Consider this entry a followup to my last entry on bullying. Writing it brought a lot of emotions and thoughts to the forefront of my mind, ideas I hadn’t considered.

This year marks 21 years since I moved from Houston to Arkansas. Next year will mark 20 years since I entered middle school. 2017 will mark 20 years of my diagnosis. 2019 will mark 20 years since I was last truly bullied.

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On Jake Lloyd and the Scars of Bullying

I took no joy this weekend at the news of Jake Lloyd’s arrest.

Lloyd was arrested after a car chase and charged on several counts including reckless driving and resisting arrest. I don’t know what the exact facts of the case are. I certainly don’t condone his behavior. Lloyd has largely been a recluse in the last 15 years and, one interview aside the facts of his life aren’t well known.

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Why I Hate Being Sick

When you’re a kid, being sick is awesome. After all, you get to stay home from school on a weekday. You get to watch TV. You get to read. Being sick as a kid is like nature decided to give you a vacation. Sure you might throw up and coughing stinks, but who cares! You’re sick!

When you’re an adult, being sick doesn’t rank among the worst things imaginable yet ordinary, it takes the crown. Staying home sick from work actually stinks because your work goes to someone else. If you have any ethics, you want to be present to do your job. Furthermore, you have the joy of being n adult so the fun things you usually get to do as an adult like drive around town before/after work are out.

And all of this pales next to the real hell: being sick itself.

I’ve been sick twice this season. The first time was a flu that bound me to bed with a lot of sleeping. Unfortunately, a day into the bug Amanda also caught it. That made our house “fun”. The second was a stomach virus last week that was less than fun. So much nausea.

Being sick is the removal of homeostasis from my life. If my body is functioning, I’m able to keep going. My mind is ever driven after all. But being sick takes that away. I can’t focus. Everything around me distracts. My senses are either up or down. I ache. Nausea is the ultimate worst. It’s both disgusting and painful. I can’t eat then.

Here’s the weirdest worst part: I develop intense focus in this moment. I want it to end so badly I focus on how I feel at every second, waiting, hoping for it to end. I’m grasping for signs the nightmare will stop. I might even fake it a bit only to relapse. I forget how well feels.

So it goes. I don’t know how long it will last. It feels eternal. It’s usually 72 hours or so. In time, I do slowly heal. Eventually homeostasis returns. And in time, I will forget about the agony. Then I start coughing.

The Old Rituals

When I was a kid, allowance time was a ritual. I took my money and promptly put it to good use. I headed down to Hastings to get my hands on the latest Marvel novel or movie tie-in. I scurried to get my hands on a used Star Trek book or maybe a new one at Wal-Mart. Once every few months, a new Star Wars book hit, a special event. It was an exciting time.

Those days are now long past.

I think about them because of what happens when I try to recreate them. I have, of late, tried to do this to little avail. It starts similar. My day off, I’ve got money. I head to Barnes and Noble–the Hastings in the area is long closed–and I try to pick up a book.

What happens when I get there? Crippling indecision coupled with frustrating logic. I look at the books. Many quite appealing. I contemplate a purchase. My mind revolts. It screams at me. “Don’t you buy this! You don’t want it!” So it is that I walk around, contemplating but ultimately leaving.

I’ve been thinking about what’s changed for me as an adult. Obviously, I have far more responsibilities. Bills and groceries are a thing! But that’s not the only factor. I now have far greater access to quality free books through the library to the point where the odds are 1 in 1.5 that the library will get a book I want. I’ve also gone through three moves in three years. The thought of adding a book to the pile infuriates me. I’ve also outgrown the simplistic writing of many of these books. They’re not for me.

It hurts to not return down that path as easily. Nostalgia is after all a pain for something we can’t return to. I wish I still felt the drive to collect tie-ins as I once did because it was a fun hobby. I’m more likely to chase down obscure trade paperbacks or older, out of print novelizations now. But even that’s reduced. And I miss it.

It’s inevitable to long on some level for the habits and routines long gone. For those of us on the spectrum, they defined us. Now time has passed and we aren’t who we once were. That sense of self is vital to us. It’s scary to realize you aren’t who you are.

And yeah, we do try to return anyway. As I noted before, there are joys we find eternal and they’re reliable. But much of it we can’t and we shouldn’t. I have no business rewatching most of the things I loved as a kid. I have no business revisiting the books I loved then. And I’m smart enough to know that, though I slip from time to time.

The Saturday routine though? That I’ll always miss and for good reason. It was a joyous moment in my week that gave me peace when I lacked it otherwise. Of course I’d love to recapture that. But I must concede that I can’t and that I’ve evolved.

So it is that on Tuesday morning, my day off, I’ll get up. I’ll deposit my wife at work. I’ll drive over to the library, write for an hour. I’ll drive around. I’ll get something to drink, maybe something to eat. The new routine will go on. It’s not my old one. But in time it’ll be as missed as my old one.

State of Life 6/2

This is kind of a cover all post like the ones I’ve labeled Odds and Ends in the past but I feel like being a bit more open and honest on were my mind is. There’s a point to this.

I openly admit I haven’t had much to say here in the last few weeks. I would if I could. I’ve even started an entry or two but to no luck. There’s a restlessness to me right now I admit. I’ve written openly on that before. I’m just wresting with feelings. I think I need an outlet for that.

But I have one! I’m deep in the writing on the second draft of In Bloom. About to finish act I on the way to Act II.  This is still far from where I want it but I am very happy with it. I can’t wait to get it finished and shared. I admit it’s where my focus is. But as I’ve openly admitted I struggled with it for 15 years. Now that I’m not I’m so happy. 

I’ve been struggling with sleep I admit. This is entirely due to my kitty being very hyper. That’s been sucking up a lot of energy. It really wears you out. 

In May I did a brief experiment in which I did a comics podcast. As not even I ever threw it on, it’s over. Wasn’t to be. You hit those, experiments that don’t work. Not good or bad. Just is. 

I’m hoping to get more up soon. Until then, know I’m not dead. Just reloading!