THE FOURTH EXCERPT OF “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS” – Being Rejected By People Who Looked Like Me

While I can’t draw anything like this guy and am higher functioning, I can certainly relate to him. Photo courtesy of intersecteddisability.blogspot.com

 

THIS EXCERPT FROM MY UPCOMING BOOK – “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS” – FOCUSES ON MY FEELING ALIENATED AND REJECTED BY SEEMINGLY TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY, SPECIFICALLY IN THE INNER CITY AS MY FELLOW BLACK KIDS, QUITE SADLY, BULLIED ME MORE THAN ANY OTHER GROUP AS A CHILD, SEEING ME AS A “GOOFY MARK” BECAUSE OF MY ASPERGER’S TRAITS.

HERE IS PART OF CHAPTER FOUR: “The Black Alienation”…

 

Mom and I went to celebrate the…festivities at a (place) which was located in a pretty much all-black (at that time) mid-to-lower income neighborhood full of people whom the only thing I had in common with – quite honestly and regretfully – was the color of our skin.

To a nine-year old boy on the Autism Spectrum who had interacted almost exclusively with white kids up to that point, I’m being brutally honest when I say that the folks in that neighborhood seemed loud, aggressive, crass, and just not very nice.

I won’t lie; it intimidated me.

During that late afternoon, I was sitting on a front porch when I was asked something about knowing how to fight.

I fully understand today that (the guy asking) was trying to toughen me up, to teach me how to defend myself and to not be so vulnerable, but he may as well have been speaking Sanskrit as I had absolutely no clue whatsoever of what he was getting at.

The next thing I knew, all these fists were landing on various parts of my body, mostly my arms and shoulders, but it seemed like a lot more body parts than that.

My attempts at fighting back at the seemingly dozens of people who by now had joined in were quite pathetic and futile as it culminated with some big thuggish-looking girl, who looked about 17 and had a big cast on her arm, clocking me with that cast, leading to some hysterical crying from me and much unhappiness as I went home that night, that traumatic memory ingrained into my gray matter for all time.

Being a sheltered Asperger’s boy, in my mind I was being bullied and abused by people who looked like me for no reason.

In retrospect, that beat down was symbolic of my alienation, ostracization, and rejection from African-American inner city culture, though in fairness I have to emphasize that nobody knew anything about me having Asperger’s Syndrome – I wouldn’t know for another twenty years – and I don’t blame anybody for any conflicts that might have stemmed from our background and socialization due to the fact that they were so different from me…

Getting back to that incident:

That episode set the tone for many of my future experiences in (Santa Monica’s) Pico Neighborhood.

Because of where I came from, I had absolutely no knowledge of what was considered “cool” as I was now living in an area where there were four liquor stores in a ten-block radius, seemingly large apartment buildings, five times the number of children running around, and alleyways with strange-looking writings on them; what the hell did I know about gang-banging and tagging?

I had no clue that among many, if not all, black youth in the lower-income hoods, being academically intelligent and getting good grades was considered a nerdy “white” thing, nor did I know about having a good part of being “cool” depending on how tough and “hard” you were; your brawling ability and how many kids you could beat up.

I was likewise ignorant of needing to have good gross motor skills, needing to be able to catch, throw, dribble, shoot, and hit a ball to be accepted, and woe be to those who didn’t wear the “fresh” fashions as to not dress like the dancers on that TV show “Soul Train”, seemingly, was a crime punishable by social death.

In those areas of “Blackness”, I failed miserably and fell way, WAY short of the mark as with my autistic tendencies, it was sort of inevitable that I would.

…when my toughness or “hard” factor was tested by the other black kids in school (Marlon* mostly, but there were others) and elsewhere by being punched all of a sudden, I either ran to a teacher or I cried like a little so-called “bitch”.

(* = not his real name)

One can imagine how that went down, my reacting the way I did instantly relegated me to being “scary” and an easy “mark”, and being made fun of accordingly. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just leave me alone or accept me as a young brother in the name of that Black Unity concept that was still all the rage in the 1970s.

