379: I am very saddened by the state of the world

shaman

I am very saddened by the state of the world. While I can only speak of the nation I occupy, I gather enough from others that similar events are happening globally.

No matter how long I live on this earth, I am continually confused by many people’s behaviors and actions. Manipulations, lies, and false-intentions aside, I am dumbfounded by the angry-hearts and finger-pointing souls.

It seems so obvious to me: don’t judge another until you have entirely looked at your complete self and accepted who you are, learned to love yourself, and made a vow to be the best person you can be.

And hopefully, by the way of nature, having been through that process, the ability to judge simply ceases. Therefore, I find myself in a quandary, as what I feel within borders much on judgment, though I hope it resembles in form more of a heartfelt discernment.

I watch all around, in this place I find myself a part of, and see people acting out of spite and bitterness. To me, this seems as children at play, individuals who have somehow never gained what some of us were naturally born with. So many walking blindly, a victim of their self-created unbridled passion, set upon a path of feeding the darkness more dark.

I am at a crossroad of self, in many ways looking back at where I have been, without harboring much thought or even intention. Neither am I looking forward. I have tossed away the childish ways of dwelling anywhere other than I am, but still the present lingers here and penetrates my being, reminding me of why, in the past, I so often chose the route of escape over living. And I cannot help but think that the gentle souls of the world continue to choose the same, to slip back into a part of self, where the light is pure and the surroundings safe.

My hope lies in the minority. For in them I see this endless river of kindness, acceptance, and genuineness. And there is where I choose to see my own reflection, in the soul inhabiting this lost planet, which continues to shine despite the glaring dark broadcasted by the deceitful and righteous ones.

I am by no means a religious scholar, but I have had my share of studies in theology. What strikes me as evident is that many religions and spiritual paths have the answers; they speak of not judging, not lying, not cheating, not stealing; they speak of detachment, release of the desire for material ways, and unconditional love. Yet, it seems, that still most of society is buzzing all around, hounded by some beasts, corralled in like sleeping sheep, and made to behave in ways that may not be notorious but are as equally damaging.

It seems I am made, as I be, to walk in this world half-blinded to the ways of the majority, left outside of the fenced-in and blinded, and watching from a hilltop wishing for my brothers and sisters to join me and step out of the illusion of hatred. I am made this forever minority, for separation seems the only prize over entrapment of soul.

Today, I do not choose to celebrate tragedy or turn a disaster into a false idol. I will not choose to share grotesque images, nor to splatter hearsay and falsehoods. I see no benefit.

Have we become a united people whom can only feel close when disaster strikes? If so, what then will keep the disaster from repeatedly happening? What if there was silence upon disaster? What if there was just support, love, protection and safety; and the rest, the disastrous aftershock of tragedy, the spawned pods of evil, were left behind—just dropped, just forgotten, or at minimum ignored. What would the dark broadcast then, and what would we hold onto?

There is a part of me that knows I would be better to release this, to let go of this pain, as I do the rest, to detach from the horrors before my eyes—the dark aftermath of disaster. To close my eyes as the wolves circle in tighter and tighter, the false prophets, of modern day, spinning their webs of deceit; our neighbors joining in the game of hatred and rebel, or perhaps shedding their own tears in the spotlight. See me—notice me—love me. Why not just claim you need attention without the façade of displaying a tragedy to bring you forward? And why spread images of hope or horror based on tragedy with your name stamped upon the photo; how obvious that this is a way of profiting from suffering, whether for self-attention or material gains.

I don’t understand how people can be blinded to their own motives and own intentions. How they cannot feel what they are doing. See how they are acting. And if they are aware, how they can continue forward. Who are these people, as I do not belong to them?

And for the ones gently retreating, doing their part to help in silent fashion, without want of recognition, without need to scream, what of their dear, dear hearts? Who are these ones who humbly serve? How I wish to join you in prayer or meditation, and walk in the light at your side.

I do not understand this world or my place in it. Existing here seems like living on a giant stage of fools, with everyone rushing to be seen and be recognized, everyone in this giant game of Monopoly.

I am deeply saddened, today. I am not sad entirely because of the events of the original disaster—I hurt for the families and the loved ones—but at the same time I recognize disasters happen all over the world. People die in horrific ways all the time. People suffer. People are beaten, tortured, enslaved, persecuted, starving, and so on. There is no shock to me when disaster comes—the only shock is when I see what should by now be familiar, the clamoring for attention, resurfacing of the dark feeding upon the dark, ways and means that remind me of how far we’ve yet to come.

