“City so nice, they named it twice. The other name is Manhattan.”

laughing child

I’ve noticed comedians keep me from becoming too extreme in my views.  They generally do it by making me laugh at myself and recognize I can’t even see the middle from there.  I don’t suffer public shame as a result and can grow promptly.  Thanks, comedically adept people of earth.  Laughter is one of the best gifts in the world.  It’s up there with life.  💜

I’m officially an audiobook only person, now.  Dear authors, if you want me to read your books, make sure they’re available on Audible.  Otherwise, I won’t be reading them.  Audiobook listening is more intense than reading written words.  I get far more from the story in a much shorter amount of time.  I’m auditory oriented, so I’m extra excited about this.  Listening to a story reaches me more effectively because I’m not using part of my brain to translate symbols.

I’ve been processing information auditorily since birth.  Reading came later, and it takes me longer because I’m controlling the pace, and I pause to think about unrelated shit to distraction.  It’s natural for me to remain focused when listening to a story because I’ve been training for this my whole life.  I love that I can do it anywhere, (and now my Echo is more than a sleep noise generator and listening post for Alexa.  ((I’m too non-verbal to worry about training it beyond what’s already out there.))

laughing adult

Whew!  I almost got off on an AI tangent guaranteed to make your eyes glaze over.  My new favorite saying is, read the room.  I think I first heard it on Grace and Frankie.  I was unaware such a concept existed before hearing it, so imagine my level of obsession.  (It reminds me of stretching my superpower to encompass and protect a group of allies like in The Twilight Saga.)  I like long epic sagas, and I read several annually.  I’m going to save years by only using Audible.  I’m so thrilled I don’t care that Amazon isn’t paying me to gush over Audible.

The only must-read book I’m not going to reread as an audiobook is Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  That book put me in the head of someone else on a level so visceral it left a scar.  I would not like to experience a more intense version.  Heh.  I ordered some new coloring books so M and I can color while we listen together.  We’re going to listen to the Harry Potter series this winter.  (He’ll pick next.)

As a writer, I’m even more excited.  I already know who I want to read my books.  (They’re all podcasters.)  It’s made writing more fun.  It’s allowing me to read the room as I write, because I can hear the words in my mind, now.  Or something.  I hope all the people with Dyslexia and other issues that make reading less than fun have access to this medium because it’s fabulous.  It’s a sweet spot for me because movies so easily overwhelm; (my mind also uses a different operating system than typical.) Yay.  💜✌🏽

“Stop it, Kramer, you’re freaking me out.”

person in cosplay costume

I just got back from a mini vacation in Denver.  M thought it would be an excellent way to shake loose from the downward spiral into a pit of depression.  It worked.  I’m feeling so much better.  I’m nearly giddy — a pleasant side-effect of getting baked while in Rome.  I feel energized from reaching a state of zero anxiety.  Half the effect is from the sense of awe over the achievement.  I always forget how incredible it feels.  It makes for a delightful surprise each visit.

It also reminded me of the cost demanded in vulnerability.  In my case, partaking is a buddy exercise only.  Heh.  I cherish this knowledge like someone who thinks way too much.  🙃 (Jordan Peele made us cool.)  I slept like Gayle King after an R Kelly interview last night.  I woke up laughing, feeling like I could conquer my chores before noon.  (Done.)  I worked on my story in progress like Mavis Beacon was testing my typing for several hours.  The Muse must have been pleased to see me discover that headspace.

The only con is I didn’t do an ergonomic check before I jumped in.  I’m don’t stay in the same position for too long, or you’ll move like you’re 100 for an uncomfortable minute years old.  It’s still funny every time I forget;  bonus.  I had a great time in Denver.  I behave like someone who hasn’t been around enough diversity for a long time and can’t reign in the huge grin.  I strongly suspect it factors into why I find the people of Denver so kind.

cute bearded person

I beta tested a prototype while visiting, and it’s triggered all sorts of thought paths for potential usability.  Air traffic controllers, surgeons, and neurodiverse people were obvious beneficiaries immediately.  By the time I strayed onto a different thought tangent, I had decided it would probably be useful to everyone who wanted to use it.  I merely applied a bit of capitalist tinged triage on the fly.  (Those are people I know are often under tremendous pressure.)

Despite having fun, coming home was the best part.  I longed for home while enjoying myself.  It’s confirmation I’ve successfully configured my living space.  It’s where I want to be.  I had no idea this was the prize.  It’s fabulous!  The funny part is I think it’s going to weaken my tendency toward agoraphobia.  When I know, I have a place where I can genuinely exhale, awaiting my return, going out is a lot less painful.  Yay.  Thank goodness for Marie Kondo.

I think the most important thing she taught me is organization and awareness of my connection to my stuff is a beautiful coping skill for anxiety and depression.  (Usually, what’s good for us is good for most, because many don’t know they dabble in juggling these challenges, too.)  I didn’t bring my new camera because I’m not even sure which parts of it I’m not supposed to touch yet.  I only know those parts exist.  (I’m such a noob.  😂)  I’m off to continue re-reading A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  (We’re in Fae.  😆)

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a hankering for some Doublemint gum.”

whale kite

 

Welp.  I didn’t wait for spring to begin rearranging and organizing my living space.  I’ve suffered far fewer minor injuries than usual in the process.  Being present in my body helps, indeed.  Who knew?  (So many people I won’t bother to list them. 😂)  If not for repeatedly reinjuring the same spots, I’d be pain-free right now.  I haven’t purchased a bunch of storage containers (yet.)  Using what I already have is proving sufficient, so far.  Yay.