 

This sort of says it all. Image courtesy of ollibean.com

 

This “mind-blindness” aspect of the Autism Spectrum Disorder rendered me as more or less incapable of knowing how to do what was necessary to be accepted and liked among too many of my fellow black kids in Santa Monica’s inner city community.

Another prominent word that too many of my young black peers in the Pico called me on a regular basis was the same name as one of Walt Disney’s iconic characters, a certain tall, skinny long-eared black dog going by the name of…

“Goofy”

That two-syllable epithet was something I heard from various kids – some of them white and Latino as well as many of the black kids – for years as “Big Goofy” “Goofy-Ass Mark”, and (pardon the expression) “Goofy Faggot” were just some of the taunts directed to me at school, on the playground, in the street, and pretty much everywhere else in that part of town. Being that I fell well short of the Pico’s coolness standard, I suppose it was inevitable that I was treated the way I was.

I imagine that some people may read this and think that I’m blanketing all African-American youth, over generalizing and saying that every black I encountered treated me like shit, bullying me and calling me all those bad names.

That, I need to emphasize, was NOT the case as I want to make crystal clear that there WERE some African-American children in the Pico who treated me well and became my friends, three of them living upstairs from me and Mom.

A prominent root of this general black social rejection and alienation (as a youth), besides having Autism Spectrum Disorder, was that being from a rural community where I was the only black kid in the immediate area that I knew of, having exactly one African-American classmate in the four years I attended school there, I was essentially an “Oreo”.

This was exacerbated by the fact that because I acted so “white” upon moving in with my mom, the white kids, by and large, were the ones that were friendly and accepting to me, and it pretty much stayed that way all through junior high and high school.

The social rejection and alienation was something I felt even as an adult as for example, during my mid-20s there was this young dude who lived next door and taunted me by shouting “Like a virgin!” (you know, that Madonna song from the 80s) every time I walked by him When I called him on it after enduring months of his ignorance he very tellingly said, “You act white!”

Along with everything else, this showed how much it hurt to have people who looked like you socially reject you.

It actually hurt a lot, to the point where I don’t feel like I’m a real part of the black community nearly enough of the time, as I feel that Black American inner city culture in particular doesn’t want me, a so-called “Goofy Mark”, around.

The pain that was put upon me during my childhood and over the years was deep, lasting, and though I know it shouldn’t has stuck with me as an adult, which is why – most unfortunately I must emphasize – don’t feel as naturally comfortable in the inner city African-American community (I feel more comfortable among the black middle class and elderly, probably because I didn’t suffer any bullying and “Goofy Mark” taunting among them) as much as I could and should, sad to say, because among my fellow blacks in the ‘hood I was shown too many times that in too many of their eyes, I was “Goofy”.

A “Mark”

A “Faggot” (sorry for the term).

An “Oreo”.

“Scary”.

“Retarded”.

 

COMING NEXT MONTH:  Excerpts from Chapter Five, detailing my rough times in high school.

 

No, I did NOT dress like this, and I was not nearly as clumsy or had his high nasal squeak, but I reckon that more than enough of my African-American peers during my childhood saw me as similar to Steve Urkel here. Photo courtesy of chron.com

 

 

 

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BEGINNING THE HOME STRETCH: The Latest Update on “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”

I’ve often felt like this little girl not only as a kid, but also in my adult life and sometimes even today due to having Asperger’s. Photo courtesy of myaspergerschild.com

 

HOW THINGS ARE GOING AS I BEGIN MY FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR SELF-PUBLICATION OF MY BOOK DESCRIBING MY LIFE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM IN THE NON-AUTISTIC WORLD

 

To put it precisely, it’s coming along fairly well.

Since the new year began I’ve been making final edits, corrections and rewrites of my book, WALKING ON EGGSHELLS, making sure that everything is as good as I can possibly make it before I go to the self-publication sites.