I am sad mostly because I live in a society that has been in essence brainwashed, a place where people are bombarded with negativity and bred to believe in lacking, and behave as if in desperate need. If the world were a spinning top, and I were still child, I would halt the toy entirely, and just let the earth breathe, let the people step out of self and watch. How I wish people could see they are love, they are light, and not these false illusions they have claimed.

I sit here very much isolated, unable and unwilling to share in the masses way of being, unable to take part in a celebration of the darkness. It is like being made to sit in the coliseum of ancient Rome, whilst crying, when all about people are cheering. It is like, this agonizing grief, a singular one watching from a singular window, waiting for the world to stop.

Post 241: Brain Pain

Sometimes I have a good laugh at myself, like when I think back to the other day, (actually it was several days in a row), when I told myself I didn’t need to verbally process anymore; that after 240 days of blogging, I was good to go; that everything had been cleared and cleaned out of my head.

I actually believed I was no longer troubled with thoughts and logical reasoning and cluttered ideas and inspiration and nonstop jibber-jabber of the brain. I was a housewife, a mother, a cleaner of all things grime and cooker of all things organic. I wasn’t this complex person requiring repetitive time of deep processing.

HA! I shout HA!

I actually thought I am entirely NT (neurotypical) and I’ve created all this Asperger’s mumbo-jumbo in my head. I actually thought and thought and thought…until I realized I was thinking an awful lot! So much so, that I likely had Aspergers.

And I got all twisted in my thoughts, again analyzing that perhaps I was trying on the persona of an Asperger’s person for size, actually inhaling and emulating Asperger’s traits because I needed an identity to function in life. That in truth, I was perfecting said Aspergers, as Aspergers was my new inspirational role.

Yes, I’d garbed the facade of an Aspie woman to the state of complete life-like amazement.

And if this be true, if in fact I was a woman convincing herself she had Aspergers, so she knew who to be and how to act (role) in order to function, was that insanity?

And what is insane? And who isn’t insane? Or more so, who is sane?

Then, after hamping (think of my thoughts as a mad, bad ass hamster on a wheel), I concluded, like I have done more than a trillion-dozen times throughout this blogging endeavor, that if indeed I was once again taking on the persona of Aspergers to feel safe in the world, as I need a role to feel safe, then indeed I had Aspergers. Brain Pain!

Hmmmmmm.

So last night, I’m thinking, at the late hour of eleven o’clock as I’m watching reruns of the show Glee, and getting all tingly like I get when I hear good music, that I ought not have coffee after the noon hour because then I can’t sleep and my thoughts speed up like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.

Then I’m thinking, I relate way too much to characters on television, and how much more superb and brainiac-ish if I related to characters in books. But I don’t. So I’m stuck as a character on television.

So as I’m processing, basically alone, as the rest of the household is sound asleep, including Spastic Colon, aka: my labradoodle Violet, I’m starting to get stomach pangs of growing anxiety, dread, and fear. I’m telling myself it’s the dang coffee, as well as my binge into the wheat-zone. (I try to avoid gluten as it increases thoughts of impending doom….like dying of toe fungus or a nose pimple).

I keep reassuring myself all is okay. That much of what I’m experiencing is bio-chemical, while cursing to the star-fairies: Why do I have to be so fricken sensitive to everything on this planet! But the reassuring (and cursing) isn’t working, because the episode of Glee happens to be about the adorable school counselor having OCD and taking  medication to ease her symptoms.

And I get so tangled up on tiny-amounts-of-anger when I hear the overdone generic fallback, over used by psychiatrists (when speaking of medication) for over a decade now, that hums to the tune of: “If you had diabetes, you’d need insulin. This is no different.” And in my mind, I’m screaming, “Dang straight it’s different. Diabetes is proven and shown on blood tests. It’s in black and white. Plain as day. Mental challenges (issues, trouble, illness, etc.) are not that black and white. It’s not so simple!

And that got me thinking, do I need medication? My husband would shout an adamant NO, as the last time, some six years ago, I was on low dose anti-depressant I ended up with suicidal thoughts. My natural path doctor would concur, and advice continuing my strict diet of healthy eating and supplements/herbs.  But beyond that, what would other professionals think? And what are the professionals’ experiences? And how do they know what’s best for me? And who knows what’s best for me anyhow……  And all these thoughts spun off a minute-long section of a comedy/singing/drama show I’m watching on the boob-tube.

