07 February, 2010

The gift

I need to expand this later. But today the Rapid Transit line from Tower City to the Cleveland Airport broke down, and as I was finding my way to the shuttle they'd arranged to take people to the airport instead, a guy started talking to me. He was about twice my age and I figured it was a situation that could be read as creepy, but I don't mind talking to people, and we were in a public place, so I kept talking to him. The bus was very slow so we ended up talking for, I think, at least an hour. Or maybe it just felt like that because we got so deep in so fast.

His name is Seth and he told me about his life, his different jobs and the places he lived. His whole family are writers, except him; he wants to open a machine shop. He used to live in Ann Arbor but he moved to Cleveland because it's cheap and because he thinks he has more chance of having a successful machine shop. He's also writing a screenplay. It sounds good.

Mostly he told me about Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk who wrote books in the forties through sixties. He told me about Thomas Merton's struggles with the abbot who was trying to control him, and his love life, the tragedy of it. Seth was serious and delighted. It was incredibly interesting. I felt so lucky.

So, what am I trying to say. I'm trying to say that many women (including me, especially me) think that eating a bag of Doritos is morally wrong. And I'm trying to say that I think being socially naive, being less than canny, being massively interested, finding myself overflowing, is morally wrong.

I spent four days with my friend Clayton. We stayed up late and talked about everything. I asked Clayton if he thinks my ASD is Real, Clayton said he could tell when he met me that I was making an effort to appear in a certain way. For some reason, this is one of the nicest things I've ever heard. What if I just don't pass? If I just don't pass, I can get on with the business of living. If I'm always going to be Odd, I can apply myself to working on my love.

Seth gave me a gift by telling me wonderful things. And by making me realize that apathy is never a virtue even if it is normal. And Clayton is a gift, because he's full of love, and as we were falling asleep I said, "Clayton, I just...I just want to be a smart, nice, interesting person...that's all I want...that's all I want people to think I am."

I'm not working on the other stuff anymore.


  1. Good to meet Seth and Clayton through your writing.

    I don't know a whole lot about Merton, though the monk Grandad taught me about was Teilhard de Chardin, who is roughly contemporaneous.

    Anyway, we now have The heart of matter which is essentially Teilhard de Chardin's How to be Human book.

    If I could eat just one Dorito, and it being plain, instead of having cheese or something else on it. Or one licorice cube allsort or one piece of cucumber.

    Cleveland is a very industrial place. Have a few blogosphere acquaintances around that part of the world.

  2. AD, how old are you? I think because of your name, and how nice you are to me, I always think of you as kind of a grandmotherly figure. Are you actually a lot older than me, or are you closer to my age?

  3. Thirty-one now.

    Thirty-two as of the September 16th this year.

    (And there are actually quite a few Adelaides being born now or in the past five years, certainly among some celebrity children).

    I sort of disappeared off the planet after I was 25: at least the Internet planet.

  4. Oh. I'm sorry I said that then. I wonder why you sound so much older to me. I think it's just something about the way you put words together.

  5. This was a beautiful post, which I found through Feminists with Disabilities.

    I work on my love all the time too :)

    Come see me over at It's Time To Get Over How Fragile You Are!