Out of the ten chapters I have written, I have printed five, meaning that half of the book is, in my eyes, as ready for (self) publishing as I can make it as this is the fourth edit of this tome.

I’ve been trying to cut things, looking at different paragraphs, passages and sentences that are too wordy; things that are not needed to get my point across along with the inevitable typos and misspellings that are common with every writer.

Basically my mind-set in this process is,  “How can I make this better?”

As evidenced by the fact that I’ve done five chapters so far and am currently final editing Chapter Six, things are moving along.

My target date for WALKING ON EGGSHELLS being finished and published remains between June 1st and my 50th birthday in mid-June.

 

This, I’ve felt, describes me too, especially during my high school days; check out those other two girls (no doubt) talking crap about her. Photo courtesy of activebeat.com

 

In order to accomplish that, however, I need to keep going on the editing and printing, which will take a while as the manuscript is well over 300 pages – though it will be considerably fewer in book form; this is not WAR AND PEACE I’m writing here, nor do I want my book to be.

After all the editing and rewriting, though I know it won’t be perfect by any means, and I’m not expecting it to be any kind of big seller in the slightest, I have to say that I’m as satisfied as a first-time writer can be.

My current goal for this particular week is to have Chapter Six – which is the second part of my mostly bad times as a high school student with Asperger’s and my struggles with that in a traditional school as I had so many traumatic memories of those days, I had to split them into two large chapters – finished and printed.

And perhaps Chapter Seven, which describes my pathetic history concerning matters of the heart, focusing on one member of the opposite sex in particular, as well.

The Bottom Line: Things are coming together.

I hope they continue to.

And I really hope that people will want to read this book of mine when it’s done.

Goodness knows I’ve worked quite hard on it.

 

No pair of statements can be truer, particularly the first one in my case. Image courtesy of pinterest.com

 

Jury Duty: The Modern Day Draft

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A jury duty waiting room, where so many people wish to avoid. Photo courtesy of planningnotepad.com

 

THOUGHTS ON THE OBLIGATION OF U.S. CITIZENS TO  BE AVAILABLE TO SERVE ON JURIES

 

Recently I was serving jury duty.

Meaning that I had to be available to serve on a jury if needed as I went on-line to the Los Angeles Superior Court’s website for five straight evenings to see if I had to report to court the next morning.

When the message appeared on Thursday (the final day I had to log on) that I didn’t need to report to court and that my jury duty service was completed, three words came to mind…

 

“Yippee! I’m Free!”

 

I won’t lie; like countless other folks, serving on a jury was the last thing I wanted to do as it’s such an imposition and inconvenience of my time.

Plus the fact that the summons comes unexpectedly – along with the thought that I could end up on a jury in a trial that lasts for months like O.J. Simpson’s “Trial of the Century” in 1994-95 – irritates me and causes anxiety as someone on the Autism Spectrum Disorder;  someone who Asperger’s Syndrome to be precise.

I know, I know – some will say that my attitude toward jury duty is wrong, that I need to understand that it’s an obligation that every U.S. citizen needs to fulfill and that it’s an honor to be able to possibly be one of twelve people deciding someone’s fate.

I do understand that, and if I was ordered to report to court and placed in a jury box I would have done so.

But that doesn’t mean I would’ve liked it.

 

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I like this statement – it’s SO true! Image courtesy of pixgood.com

 

In fact, this latest jury duty venture marked the sixth time (I think) that a summons with my name on it appeared in my mail.

And (again, I must be honest) while I’ve had to report to serve four out of those six times, I’ve had the fortune to not be selected for a jury.

Though I have had close calls that I sweated and stressed over, like the previous time I went though this in 2014 when not only I was called to the downtown Los Angeles court, they sent me and roughly forty other folks to the court in East L.A. for a trial.