At this point I’m exhausted, but too awake to sleep.

Next came the wave of panic that ensued after I opened an envelope—an envelope from the university I attended for one semester when I was stuck on working towards a second master’s degree; until I was humiliated and discriminated against by the professor(s), and high-tailed it out of the university on my own therapist’s advice, and my inability to stop my crying and my trembling-fear of returning.

Months later, in reflection, I realized, if the terror at the college hadn’t occurred, likely this blog would not exist….so alas, I understand.

The panic I felt upon opening the envelope was energy related to the university.  The university had sent me another bill; a bill that is likely a mistake on their part; which means, once again, I’ll have to play phone tag to try to clear up the financial issue. And this sets me into coffee-plus-wheat induced terror state.

Impending thoughts:

1) What if they are right and I owe that money?

2) What if they are wrong but don’t figure it out and it goes to a collection agency and their error ruins my credit?

3) Boy was I rude when I left that message on the phone to the finance department tonight. Is it okay to get mad? I rarely get mad? What type of example am I setting? That’s not me. Should I apologize when they call? Why should I apologize? Everyone gets mad once in a while. His Holiness the Dalai Lama even says so.

4) The last time they said I owed thousands of dollars, I took them on their word and wrote a check, and then they sent the same amount back to me. What is their problem.

5) Wow, I still have lots of unresolved issues around the university. Maybe I should have sued them. No. That’s not right. That doesn’t feel right. I wonder how much money I might have gotten. Hmmmm?

6) Why is this bugging me so much? I have Aspergers, so the envelope was unexpected…surprise equals panic and fear. Answer: Unresolved financial matters makes me nervous. It is hard to relax until the situation is resolved. I  feel wrongly misjudged and like I did something bad when I haven’t done anything wrong. I am looping on the word “Collection Agency” if not paid by October 21,2012. How could I pay that fast when I just got the envelope?

And now my brain spins on numbers. Months. Days of the week. And back to the money numbers. Round and round with digits and doubts.

7) Deep breaths. Maybe I do need to still verbally process through writing. Maybe.

Thirty-Seven: 10 Myths About Females With Asperger’s Syndrome

Sam’s new book is available on Amazon. Sam’s new blog is Everyday Aspie. Sam’s company is Spectrum Suite. (2016)

Written by Aspergers Girls at Everyday Aspergers blog.  March 2012

Aspergers Girls holds a Masters Degree in Education. One of her sons has Aspergers Syndrome. And she has Aspergers Syndrome.

10 Myths About Females With Aspergers

1. Aspergers is Easy to Spot

Females with Aspergers are often superb actresses. They’ve either trained themselves how to behave in hopes of fitting in with others and/or they avoid social situations. Many grown women with Aspergers are able to blend into a group without notice.

2. Professionals Understand Aspergers

No two people are alike. Professionals have limited experience, if any experience, with females with Aspergers. Professionals have limited resources, limited prior instruction and education, and little support regarding the subject of Aspergers. Comorbid conditions with Aspergers are complex. Females seeking professional help are often overlooked, and sometimes belittled or misdiagnosed.

3. An Effective Diagnosis Tool Exists for Females with Aspergers

There is no blood or DNA test for Aspergers. No one knows what causes Aspergers or if Aspergers is actually a condition, and not just a way of looking at the world differently. The diagnostic tools, such as surveys, are based on male-dominant Aspergers’ traits that do not take into account how the female’s brain and the female’s role in society differs from the male experience. Diagnosis is largely based on relatives’ observations and individual case history, and is determined by professionals who often do not understand the female traits of the syndrome.

4. People with Aspergers Lack Empathy

Females with Aspergers usually have a great deal of empathy for animals, nature, and people.  A female’s (with Aspergers) specific facial features, body language, tone of voice, laughter, and word choice might result in an observer misjudging a female’s (with Aspergers) thoughts, feelings, and intentions. Women and girls with Aspergers are often deep philosophical thinkers, poets, and writers—all traits that require a sense of empathy. Females with Aspergers usually try very hard to relate another’s experience to their own experience, in hopes of gaining understanding.

5. People with Aspergers are Like a Television Character

Many individuals have learned not to compare an ethnic minority group to a character on television, because such comparison is a form of stereotyping and racism. However, people are comparing male fictional characters on television to females with Aspergers. This happens usually without intention to harm, but out of a desire to understand. People with Aspergers aren’t living in a sitcom. There is a need for a greater degree of understanding beyond observing an entertainer.