In the past, I’ve always completed this task in a single day (lasting into the wee hours of the morning.)  This time, I’m using a tailored version of Marie Kondo’s method.  It involves a lot of thanking inanimate objects for their service before donating or tossing them.  I’m only keeping things that spark joy™.  The process makes me happy enough to cancel out the anxiety over making a huge mess, then slowly unmaking it.  Mostly.  Music helps with what remains.

I’ve uncovered a lifetime supply of velcro cable ties.  (I didn’t realize I took cable organization so seriously.)  I’m collecting them in a laundry basket until I’m done setting up my home studio/playroom.  Knowing me, I’ll spend at least a day making all my cables look pretty at some point.  Even though I recognize I’ll forever be adding and swapping out equipment as my synthesizer obsession grows.  (It’s a sickness.)  🤣

seek no approval

 

As I’ve stated before, I’m very literal.  Whenever I rearrange my physical possessions, I spend the time also mentally processing and discarding false presumptions about the people in my world.  I’ve always been like this.  As a child, I substituted my space with Barbie accessories and the multilevel mansion my brother built me out of wood scraps.  I would spend hours trying to wrap my head around the complexities of relationships and communication while lining up tiny plastic shoes and reupholstering cardboard furniture with glue and quilting scraps from my mom’s stash.

It’s funny how little we change in some ways as we age.  My main focus is on tweaking the lighting and flow of furnishings.  I’ve eliminated several things I used to bump into as I move about my space constantly.  (I’ve accepted I’m likely never going to be very good at controlling my avatar.)  The sofa is history.  I’m a floor sitter.  All it did was get in my way.  M has a beloved recliner for gaming and watching TV.  I have a floor cushion.  The gaming computers are in the living room, now, and the chairs can be turned around to provide guest seating if necessary.

I’ve never owned a dining table.  The kitchen island suffices for that.  The dining room isn’t a room;  More like an afterthought near the kitchen.  I put my drum kit there, instead.  I couldn’t stand having it in the small bedroom.  It felt too closed-in.  Now it’s perfect.  Music is the heart of my home.  Everything is centered around creating.  I can already tell it’s working as I’ve thought of a new story and have half composed a song in my head.

swings in the snow

I have two novels in progress at the moment.  It surprises me, as I expected to only work on one at a time.  The stories are unrelated, but my process seems to entail learning from one and using the new skills in the other.  As I bounce between them, it’s occurred to me I’ll likely produce several incomplete books I’m not ready to finish yet.  I have to dream them first, and much of dreams birth from experience and observation.

I’m delighted by how much joy I’ve found all around me.  I used to roll my eyes at sentimentality, but it turns out I’m one of them.  Heh.  I have a pile of things I no longer want to own, but love.  I’m going to photograph them and store the images in the cloud before purging them.  It’ll be fun to browse through the photos years from now and remember all the stuff I’ve loved at various points in my life.  (Good thing my new camera came with a photography tutorial.)  😂 I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.  ✌🏽💜

“I figured I could afford a fake house in the Hamptons.”

heart shaped balloons in the clouds

The Unknown Mother

You don’t know me.

We’ve never met.

But we have this connection

of grief and regret.

A progeny of hope,

his life just started,

destroyed in a moment.

A dream departed.

I’m terrified,

never did this before.

Why wasn’t this part

of my training for war?

No time to panic,

no time to cry.

I’m calling you in my mind.

Please understand why.

I’m not a medic,

just the two-week course.

It’s why I’m praying

and trusting in The Force.

The squad is horrified,

their first brush with death.

It seems it’s all up to me,

if I can catch my breath.

I’ve seen death before

when a foster-brother died.

But now I’m a soldier.

I can’t run and hide.

I’ll borrow your perspective

and see through your eyes.

Your love for a son,

help render me wise.

Don’t know if you’ll see him.

Don’t know how it works.

But know if you do,

the mental image will lurk.

I’ll sing to him softly,

wash the blood away.

It’s helping to keep

the hysteria at bay.

Imagining I’m you,

will tend to him gently.

And muster the courage

lovingly, intently.

I loan you my hands,

my determination.

And share in the sorrow

for your lost creation.

Don’t know if you’ll see him,

or just a flag-draped box.

It’s all I can do

to soften the shock.

The tears are escaping.

We’re preparing to go.

I hope what I’ve done

somehow lessens the blow.

You don’t know me.

We’ve never met.

But we have this connection.

I’ll never forget.

by Unabashed Autist

“Hey, how we doing on time?”

stop sign

Time’s Up

Walking down the stairs, arms up for balance

A song in my head, a smile on my face

Turning corners with practiced grace

Nearing the second-floor landing,

I hear a ruckus

Could you describe the ruckus, sir?

Internal laughter plays, with a touch of curiosity

Three people near the elevator, talking

A young child refusing to relinquish a kiss

A mother is insisting, kiss the man on the cheek.

An old man coaxing the child for unearned affection

Pause

The old man looks my way with a hint of surprise

Quickly covered with hate

You don’t belong here, his evil eyes say

Caught you, old man

Old hollow man

Pinging so hard on my KKK-dar

Staring me down in search of my fear

Smiling, I shake my head

Caught you, old man

Old hollow man

Stealing freedom from a young child

Her mother, your accomplice

The child said no

I heard

The hollow old man with one foot in the grave

Taking innocence while stinking of hate

Soon, time is going to eat you up

Shit you out as dust

Nothing to me, hollow old man

I only share energy with the child you robbed

I visualize a protective aura of light

Surrounding her to restore her stolen power

Erasing the stink of the hollow old man

Just as I reach the ground floor

What?  No mail today?

Oh, that’s right

The time came for another hollow old man

Laughing, I turn around and climb the stairs