Luckily the judge informed us that the case was settled and that we could all go home, telling us, “We’ll see you next year,” as there’s a twelve month waiting period before one is eligible to get summoned again.

I couldn’t help thinking, “Not likely,” as I left.

Ever since I started getting summonses in earnest in 2001, like many others I figured the best way to try to get out of jury duty is to have a strong opinion about whatever issue is being featured in the courtroom.

Because the prosecution and the defense attorneys want total non-bias, when questioned in the jury selection process if you express an iron-clad conviction for one side or the other, ala “No matter what, I’m going to vote him guilty (or innocent) because I’m sick of these thugs roaming on the streets/sick of these people getting treated so unfairly and filling the jails!”…

The chances are good that the judge will say those eight words that I reckon about ninety percent of potential jurors want to hear:

 

“You are excused. Thank you for your service.”

 

As I’ve said, I know that some won’t like my views on this modern-day military draft, which is what I like to call it as until the early 1970s, men were subject to getting a letter from Uncle Sam telling them to report to their local draft boards and put on a uniform, take a weapon, and possibly go get killed somewhere in Europe (during World Wars I and II), Korea, or Vietnam – which so many guys tried to get out of via a student deferment or fleeing to Canada.

Or in the case of Muhammad Ali, simply refusing to step forward and take the induction oath as he did in 1967.

 

jury-duty

I really like this Monopoly style pic as it perfectly shows the attitude of many people towards jury duty. Image courtesy of hdimagelib.com

 

In other words, at least in my mind…

Then it was the military draft. Now – though of course no one is killed – it’s jury duty.

Which is why I feel jury duty ought to be a volunteer thing, where anyone who’s at least 18 years old and an American citizen who hasn’t been convicted of a felony can be hired (part-time, at between $10 and $15 an hour) to be on call for a jury and trained to be an impartial juror.

That would assure that the people sitting in those jury boxes are those who want to be there, and would lower the unemployment rate immensely.

I suppose you can tell from what I’ve written that I’m glad I wasn’t called to serve on anyone’s jury this particular time.

I also suppose you can tell that it’s my hope that I don’t get any more summonses for a long, long time.

However, if one does come – and I reckon it will,

I’ll cross that bridge if and when I get to it.

In the meantime, for those who dislike these views of mine regarding this obligation,

I hope that you respect the fact that I’m verbally standing up for my beliefs.

Which is a basic American right.

 

 

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The jury box – a place where many don’t want to be, but also a place that some enjoy. Photo courtesy of nbclosangeles.com

 

 

CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY MUSINGS FOR 2016

 

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What Christmas is REALLY about. Image courtesy of amazinggraceweb.org

 

 

PLUS SOME SOOTHING PHOTOS AND IMAGES THAT WILL HOPEFULLY INCREASE YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRIT

 

Four days before Christmas, and my one dominating thought regarding it all is this:

In light of all the animosity, hatred, and bigotry generated by various events, particularly the election of Donald Trump,

This is one Christmas where we need Peace On Earth,

And goodwill not only toward men, but toward women, children, animals, all people of color,  Muslims, Jews, Gays, all those who are developmentally disabled in some form (like those on the Autism Spectrum like me), and everyone else who I foolishly may have forgotten,

MORE THAN EVER.

And remind ourselves that this holiday is all about a certain baby whose birth we are commemorating and celebrating right about now.

The other day I saw this quote regarding this time of year that I thought was perfect and eloquently described my sentiments:

 

“As we get older we realize that the best gifts for Christmas are found in the heart and not in the shopping malls.”

 

It didn’t say who said that quote, but though there’s admittedly a picture of a mall in this post – there for the decorations, NOT the mall – I loved it all the same.

Of course it should go without saying what my Christmas and holiday wish is, as it will always be the same every year:

 

PEACE.

 

Which to be honest will be especially difficult to attain given the current political, ideological, racial, and cultural climate not only in the U.S., but in the rest of the world as well.