6. Aspergers is No Big Deal

People with Aspergers often face daily challenges. There is no magic pill to make an Aspergers brain think differently. People with Aspergers see the world in another way than the majority. Females with Aspergers are not different in a way that needs to be improved. They are different in a way that requires support, empathy, and understanding from the mainstream. Aspergers is a big deal. The diagnosis can bring varying degrees of grief, acceptance, depression, confusion, closure, and epiphany. Here are just a few of the conditions a female with Aspergers might experience: sensory difficulties, OCD, phobias, anxiety, fixations, intense fear, rapid-thinking, isolation, depression, low self-esteem, self-doubt, chronic fatigue, IBS, shame, confusion, trauma, abuse, bullying, and/or loss of relationships.

7. Aspergers Doesn’t Exist

Aspergers does exist. There is a subgroup of females all exhibiting and experiencing almost the exact same traits. If there is no Aspergers then something dynamic is happening to hundreds upon hundreds of women; this something, whatever one chooses to label the collection of traits, requires immediate evaluation, understanding, support, educational resources, and coping mechanisms.

8. There are More Males than Females with Aspergers

In regards to comparing females and males with Aspergers, just like our history textbooks, more males are in the spotlight than females. Males are typically the doctors, professionals, and researches of Aspergers—males that do not have Aspergers and who obviously aren’t females. Thousands of females with Aspergers remain undiagnosed. Hundreds of women are searching social networks and the Internet daily for answers, connection, and understanding about themselves and/or their daughters.

9. Females with Aspergers Don’t Make Good Friends

Females with Aspergers are all different. Just like everyone else, they have their quirks and idiosyncrasies.  Many females with Aspergers are known for their loyalty, honesty, hard work ethics, compassion, kindness, intelligence, empathy, creativity, and varied interests and knowledge base. Females with Aspergers, like anyone, have the capacity to make fantastic friends, coworkers, and spouses, if, and when, they are treated with respect, love, understanding, and compassion.

10. Aspergers isn’t Something that Affects My Life

More and more children are being diagnosed with Aspergers. Adult males and females are realizing they have the traits of Aspergers Syndrome. The rise in Aspergers is a financial strain on the educational system and medical system. There isn’t adequate information, support, and resources available to assist people with Aspergers and their families. There is probably someone in your local community who has Aspergers Syndrome. You can make a difference. Just share your knowledge and understanding. Pass on this list of myths or other resources.

 

Ten Traits of Females with Aspergers link

 

THIS BLOG EVERYDAY ASPERGER’S, BY SAMANTHA CRAFT, IS RETIRED. HER NEW BLOG CAN BE FOUND AT EVERYDAY ASPIE AND HER COMPANY WEBSITE AT MYSPECTRUMSUITE.COM  THANK YOU FOR THE COMMUNITY AND SUPPORT YOU HAVE OFFERED THROUGH THE YEARS.

(no idea why the font is so big. Not intentional. 🙂 )

 

Taken by Sam Craft

			

Day Twenty-Two: Brain, Little Voice, and Me


Have you ever been in one of those relationships where the person is highly intriguing, passionate, and overall seems like a very likeable gal, but for some reason, you can’t stand to be around her? That’s the type of relationship I’m currently in. Only it’s not exactly with a person….. It’s with my brain!

Brain and I, we go a long way back. Yet, I’m still trying to figure him out. Sometimes I try to understand Brain more by comparing him to other brains.

For instance, just the other day, I asked my husband, “What are you thinking about?”  He responded, “Nothing.” And I said, “What? You’re joking. Really? Absolutely nothing?”

He thought (or did something) for awhile, and then answered, adamantly, “Nope. Nothing.” Now, by this time I’m laughing, in that annoying I-do-know-better way, wanting to knock my knuckle on his head, and say: “Hello, in there!”

Later, I asked my eldest son, the same question. And his answer mirrored his father’s. “Well, what were you thinking about a few minutes ago, then?” I queried. “I don’t know, Mom. Leave me alone. Nothing important.” (He’s fourteen.)

Now, get this. When I asked my middle son, “What are you thinking about?”, he gave me a thirty-minute dissertation. Can you guess which one has Aspergers?

I didn’t bother to ask my baby-boy, Robert; he was too busy securing plastic wrap over a clear plastic cup that he’d carefully filled with the blood he’d collected from his bloody nose. He was saving the blood for future science experiments. I easily guessed what he was thinking about.

