows?
Now, see, we’re not doing my idea. I wasn’t supposed to be sitting here just speaking as I normally do.
Okay, maybe it doesn’t have to be the whole post. But just like a little part here in the middle. And you’re right, I think I see what you’re saying. It doesn’t make any sense. So you’re saying that it’s like, instead of me talking to you, I’m talking to somebody else? Is that what you’re saying?
Melissa: I was just saying that in order for our reader to get an idea of how you interact with people in person, we would have to simulate a scenario in which that might occur. And since it happens rather rarely—oops, I guess I shouldn’t use “rarely” again, so soon anyway. Then it’s not very rare, is it.
Michael: (C) (performs) There’s that line again. That line! That crappy line! It doesn’t like me. It’s a bad line.
Melissa: (C) Haha. I know. It bothered me when I was reading it this time, too.
Michael: (C) Okay, well, writing this means you have to keep it now.
Melissa: (C) I know that, too.
Michael: The way I originally imagined it, though, was that our reader was visiting. Say they’re sitting in the red chair, and we’re just writing. So, for instance, so I know that they’re there, but I would act more like the way that I would really act if someone I had just met was sitting there. Now, over time, we will get to know our reader—
Melissa: I think we already do to a point that would render this experiment you’re suggesting moot.
Michael: What do you mean?
Melissa: Basically, our reader is already a friend, whereas most of the people you encounter in real life are strangers. Or at least familiar strangers.
The most interesting thing about our reader so far is they go by different names—
Melissa: You can’t say “they”.
Michael: (A’) Yes, but now we ruined the joke about one reader having multiple personalities.
I can’t say “he” or “she” either.
“The one”? Help me. I bet I can’t say this either.
Melissa: The problem lies in the English language. It doesn’t allow for a neutral gender when using a singular third-person pronoun.
Michael: Have people tried to make one up?
Melissa: Yes, actually, that’s what I was just about to say. I know one person who uses “zie” instead of “he” or “she”—I’m just not sure what zie uses for “him” or “her.” Hmm . . .
Michael: What about “e” and “imer”?
Melissa: You mean “e” for “she”/“he” and “imer” for “her”/“him”?
Michael: Yes. Like, “What is e doing over there?” or “I told that stupid imer in the front of the line to . . .”
Melissa: Okay, first off, you aren’t even using “imer” correctly. You wouldn’t say, “I told that stupid him”—
Okay, bad example. How about, “Well imer was all over the road . . .”
Melissa: That’s “he”! Or “she”!
Michael: Oh! We’re not gonna show this level of stupidity, are we?
Melissa: It’s not stupidity. It’s AS.
Michael: Hmm. One last try. “I spoke with imer’s attorneys . . .”
Melissa: That would be “his” or “her”!
Michael: Isn’t that what I’m trying to figure out? What the feck?!
Melissa: No, we were talking about “him” and “her.” We actually still need to come up with a neutral pronoun for “his” or “her.”
This is beginning to make my head hurt . . . maybe we should veer the metaship in a different direction.
Melissa: (D) Love, you’re eating more candybar!
Michael: (D) Well, right now, I’m just trimming the wrapper, but maybe I should eat some more candybar. Since you seem to have this morbid interest in (mumbles) . . .
Melissa: (D) “Since I seem to have this morbid interest in” what?
Michael: (D) “my candybar-eating.”
Melissa: (D) Haha.
Michael: My brain’s like a linked list. Break one of those links, and the rest is lost.
L E G E N D
letters = sequential meta conversations
(C occurred after B, B after A, etc.)
numbers = mini-meta tangents within meta conversations
quoted letters = prior meta conversations
- Oregon, USA
- We are procrastinating perfectionists with too many projects. We rarely finish anything we start, but hopefully . . .
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