More work on Cities that Eat Islands.
Submitted cover to designer for paperback version Bawling Sugar Soul.
D was home sick today. Helped him with his essay. A ridiculous subject. A hard one. Finding common ground between the Europeans, the Native Americans, and the African Americans in 1492. Gonna need some creative writing for this one.
So I have a habit of dragging people out of their comfort zones. I’m not just talking about with my books or on the internet where I fall into arguments with dunderheads. In real life too. See, when people say:
“Yeah, you’re a big man hiding behind your keyboard. But in real life you wouldn’t say those things.”
Well, yeah. I do say those things. I’ve had a life time of people telling me:
“You’re so crazy.”
“You shouldn’t say things like that.”
“Don’t you have a filter?”
“What is wrong with you?”
And on and on.
No, I’m not crazy. I’m autistic. And maybe that means I don’t have a filter and that I’m rude or crazy…to those people. Maybe it means that I tell the truth without holding back. Maybe I want to be part of the conversation and don’t know the right way to break into it so I just verbally belly flop into it. It really depends on the situation.
Most of my life it has gotten me in a lot of trouble. I’ve been beaten in the face, kicked in the spine, kept from getting a promotion at Metlife, gotten in disagreements with co-workers, lost friends in person and on the internet, and fought with in-laws.
But it has benefits aside from my art. I have run into people that don’t react that way. They do take me seriously, accept me when I speak. And when I’m being funny, like unfiltered funny, they laugh. Like my wife and kids and my one or two friends that I manage not to scare away.
It’s hard. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t talk in public much. Making friends is difficult, especially with white people. Usually I have to hang out with a person a few times before I feel comfortable in front of them.
Then there are those people where you get that safe feeling from. They smile at you, they radiate acceptance. I appreciate those.
Personally I don’t mind moving out of my comfort zone. I love watching movies that threaten me, move me. People with ideas and imagination. Shift my thinking and perspective a bit. After all, as humans we have to change. It’s as obvious as our skin.
So why resist that autistic person who is pulling you from your safe place? Embrace them. If they are giving you a view outside the box, take a look. If they are telling you a joke that might be off color, go ahead and laugh. Consider them living art.
I get that society has these invisible laws and you might go to invisible jail if you break them where they will stare at you with invisible lasers filled with invisible shame. But if one resists change they suffer.
Life is short.
What do you have to lose living life set by dead people’s standards except for things you can’t see?