Movies are interestingly-annoying with Brain. There are times I  have to press the pause button on the remote during a film, because I’m so excited by the fact that I was actually enjoying the show for five minutes strait without brain interruption!

This is a super big explanation mark deal in my book, because usually when a movie is playing, some 99.99 % of the time, LV (Little interior Voice in my head) and I are carrying on an entire conversation.

I noticed today that LV is starting to have a full personality. Which causes my stomach to rumble, somewhat in fear. Because I fret I may end up with yet another neurological disorder. And there’s only so many LV and I can keep track of.

I picture LV like Laverne, from the show Laverne and Shirley. Like Laverne, LV has letters monogrammed onto her tight sweater (LV), and she’s totally clueless that her sweater is too tight. So she looks like a loosey-goosey, even though she doesn’t mean to appear that way. She’s like me, when I wore those glossy yellow shorts, during freshman class physical education, that were way too short; yet, I hadn’t a clue why the boys and girls were calling me those names. I’m picturing Rudolph the reindeer crying. I’m fine. Santa and the elves loved Rudolph.

Not to should on LV, but she should have a question mark right along side her LV monogram. It’s all about inquiry with that chick. Here’s the typical repertoire of clauses she choses from, while I attempt to watch a romantic, carefree comedy:

Is this the director’s first movie? I wonder how much that actress got paid? Do you think Shakespeare knew actresses would be idols one day?  Is this a box office hit, for real? Wow, nice hair; maybe I should get my haircut. Look, did you see her pause for a whole fricken five minutes to let the other person talk?  How does she do that? Is that normal? Is that what I’m supposed to do? Oh my goodness, do you think she realizes what the plastic surgery did to her face? That can’t be her? Is that her? Should I pause the movie and ask? I want that table wear. Is that materialistic of me? The blue is so pretty. What color is that? Cobalt. Cobalt is a strong sounding word…

Which leads me back to the whole: I wouldn’t want to be my brain’s friend argument. Not that LV is my brain; my brain is mostly a man. LV’s more like the cute cuddly ambassador of my brain. And I have no idea why my brain is not homogenous, probably because he/she has a right and left hemisphere, but I feel invaded by one side—if you must know.

You might have noticed, beyond the rambling, that I used the word  fricken, earlier. That’s because LV doesn’t like to swear, beyond crap and poop head. She does have fun turning harsh “bad words” into less offensive words that sound dorky. Oh, and she does call our little female labradoodle the B-word, only because that’s logical. She also calls the dog spastic-colon!

LV kept me awake last night. Her and the caffeine I had after the noon hour. Anyone, who’s had that can’t sleep ‘cause I’m caffeinated experience, knows the agony.  Now add LV to the picture. Well, I’m twisting and turning in bed, illogically trying do to the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different outcome; even thinking if I fluffed the pillow just right, I’d suddenly slumber, when bam! Smack out of nowhere, a parade of words and numbers start drumming in my head.

They were in a row, all these words and numbers, flashing at me, like the letters and digits in the television show The Electric Company.

I just made a whammy of a flashback-connection: I loved Electric Company because the show was all about words and numbers! And all these years, I thought I liked the show for the Gorilla and his bananas.

Here are some of the words I saw as I tried to fall asleep:

Pretty Sure, Maybe, Kind of, Almost Certain, Could Be, Probably, Perchance, Most Likely, We’ll See, Perhaps

LV, obviously awake from the caffeine as well, was trying to figure out how to assign a statistical number to each word to determine which word/phrase indicated a more likelihood of occurrence. For instance, when parents say, “We could be going to get ice cream later,” is that a more probable chance than parents saying, “I’m pretty sure we’re going to get ice cream later.”

LV reasoned Pretty Sure earned a 95.5% and Could be was very open to interpretation, perhaps a 51%—dependent upon tone of voice and inflection.

LV was going on and on with this theoretical rhetoric, until she concluded that all the words are ambiguous and confusing. All this while I’m side-kicking my husband for snoring and shoving my earplugs into what had to be my eardrums.

In the television series House, during one episode, this genius-type male patient is deathly ill, and the reason for his sickness turns out to be cough syrup. He had been drinking (and hiding) a large amount of cough syrup to stop himself from having complex and profound thoughts. Primarily, he wanted to stop the thoughts, so he could stay with his hot babe of a wife (who was clueless-brained) without being bored to death.

