I’m working afternoons this week. I suppose that people who have a social life, nevermind a family, hate working afternoons, but I’d rather always work such shifts; they allow me to write for a couple of hours first thing in the morning. Once I’ve already put in enough work to calm down whatever otherworldly demon forces me to create stuff, I can waste the rest of my energies and the afternoon at the office (until ten at night) in a sort of generally unproductive daze.
Anyway, somehow the subject came up that these last couple of months I’ve arrived late a few times, and my coworker (a kind woman with children who lives in my city) didn’t know why. I told her about the heart issues I developed (pretty sure I told her back in the day, but I guess she forgot) as well as my current knowledge about it after a visit to the cardiologist and a couple of blood tests: I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, and my left ventricle is considerably larger than normal, although without signs of myocarditis or pericarditis. Even my cholesterol levels are healty; I had suspected otherwise due to the amount of pastries I had eaten recently “for research.” The cardiologist believes that my enlarged ventricle is due to me lifting weights on-and-off since I was a teen. Who knows. I’m no athlete.
We talked for a bit about the enraging absurdity of medical professionals getting pissy about the link between these “booster vaccines”, or the original vaccines for that matter, and heart issues. There are articles online from societies of cardiologists worldwide that suggest an about four percent risk of atrial fibrillation with these jabs (among other things). My cardiologist got pissy when I stated the fact that I never experienced heart issues of any kind until the very same day I received the second “booster vaccine”: as I was building up a fever, I experienced palpitations, “heart hiccups,” that have remained to this day. Some of these professionals claim that there’s no data to support the link, then they don’t write down in the episodes the mentioned “circumstantial evidence” of the problems arising immediately after the vaccination. Very sinister shit.
One day a few months ago, as I was going through another one of my depressions (I had wished to die in my sleep that previous night, in a fucked up ritual I’ve gotten used to since I was much, much younger), and as I was wasting my morning at work, my heart went haywire with an arrhythmia that ended up landing me in the ER. They gave me some flecainide, a drug with a “black box warning” that suggests you can suffer heart attacks if you decide to take it regularly (which they suggested I did if I went through other episodes of atrial fibrillation). Fortunately, the medicine, apart from making me break in cold sweat the moment I ceased to be in a horizontal position, stopped my arrhythmia; they would have had to defibrillate me otherwise, which didn’t sound palatable.
That stuff may not sound like much to some people, but it was the worst health-related episode in my whole life so far (not counting self-destructive episodes). I’ve been paranoid about my heart failing ever since, because you are far more likely to suffer a stroke during an arrhythmia among other things, and I’ve changed how I approach stuff in my day to day: I no longer hurry to solve an issue at work, I’m far more careful when moving equipment, and I don’t want to get involved with the kind of coworkers that feed off conflict (which has made me stop talking to one of those people entirely).
The point of this entry, though, is that I ended up admitting to my coworker that I’m autistic; I was diagnosed with it in my mid-twenties, after a few other diagnoses. I have the now defunct variant of Asperger’s Syndrome (these days it’s simply considered high-functioning autism). I can’t think of any time that I haven’t regretted in one way or another admitting this autism of mine to people (online doesn’t matter, though, as for all I know, you people are imaginary); however, my life is a series of “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
My coworker reacted nonchalantly. I suspect she already knew. My brother happens to work in the same office, so maybe years ago he mentioned that his brother was autistic. I’m uncomfortable with the notion that people with whom I interact in person may treat me in strange ways because they know I’m autistic; my own parents, who are quite idiotic in general, ever since they found out that I was autistic, find it impossible to imagine that I would be able to figure out how to arrive at a destination by myself. Even after I send them a screenshot of the route and the image of the location from Google Maps, they still attempt to explain to me step by step how to get there. Again, idiots.
In any case, shortly after the chat with my coworker, a technician from a company that provides barcode scanners showed up, because some nurse had dropped the scanner to the floor of its operating room (happens relatively often), and something had ceased to work internally. I could open the machine and try to connect the cables properly (I did it once in the past), but these technicians get paid for it, so why would I bother?
Well, the reason why I would bother to deal with the barcode scanner’s internal cables myself is because otherwise I have to talk to a complete stranger, which involves me playing a role, behaving like a person completely unlike myself. After the person leaves, my skin crawls, and I feel disgusted for the basic dishonesty and degradation of having to pretend to be a complete stranger just to talk to another human being in person.
And why wouldn’t I act instinctually with humans? Because my natural reaction is to remain silent and stare blankly, and by that I mean literally uttering not a single word. I’ve had plenty of instances in the past in which someone caused trouble for me merely for the fact that I couldn’t figure out what words to come up with, usually because I was exhausted or in a bad mood. In other cases I refused to acknowledge those people, and they looked at me as if I was a ghost or Death itself. I have to walk through my decaying city at half past six in the morning five days a week, so I’ve had a few people try to get my attention. I just walk faster. Some guy working for the town hall attempted to stop me for some sort of quiz (judging by his clipboard), but I walked past without even looking at him. Behind me, the guy went, “hey, hey! Hello? Hello?! Hello!” Random people aren’t entitled to my attention.