I’m convinced that only God will be able to make that wish a reality.

And I pray that He brings that peace.

In the meantime, here are some photos and videos of songs that as someone with Asperger’s, brings a calming effect to me and induces feelings of warmth and comfort.

I hope they do the same for you.

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM LITTLE OLD ME.

 

 

One of two essential Christmas songs in my book: Sting’s rendition of “Gabriel’s Message”. Courtesy of YouTube.

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE9h_ie4-Rs

The other song that I must hear this time of year, otherwise it’s not Christmas: “Christmas Time Is Here (instrumental version)” from the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Courtesy of YouTube – just click on the link.

 

 

 

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Christmas decorations at The Grove, a large shopping center in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of thevalley.net

 

 

holiday-lights

I’ve always liked Christmas lights, and I really like the ones at this home and yard. Photo courtesy of nassau.happeningmag.com

 

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Another pretty scene for the occasion; I like the snow and the way the trees are decorated. Photo courtesy of favim.com

 

 

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An ideal Christmas image: A huge decorated tree surrounded by lighted homes, other snow-covered trees, and some mountains. Image courtesy of wm.com

 

 

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This snowy scene, with the snow, the creek, and all the trees, particularly gives me a warm, calming feeling and helps gets me into the spirit. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com

 

JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: The Latest On The Writing of My Book, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”

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A good illustration of my book writing process as I wrote my 1st draft in longhand and used a PC for my subsequent drafts. Photo courtesy of kimberleeconwayireton.net

 

 

HOW THINGS ARE PROGRESSING WITH MY BOOK DETAILING MY EXPERIENCES HAVING ASPERGER’S AS CHRISTMAS AND THE END OF 2016 APPROACHES

 

To get right to the point…

Since I started setting aside an average of a couple of hours a week to edit and rewrite a fourth (and final) draft of the book detailing my experiences being on the Autism Spectrum in a non-autistic world, WALKING ON EGGSHELLS,

Things have been progressing fairly well as I am currently in the middle of chapter seven, with the book being planned for nine chapters and a brief epilogue.

I finished chapters five and six last month; they were important chapters because they described my (mostly bad) experiences in high school.

There were so many events and incidents during those high school years which led to negative results and feelings in some form, I had to divide them into two chapters as one chapter would have been WAY too long.

As a play on the iconic movie “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”, the quintessential teenage film released during the start of my high school days, I’m calling the chapters “Rough Times At Samohi, Part One” and “Rough Times At Samohi, Part Two”

While not divulging any excerpts – sorry, you’ll just have to wait for the book to be published,

I can say that part one details my first year or so at Santa Monica High School (the term “Samohi”, coming from taking the first two letters of Santa Monica, and High), where I spent those formative years, focusing on my struggles fitting in with the main extracurricular activity I was involved with, the marching band, while part two mostly recalls my academic and social struggles outside of the music program, including my experiences at the prom and trying to get my driver’s license my senior year.

 

Aspergers

Photo courtesy of lumacare.co.uk

 

Which were two bad memories that helped to illustrate my Charlie Brown-like failures there.

As for chapter seven, except for it being about my struggles with matters of the heart I prefer not to go into any details about it as it’s rather personal; sorry, you’ll just have to read the book when it’s finished and published!

My immediate plans are to try to finish the chapter before New Year’s, but if not it will definitely be done by the end of the first week of January.

Which will leave me free to tackle what will probably be the most important part of my book:

My (more often than I would have liked) traumatic times as an adult with an emphasis on my social struggles in the workforce, which like my high school experiences are so many I have to divide them into part one and part two.

Those two chapters are so essential to WALKING ON EGGSHELLS, I have to be sure that I dedicate time to working on them each week if my goal of the book being (self) published and out by my birthday in June is to be reached.

The way things are going, I am pretty confident about that goal being reached.

Because all I’m really trying to do is tell one person’s story about his being in a world which because of his special need is not geared toward him, and his challenges succeeding in such a world.

