Our Autistic Life

There’s been a weird vibe in the air around our little world lately. Not only has the universe seemingly been conspiring to make sure I don’t feel too comfortable in our tiny, dingy flat (Hell, I’ll never get the damn book done if I don’t focus!) but, I’ve been looking around at things and……I can’t help but to think I’ve taken us on a bit of a detour.

There is something to be said for living uniquely, so I’m not going to try and make anyone believe the last year has been a complete waste or loss. After all, we’ve managed to have some fun while also kind of getting things together for us. We don’t have nearly the pictures I’d hoped to have of Nella with her favorite movie stars, but what we do have is pretty cool.

Cool, but weird.

A couple weeks ago was kind of a big deal. I took her down a few blocks from our place before school and she actually managed to meet and have a photograph taken with Jack Bauer – aka Kiefer Sutherland. Cool huh?

Well, I surprised her with a framed copy of that picture and placed it on top of the television. My intent was to give her a way to gaze lovingly at it anytime she wanted without handling it, dropping it and breaking the glass (again). But, what’s happened instead is my growing unease. Why? Well, who else has a framed photo of Kiefer Sutherland on what is effectively their mantle space – the place reserved for family photos. Ok, you may be thinking that I’m OVER thinking all this, but there’s more to it.

Because we lack an actual mantle or even proper shelves, that photo is one that I end up looking at no less than 75 times per day! I mean, it cannot be helped; it’s right there! And, the thing about Kiefer that was genuinely surprising to me was how unbelievably, ridiculously, gorgeous he is. Don’t laugh because you simply have no real idea unless you’ve seen the man in person. Kiefer Sutherland is actually good looking in a way that is unfair to all the other men. (Which left me a stuttering fool and we’re not even going to get into that!)

So, seeing this photo all day long it’s seeped into my subconscious. It has seeped in and invaded my dreams. Not Kiefer mind you – Jack Bauer – because there’s always some kind of terrorist plot wrapped up in a Salvador Dali painting that leaves me both breathless and reeling from the fact that even in my dreams I’m completely commitment phobic.

Just think about it for a moment. The very first of these dreams involved city busses that crashed outside of my house and somehow dissolved into this powdery substance that was toxic to inhale. I quickly shielded Nella from the passing cloud, but then got up and ran to the front door to pull inside the people outside. That’s when I saw Jack Bauer himself standing just inside my door (dressed exactly the same as in the photo – as he always seems to be). I was so relieved that he was ok – seriously, I still recall how my heart seemed to freeze in my chest. YET, in the next breath I really needed to know just how the hell he got inside my house!

I mean, the most beautiful man I’ve laid eyes on in years – seriously, years – and I’m actually freaked out that he had a key to my house??!! Really, how does a person go from “My God, I’m so happy you’re alive!” to “And, just who the hell gave you a key??”.  Even in my dreams I’m a neurotic mess!

Yikes, and then there’s Nella – down to reminding me on a daily bases now that she’s not at all pleased that I haven’t yet gotten her a new father. Two days ago, as we watched 2012 she recognized John Cusack. For an Autistic that’s kind of huge. It takes so long for them to learn to recognize the difference between “man & woman”, “dog & cat”, “human & animal”. So, when she got those concepts down I really didn’t concern myself too much with her inability to recognize an actor from movie to movie. But, when she did on that night I was so shocked that I slipped up and answered honestly when she asked me “Is HE married, mom?”.

Crap. Now, she’s convinced he’d make for a good husband. And then there’s my sister. She’s the one who decided my soul mate was Michael Rosenbaum because he and I both really like Peanut butter Captain Crunch. My God, no wonder I’m terrified of a relationship!

Which, of course, brings me back to the original question – which way am I really going? I am currently trying to convince my sons that being in a relationship isn’t the be all, end all. Ok, fine. But, where is that line between living for a man and spinster shut-in? When did this all get so hard?

Hell, maybe the answer is as simple as living in LA will make you a crazy person. The only thing I do know right now is that moving sideways is at least not moving backwards. That sideways is a direction that can be steered into forward motion. Er, that and…..

Dear God Kiefer Sutherland is HOT!


et cetera