Well I have a feeling what you are about to go through is punishment enough.

I’m doing better than I expected.  My Depression Box has never let me down.  I’ve gotten slightly better at coloring.  I’ve begun adding shadows and highlights with black and white colored pencils.  They’re the type that turn into watercolors, require less pressure, and break easily.  They came in a rollup case that closes with a snap.  It was a good option for me.  I have a giant poster of NYC, still rolled in it’s case, waiting for me to bring it to life.  I’m saving it for a special occasion.  It amuses me that by special occassion, I mean the next time the Depression Monster kicks my ass.

My Election Anxiety Disorder, (IKR!), is intensifying.  I didn’t sleep last night.  I spent at least an hour contorting my arms, trying to scratch an elusive itch on my back.  I hate when I do things like that.  It feels like being a skipping record, and I don’t know where I am when it’s going on.  I suspect it might be my brains way of compensating for my horrific sleep patterns.  I had the reputation of being able to sleep standing up with my eyes open, while in basic training.  Well, I sure as hell wasn’t sleeping soundly in a room with 24 other terrified young women.

We were the last cycle to use the WW2 barracks on Tank Hill at Ft. Jackson.  There was no hot water.  Ever.  The buildings were rickety wooden things with 2 levels.  The lower level housed 25 privates, 1 latrine, and 1 supply closet.  The upper level housed 25 privates, 1 latrine, and 1 Drill Sgt’s office.  It was the first time I ever saw a cockroach.  It skittered across my bare foot, resulting in a near fatal case of The Willies.  We were also the last cycle that wasn’t co-ed.  Looking in the direction of males was against the rules when I did basic.  Eight weeks later, they shared day rooms, laundry rooms, mess halls, etc.  They basically train together now.  The Army is many things, but stagnant is not one of them.

I have to make a concession.  I’ve been boycotting Orson Scott Card for years, due to his harmful, and outspoken stances on homosexuality, and other human variants that don’t align with his particular flavor of religion.  I understand now that I can’t reject him as a member of the human race, because he’s still human.  He makes good choices, too.  He created Ender Wiggin, and Bean.  He wrote Speaker for the Dead.  Those are incredibly redeeming feats.  They can’t be ignored, despite his hateful flaws.  Any man who can accomplish what he has already managed is forgivable.  Any gnashing of teeth on my part from here on out is my problem.

I’m not throwing anyone under the bus.  I’m acknowledging reality.  It hurts all the time.  Don’t seek outrage.  Ender’s Game, and all the books in the Enderverse are part of the my story now.  There have been a few that detail the Bugger Wars that were published after my boycott.  I may get around to reading them, but it’s irrelevant.  Iyua, Jane, commonalities between Spanish and Portuguese, why Mormons seem to make excellent speculative fiction writers, and sentient artificial intelligence are part of the thoughts that course through my brain on a regular basis.  There’s no going back.

Novels are a huge part of who I am.  They’re the most effective means of interaction I’ve discovered so far.  It’s rare that I despise a book.  Perhaps five out of thousands.  Never trust the NYT’s Bestsellers list.  When they get it wrong, they get it so wrong it’s traumatic.  Remember The Passage by Justin Cronin?  I want a Man in Black to come by and flashy thing that novel out of my memory forever.  Running at night used to be one of my favorite pleasures.  Justin fucked that all up.  Probably for life.  Asshole.  Sigh.

I’ve forgiven an author, thoroughly vacuumed my apartment, sat on the edge of my bed and stressed about the upcoming election, and finished a really good book.  Pretty good considering my unicorn just died.  I think I’m done with therapy.  Knowing I can survive that, I got this.  There’s nothing left that can rattle me beyond my ability to overcome, as long as I pay attention.  The thing that’s stressing me out the most right now, is my fear that some people might kill themselves after the election results are in.  I just want to say that no matter who wins, it’s going to be okay.  You survived life this long, and made it through some unbelievable shit already.  They can’t hurt you.  I’ll be here to protect those who are weaker than me in any way.

If you want Trump to be the president, and it turns out he’s not elected, I still have your back.  I don’t judge you for choosing what seems like the best option from your point of view.  That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do.  That’s why I have your back.  If you want anyone except Trump to be the president, and anyone except Trump wins, know that I also have your back.  He’s triggered a lot of deep pain, and as if that wasn’t enough, people like me have harped on it even further, in a well intentioned, but deeply regretted in hindsight, attempt to protect those of you he’s hurting the most.  I stepped in it, and I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  I still need to protect you, and want to do it without insulting you as much as possible.

I just finished reading, Not Alone, by Craig A. Falconer.  It’s so good.  I’m so glad I read it.  It had a pretty subtle, (to me), anti-hegemony bent, but was wasted on a bleeding heart liberal like myself.   It didn’t detract from the wonderful story.  I’m one of those people who thought The Davinci Code was blatantly obvious, and a waste of my precious reading time.  Not Alone was so cryptic in it’s plot twists that I didn’t even identify foreshadowing in real time like I like.  That alone is a treat.  The writing was invisible, which is amazing.  I honestly don’t remember “reading”.  I just remember living that story all night.  Color me impressed.

It’s about aliens.  (If that’s a spoiler, your detector is too sensitive.)  It’s about a young man who isn’t autistic, but is obviously neurodiverse.  I enjoy reading about neurodiverse people.  I don’t care if they mess up a bit on the PC front, so long as we get to join the rest of society in the future, on a regular basis, from here on out.  It’s the same as my Big Bang Theory, Theory.  I’m not patient enough with a remote to read all of the notes the creator posts after each episode.  I’m also 1 season behind.  From here, they’ve alluded to Sheldon’s being ‘not crazy, my mother had me tested’.  They’ve also allowed the majority of actors who appear on the show to exhibit external quirks that are recognizable as familiar by those of us on the spectrum.

I like this approach.  It’s the, “Whatever you choose to interpret, is correct.” approach.  Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt. (giggling)  I think it’s brilliant.  I interpret it as, “We’re not going to talk about it, we’re going to demonstrate it so realistically that everyone will either be up in arms offended, or giving us our due; a standing ovation.”  Autism has already been offensively portrayed in so many ways, it’s refreshing when someone does it right, and doesn’t demand being recognized for the achievement.

I see parts of myself in all the characters.  None of them are a replica of me, or anyone I know.  That’s the point.  Neurodivergent people are diverse.  I have my Stuart Blue days.  I have my Sheldon Cooper Moments.  I think we all do.  We all have that thing we know so much about, that we could talk for hours, and never repeat ourselves. We don’t all recognize this superpower within ourselves, but some people are too busy living life to reflect this much.   It’s a common disability superpower to recognize superpowers in the first place.  The times when we don’t get to participate, because we live in a world that doesn’t fit properly, we tend to reflect.  It’s a good way to cope with disappointment and rage.

For a 30 minute sitcom to achieve excellent character development is awesome.  It’s what makes some shows awesome.  All in the Family, Seinfeld, Frasier, Cheers, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Rosanne, Friends, MASH; these are the shows I’m talking about.  The characters are the show.  Nothing happens in sitcoms post 1990.  A bump in the credits is the only way they acknowledge real life.  Pretty sure that’s a good strategy. Big Bang Theory will join them in history, for the same reason.  Score.