Keep holding good thoughts…

 

 

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An excellent quote. Image courtesy of quoteaddicts.com

 

 

 

 

Why I’m Never Having Children (As Much As I Like Them)

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I don’t wear tights, I don’t live in Neverland and I can’t fly, but like Peter Pan this is one joy that I feel I’ll never be able to know. Photo courtesy of newsworks.org

 

Let me make something clear:

I LIKE CHILDREN VERY MUCH.

They are, for the most part, energetic and fun to be around.

If I didn’t feel that way, I wouldn’t have worked in the education field for roughly twenty years as a physical education teacher, a sports coach – mostly baseball and softball – a tutor and an after-school counselor, with the bulk of that time being spent at the elementary school-age level.

But there’s a reason why as much as this is so, being a father, having someone call me “Dad”, will ultimately never be in the cards for me.

Here’s an illustration of this conviction:

A couple of times a week I visit my town’s local public library to do some computer work, to print some things, and to work on my book detailing my experiences having Asperger’s Syndrome and being on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”.

Every so often, as I do different things on various websites, some toddler in the children’s section would start crying loudly for whatever reason.

While I understand this is what young children do when upset, because of my being extremely noise sensitive, about a 30 on a scale of one to ten,  the sound of the kid crying borders on excruciating as though it has gotten a bit easier as I have aged, it’s still all I can do to not let that sound drive me crazy and wishing for a strict library policy of “Cry & Go” – they cry, they go, at least until the parent can calm them down.

If I feel this way as some random guy in the library, imagine me having to deal with it as a parent.

As much as I regret to say this and wish it was not true, I simply couldn’t handle it.

I also, with much regret, would have trouble and suffer too much stress over a child with any kind of issues, particularly behavioral.

Another reason why I feel that I can never be a father is something that I have thought about quite a bit…

As a person on the Autism Spectrum, I have suffered and struggled, sometimes mightily, to fit in and thrive in this neurotypical (non-disabled) world.

While this was particularly the case as a youngster, in some ways this remains the case as an adult, especially when it comes to being in the workforce as I found that as much as I have tried – and I tried for over 20 years – I just couldn’t succeed in the traditional working for someone else/top-down hierarchy.

Being someone with Asperger’s, there would be a very good chance that any offspring of mine would end up on some level of the Autism Spectrum.

Though I understand that there are many schools and programs today that help such kids with their social skills and teaching them how to fit in, schools and programs that didn’t exist during my formative years in the 1970s and 80s, I just can’t stomach having a child with special needs trying to thrive in a world that’s generally not geared towards them as they would be facing challenges that would break my heart.

In other words, it’s not the kid. It’s the world.

Also, and I feel this must be said as much as it may be unpopular and as much as it pains me to say it…

As an African-American male, I have seen FAR too many young black boys and men being racially profiled and gunned down by police and others simply because of the color of their skin; I was a victim of racial profiling myself.

Not to mention the blatant bigotry that seems to be increasingly rampant on college campuses and elsewhere.

If I had a son, or a daughter for that matter, while I would certainly feel joy there would also be a deep-down worry and sorrow due to those increasingly likely issues that son or daughter would probably have to face.

I couldn’t handle that stress.

By not having children, I feel I’m saving such children from that possibly rough life.

SO wish I didn’t feel this way, but there you are.

And I of course greatly admire African-American parents who are raising their kids in the environment that we seem to be in.

I know some will read this and see me as weak, or some other negative hyperbole.

All I can say to that is that I’m only doing one thing:

Being honest.

Which I hope people will appreciate as the bottom line is, as much as I like children and wouldn’t mind being a father, it’s just not for me.

After all, having kids is not for everyone as if it were, child abuse and neglect – which I certainly wouldn’t partake in – would not exist.

Simply put, I don’t feel I could handle the responsibility of raising a child.

As I have said, I’m just being honest.

Thanks for letting me vent.

