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Friday, August 5, 2016

Postscript to These Next Three Stories

The reason for including the first story, Stamps in this book should by now be self-evident: most of us on the spectrum have things that we are passionate about and tend to obsess over. This story was told to explain the origins of my obsession of choice, while at the same time making no apologies for it.

The next two stories at first appear to be similar, but they are different in several important ways. In The Snowball, similarly to Arrested!, I am so desperate not to risk losing the acceptance of my friends, that I am willing to go along with a course of action that I know is wrong. I knew that it was wrong to hoist that large snowboulder off the roof of a nine storey building. I did not know exactly why it was wrong, but I knew we would be in trouble if we got caught by our parents. This goes against a commonly held perception that many people have of us, in which they assume that we are incapable of willfully breaking the rules, or at least doing so because we value our relations with others over compliance. In actual fact, we value our relationships with others just as much as other Neurotypicals do, and I may boldly suggest that in some cases actually more, for we know how difficult that acceptance is to obtain in the first place. So we are very careful not to lose it from those whose opinion we value.

On the other hand, in The Cutting Board, the story is about an actual accident, rather than a willful act. Fortunately for me at the time, David was not the sort of lad to shy away from facing responsibility for his actions. So that when we discussed what to do after we heard the cutting board fall out the window, we both came to the conclusion that we needed to head down to the courtyard to take responsibility. There isn't really anything specifically Aspie about this story. I have included it simply because it was interesting and there will be other stories that collectively show that my behavior was not always that different from other people. David was one of several connections I made while I lived in Hong Kong that allowed me to forget, even if for just one night, that I was different. David did not treat me as though I was different. Unfortunately it would be the briefest of friendships, lasting only 1 day. However, I would go on to form other friendships that would last for two years or more, and would have last much longer had I grown up in today's world where long-distance communication in cheap and easy. In those days - the days before Skype, Facetime and unlimited long-distance plans, potential life-long friendships were often lost due to the inability to stay in touch easily. At that age we were too lazy to write letters, so when one of us moved away, as was inevitable in the ex-pat community, those friendships simply faded into obscurity, like ghost towns.

Today, thanks to Facebook, it has been possible to re-kindle some of those friendships, though in most cases, they would never be what they once were. 

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