autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

And now, for something entirely different…

When I was very little, a young robin, confused by the sunlight on glass, flew into my great-grandparents sliding patio door and broke it’s neck.

I didn’t see it happen, but I heard the thunk and got up from the blocks I was playing with to go and look.

I did not understand the concept of ‘death’. I barely understood anything. I knew that birds should be in the air and not laying on the ground with their head ‘wrong’.

I wanted to help. So, with effort, I used my great-grandmother’s cane to push the lock to the ‘open’ position, and laboriously inched the sliding door back, careful not to make noise that might interrupt my great-grandfather’s prodigious snoring.

I carefully picked it up and cradled it in my hands. It wouldn’t move. I tried lightly bouncing to see if maybe it was sleeping. But no, the only part that moved was it’s utterly wrong head.

The feeling was somehow known and not known. My eyes were leaking and I didn’t know why. I knew I needed help because I knew I didn’t know what to do.

So I cradled the little bird and carried it to my grandmother, who was overseeing a yard sale from the garage.

The moment she saw it, she struck it from my hands onto the ground. “That’s filthy. It has bugs that will try to eat on you.”

How could I ask for help? How could I ask for help if my grandparents and all the strangers present, picking over belongings, didn’t care that it was lying there, in the dirt?

That is my first memory of death, but it is also my first memory or knowing both that I was different and that no one else saw this (or much else) the way I did.

The idea of death did not bother me. If things are alive, then there are also things that are not alive. And somehow, I knew, there was a process that caused things that were alive to move to being things that were not alive.

I didn’t need to know how, I could see it was so. “How” didn’t matter until much later in life.

But the lesson that being different was not acceptable? I got that angrily, early, and often.

I do not recall that I knew my age at the time. But to place the item chronologically, I was 3 years old. My earliest memory is 6 months of age, sitting in a porcelain sink, being bathed by my grandmother. Complete non-sequitur, relevant only to me.

My point in making this entry is establishing both that I knew early on that I was different. I was regularly punished for any expression that was “too different”, and my defiance in the face of that intrusion on myself, even that young, was an anger that has compounded over time by recurrent instances of culture and society supporting blatantly inappropriate, wrongful, abusive actions and behaviors.

It did not begin accumulating at compound interest until I realized that people who benefit in this system are perfectly ok with the idea of humans suffering while they profit. They have utterly no concept of human unity, a cultural community.

They have reduced their insight to their own ledgers and lives… conveniently blinkered and offended at anyone who demands them look beyond the boundary of themselves. How DARE you? I am not obliged!

Thus we find the corpse of Noblesse Oblige; even as corporations pretending to be charities add their emotional manipulations to the cacophony of advertising and marketing, “Help us change the world!”

I’m sorry, how long have you been around? And what, specifically, have you changed?

I learned at age 3 that different is dangerous. And I learned over the course of my life that if there is one thing to be called humanity’s curse, it is the preference and penchant to extend the list of “differences” rather than understand the similarities well enough to become what we are supposed to be: A harmonious pack species living in sustainable manner upon a planet of long abused, known-to-be-limited resources.

I know I think differently. I know difference is dangerous. Now more than ever.

But I also know that most humans, outside of a group environment, want the same things. It is not that humans are too different to coexist. It is that if humans coexist, the current systems and structures and authorities go the way of all the rest of the dinosaurs.

I guess being autistic means being able to see solutions where others see only problems. Or maybe that’s just part of my “developmental disability” that I am not readily redirected into the current flailing, failing systems as if they can possibly be more than meat grinders.

Whew. Well that was a ride, now wasn’t it?