 

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Some youngsters with Asperger’s working on what I’m sure is a school assignment. Photo courtesy of myaspergerschild.com

 

ADDING ANOTHER YEAR: Thoughts Regarding My Birthday

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March Air Force Base in Riverside, CA – where I was born and in a full-circle way would very much like to visit next year on my 50th birthday. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com

 

WHAT’S GOING ON IN AND THROUGH MY HEAD AS I ADD ANOTHER YEAR TO MY LIFE SPAN

Not intending to sound pompous, but…

Roughly 36 hours from this writing, I will officially enter the last year of my forties.

Meaning – if I have done the simple math correctly – I will officially be one year away from the ultimate middle-age milestone:

The big five-zero.

Most of my thoughts, as my birthday approaches, is not unlike others in the same situation.

Of course it should go without saying that I’m very grateful and blessed to be able to add another candle on my birthday cake.

Especially since the list of people I’ve known throughout my life, folks I grew up with and others,  who have not made it to 49 (my age as of the 18th of this month) has been growing due to various factors like disease; I can think of several people I knew well who have succumbed to cancer off the top of my head.

Quite sad – again, that goes without saying.

Being the age generally considered middle-aged in general society, besides my health issues that have already been written about, there’s another thing that I’ve been experiencing for a while that has me concerned…

Forgetfulness.

Actually, I have had a habit of forgetting important things since childhood; I remember being locked out of my house more than once as a kid and a young adult because I forgot my keys.

And what’s worse, I wouldn’t realize that I’d forgotten them until I arrived home from school or work or whatever.

This absent-mindedness reared its head again recently, when after arriving home I realized that I had left the hard drive that the book I’m working on, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, at the library.

Which, as you could imagine, would have been devastating to the point of considering abandonment of the whole endeavor if it weren’t for the fact that when I went back to the library, the good people there had it in their lost and found.

I was relieved as I left the place, but couldn’t help feeling a tiny bit frustrated over this continuing habit of forgetting things and not finding out until much later that I had forgotten them.

There have been times when I would wonder if this was an early sign of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, or merely a “senior moment”.

I obviously hope not, as the best thing I can do is wait and see.

One thing’s for certain as I advance in age…

While I’m physically feeling the effects of middle age in the form of not only hypertension – for which I’ve been taking medication – exercising, and changing my diet to combat this issue for the past year and a half,

But also in the form of pain in my upper back (when I’ve been on my feet for a period of time), left Achilles tendon, and particularly my right knee as since early spring, whenever I have done cardio, walked long distances, or played softball, I’d wake up the next morning with my knee hurting fairly badly, which would go away after putting ointment on it and/or spraying it,

Emotionally speaking, I don’t feel like a 49 year-old, at least the way American society says 49 ought to feel like.

Without going into detail – I’ll save that for the book – I don’t always behave the way people on the verge of fifty years old ought to behave according to American norms, as I always feel like I’m “walking on eggshells” (hence the reason why I renamed my book) to fit my square peg of an Asperger’s person into the neurotypical round hole.

Having said all of this…

It is NOT my intention to whine about how crappy my life is; I know full well how blessed and loved I am.

Even if, in my aspieness, I don’t always see it.

As for birthday plans, they’ll be relatively modest, the big highlight being playing softball as it will be the third time I will have played the game I’ve played nearly my whole life on the anniversary of the day I was born.

It should be fun.

Outside of having food from my favorite Mexican restaurant, a place where I’ve eaten for over forty years – if you’re from Santa Monica, you should know what that restaurant is – and cake, that’s basically it.

It’s next year when, like so many other folks turning 50, my birthday will be a relatively big affair.

But for now, I’ll give much thanks to God when I wake up on the 18th, as I always do,

And enjoy this personal holiday.

 

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Where I spent my early childhood – Woodcrest, CA, a suburb of Riverside which to me was most idyllic. Photo courtesy of activerain.com