But apart from random people and potential muggers, I recall an instance during the last time I considered that attending a writing course was a good idea: a refined-seeming woman in her early thirties, who was seated in front of me, turned around and asked me something. I don’t remember what. I merely stared at her blankly, and as my brain was working to string together a few words, the woman looked disturbed and said, “Sorry for bothering you, I didn’t mean anything by it.” Bitch, I’m retarded. Give me a fucking break. Anyway, she avoided me for the rest of the course, not that I wanted to interact with her or the other attendees anyway.
What l learned from writing courses is that most aspiring writers want to be Authors and Famous. They seek the status. They want the glitz of being present in writing-themed events. Or at least they want to meet new people. Most of them hadn’t even finished a short story in years. Many wanted to be convinced to write.
In the end I was even accused, or so I heard through the grapevine, of causing the stroke of an elderly “writing instructor” with plenty of books published. His course was fraudulent: every class was a guilt trip to get us to buy his books, and he admitted that he hadn’t read fiction in decades. To fill time, he told us to bring our own texts. It seems that my stuff disturbed him tremendously; for the last class of his I attended, he even refused to let me present more material. The texts I used to write back then were far milder than my current nonsense. Anyway, after that class, I simply quit, not only that course but the couple of others I was attending. I don’t think I’ll ever get together with writers again. They can keep sucking and licking each others’ dicks and vaginas.
Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, the notion of starting an interaction with another human being just doesn’t cross my mind. I’m receptive to others contacting me if they are interesting, but I simply lack the instinct for including people in my routines. I was the kind of child that walked around like a monk while holding a notebook, scribbling stuff, sometimes muttering to himself (I act out the scenes I write, at the very least with my facial expressions, and I rarely notice myself doing it, so I can’t write in public).
I never, ever went out of my way to make friends. Because teachers seem to be do-gooders with very little common sense, particularly those that tend to children, a few of them pushed me towards other kids, and even convinced them to call me so I would hang out with them after school. My mother’s whole intention was for me to “act normal and eventually it will become second nature” (fuck you, mom), so I was also pushed by them to hang out with randos.
That way I ended up meeting a malignant narcissist who attempted to ruin my life literally until he died in a car crash, a jock for whom bullying came naturally and innocently (he ended up becoming a soldier), coke addicts, a cat torturer, a run-of-the-mill sociopath, a pyromaniac who was also a compulsive thief (he wasn’t that bad of a guy, he just couldn’t help himself; he ended up OD-ing or killing himself), girls who wanted to feel like good people for helping a special needs kid but who were otherwise like “ew,” etc. Probably plenty of other people that I have forgotten.
I never felt like I belonged in any of those groups, because I didn’t. I was told a couple of times (in two different groups) that I was considered a sort of “corner plant.” I was there but I wasn’t. I spoke if others addressed me, but I didn’t contribute much of anything. I doubt most of them wanted me there. I recall an instance in which they passed me the controller to play GTA (the third one), and the people around me were amazed that I was able to play it properly. Of course I tried to date, mostly because I wanted to have sex, and it was a disaster. I also nearly got raped by some guy when I was fourteen, because I couldn’t tell that he only approached me for predatory purposes. Thankfully I knew the city, and he didn’t (it happened during some local festivities).
My longest romantic relationship only happened because I pushed myself to want and be something I didn’t and wasn’t. I’m not built to be anyone’s romantic partner. Paying attention to the other person felt like a chore. I recall that when we started dating, she was confused because I only wanted to meet like once a week, and it came as a shock to me that we were supposed not only to try to see each other almost every day, but keep texting each other or call each other throughout the day. Don’t other people have hobbies, interests, or even their own internal dialogues to tend to?
Regarding sex these days, VR porn is fantastic.
At times I’ve thought that if people were interesting enough, I’d care, but virtually nobody I have ever met seems as interesting as the stuff I can play out in my mind. As that Modest Mouse song put it, “I eat my own blood and get filled up.” It’s unfair for me to seek human relationships, because I’d only end up hurting those people. Spreading misery has always been one of my talents. In my circumstances, I would only consider getting a romantic partner because there’s no other reasonable way of having children, but I don’t want children in the first place (sorry, Ice Age spawns). But what kind of person who suffers from depression and autism (and OCD, etc.) would want to produce a new human being who would likely also be exposed to such torture? To me that seems like extreme cruelty.
My brain must be a mess of recursive wiring, given the amount of random nonsense that pops in and the daydreams into which it traps me. Those two fuel my writing, so that’s alright (although I shouldn’t handle heavy machinery, nor drive, nor hold babies for that matter). What isn’t fine is the daily bobbing in the maelström of thoughts and memories, usually the same ones, that force me to justify my existence, as well as face memories such as, “hey, remember that one time when you were eight years old and you wore mismatched sneakers, so other kids came to point at them and laugh?” (and that’s by far one of the mildest ones), a process that I can’t control in any way. Knowing that every new experience will end up processed into its more painful parts (usually getting rid of any good ones) with which my brain will bother me for the rest of my life has made me a let’s say cautious person.
Anyway, it’s half past seven in the afternoon and I feel as good as someone at work and who suffers from severe anxiety and a bad case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome can feel. The next chapter of my current novel is going just fine, my recent period of depression has ended, and my heart hasn’t exploded yet. See ya, fuckers.