We survived yet another brutal night. (Yes, I know, so many autists across the spectrum have problems with sleep. I’ve always found it difficult to fall asleep, and I sleep very lightly, such that the slightest change in the environment could wake me up abruptly. I remember becoming very upset in my childhood when I was asleep and felt the presence of my mother (or anyone else) standing over me – I could sense the change in the air, as if it had suddenly become ominously more dense, and be filed with irrational fear, then irritation at having been so rudely disturbed.) Last night, beginning at around 9pm and going on till well past midnight, a group of people congregated again at the studio rooms just outside my unit. Once more, I was subjected to a show of neurotypical social power – nothing personal, really, merely a reminder of the rule of majority over minority, but the consequence (for me) in this instance was a harsh one.
What are study rooms for? It may seem obvious, but not to these types. They had all the necessary paraphernalia to make it look as if they were indeed there to study – laptops, notes etc – however, I cannot fathom how anyone can study while at the same time creating wild, dramatic cacophony. “Ah, they’re just youngsters,” you may say, but from what I could see through the little peephole in my door, they were not a very youthful crowd at all. Definitely not teenagers anyway, and from the looks of the too bouncy aerated corpulent woman with big hair, very definitely adult, in fact, very very adult. Students, nevertheless, since this is student accommodation after all.
The racket was excruciating: it’s rise and fall, the alarming crescendo of laughter, contrapuntal stretto of babble, with a basso continuo mumbling like vomit crawling on the floor, and sharp stabbing staccato interjections from mistreated furniture, trapped me inside its frightening vortex. I lay in bed, clutching my iPad, trying to distract my mind from the mounting fear and anxiety by frantically surfing the web for comforting visual images – Facebook, Pinterest, Brit & Co. etc – with the television on as a kind of sonic mitigation. Alas, it was too exhausting to fight on, and I eventually sank into a restless stupor, my body collapsed in a limp heap, heart pounding violently against rib cage, and nausea clawing at my innards. The sudden onslaught of feminine coloratura cackling-shrieking and masculine roaring was the worst part of the terrifying Wagnerian operatic offering. They come without warning, like a Wagnerian Brunhilde on mind-altering drugs fueled by alcohol, yet, these folks were drinking nothing more lethal than Coca Cola and munching on potato crisps.
This is the kind of scenario that pushes me across the line of decent thought, into the realm of disdain – that green slimy putridity rises up from its suppressed depths – yes, it’s my contempt for the neurotypical rituals of courtship, flirting and associated whatnot. Why do women have to screech so hideously to be noticed? Why do men puff themselves up so, bellowing with such fervour at emptiness and blowing overly hard into soiled brown paper bags? How could anyone think any of this is attractive? Fine. Your rejoinder would be, “That’s why you are still single.” Well, guess what, I am actually relieved, very glad, to be single, if these specimens are all there is available on the buffet table. Thank you. I don’t want Wagner, I am happy with Bach, and sometimes a bit of Mozart, Debussy, and for excitement, Stravinsky.
Lucy was far less affected, but she cuddled up close. Perhaps she sensed my distress, perhaps she just wanted a cuddle, it doesn’t matter at all why, what was important was that she did. I needed that.
When the tyranny of the neurotypicals subsided into a murmur at around 2am, peaking only at a bearable mezzoforte (as compared to the full on fortissimo hundred strong orchestra with too much brass), my own body decided to enact its own performance piece. I was seized once more by the humourless teasing of piercing intense heat, then icy cold – hypersenses gone amok. Well, I am nearly fifty, so many would ascribe this strange phenomena to menopausal vocalisations. However, this has been a feature of my wonderful eclectic existence since the age of five (which is so only because that is as far back as I can remember). How does one explain that, then? I am as dumbfounded as my doctors.
The morning emerged. I detest the mornings, and yet I love greeting the new day with Lucy. Another dichotomous knot in my diaphragm to be sure. Some licking of my hand, stroking of warm silken velvety head, rustling of sheets, a lot of cuddling, non-verbal greetings (we have our own ‘language’ of noises and movements), and then we were off into the brisk morning air as per routine. We both thrive on routine. It is something I look forward to, and I know Lucy does too.
My bok choy experiment has behaved well, I stir fried some cuttings last night for dinner, with yellow soya beans, and threw in an Indian spiced drumstick from the IGA. Not bad at all, though I am no avid gardener. Shaking off the nasty taste from last night, there is more to look forward to, today. Despite the lingering pain in my back, shoulders and feet, my lovely balcony beckons once again, the sunshine is comforting, and so is the mostly silent presence of my beautiful Greyhound. We’re having the warmest autumn in a long time, so the weatherman says. Well, I’d better enjoy it while it lasts!
Have a clement Sunday, everyone.