LV is reminding me of this episode and encouraging grape-flavored cough syrup. Like that’s even a feasible idea? Like I said, LV is not the type of friend one chooses. No offense LV.

I had another thought, but I can’t remember now—probably, because LV is upset.

I did want to share that I realized something about music and my relationship to music. A song was playing on the radio this morning, and immediately I became lost in my mind. Which makes me wonder, if I should be driving.

The experience was similar to stepping into a music video, only without all the sexy clothes and makeup, and weird body movements that ooze of I’m cheap, (or maybe drunk).

While I was one with the song, (Ommmmm), I was still me, but had Santa Claus powers enabling me to magically stop time. In the musical experience I visited everyone in the entire world who was sad and lonely. I saw myself stepping into strangers’ homes and staring into their eyes. I saw myself releasing mass amounts of pain and misgivings, and lifting many in spirit, so they could recognize their inner beauty. It was amazing! In moments like that, when my brain enables me to be in the music, I forgive him/her for all transgressions.

One more thing, before I head out to pick up my son and take him to Thai food… Can you hear my tummy cheering! Thai food! Thai food! He (tummy) is wearing a cheerleading skirt and looks completely (avoiding totally) dorky.  Oh no, I think my tummy is forming a personality, too.  Shootness, I just realized all my internal organs have genders! Please Google that and tell me if that’s another neurological disorder. No, don’t.

I better stop myself now, before I make this the longest post in blog history. (Thinking of the end of the Rudolph song: You’ll go down in history.) Have a good one. I’ll be chowing down on Pad Thai and assigning Sir Names to all my internal organs. I’m thinking the most of me is masculine internally. What’s that mean?

Day Eighteen: A Sports Bar Induced Stroll Down Memory Lane —

 

Oh boy! Did you luck out! I ranted on and on about fake cheese, before I forced my finger to hit delete. Little voice protested, but I prevailed.

Thank you for being there. I pictured you listening to my witty prose. Fortunately for you, I erased the massive mess that oozed out of my brain. If I’d typed on a typewriter for an hour, and used whiteout to correct all my spelling errors, I’d be phoning you, and reciting the entire post. Like I said, you totally (born and raised in California) lucked out! Seriously! Wipe the sweat off of your forehead and shout Amen!

I have to be fair and offer out that not all my posts are going to be Bambi-Little-April-Shower-happy. The song I would jump up and down on my bed to, when I was five. I’m listening to the song as I type.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=168kHWL-GXw

Okay, it’s hard to type to this beat!

Boy, talk about a repetitive song.

Memories flowing back.

So lovely….

Wait.

Scary music? Haunted house, theme-park ride music?

Okay, bad analogy: Little April Shower is not as chipper as I remember.

I didn’t sleep well, and blame the tossing and turning on the fake cheese. I went to a bar yesterday—that’s where the fake cheese came in. (This was written on Thursday, so it was actually the day before yesterday. Not that it matters, but I’ve got that whole honesty thing going on.)

I had some quesadillas that probably wouldn’t have qualified as food.

A bar? Are you crazy? Perhaps. (I’m serious. No smiling!)

A group of classmates at the university, that studious-me attends, were headed out for a celebration. (I just deleted an entire paragraph about my theories of why people drink. Another Amen.) This was my first invite to a bar in eons. My little voice (inside my head) was excited, and she said: “OH, this could be a fun experiment! We could blog about it!”

She was all sweet and convincing, and giving me all these facts, like I need to be brave and bond with my peer group. We had a little argument, little voice and I, as I stood in the elevator, stuck and not going anywhere with four of my classmates. After a good four minutes, I said, “Hey. Did anyone press the number one?” We all had a good laugh, and little voice used that as further nectar for her warped plan.

When I arrived at the noisy, crowded sports bar, the only place left to perch was in the far corner; which would have been tolerable, maybe even preferred, except I had to sit by two gentlemen from class. And my least favorite social thing to do in the whole entire of all the universe, both discovered and undiscovered, is to engage in small chat with men, particularly men I hardly know. In retrospect this situation easily merited me ordering a glass of wine.

But, nooooo! little voice was adamant that I had to be the real me, and not compromise my normal behavior in order to attempt to fit in. (She’s on some trip with that lately. It’s rather annoying. Years of functioning without recourse through role-playing and pretend, and now she has to go and be all real.) Thusly, against my really-wanting-booze judgment, I ordered a Shirley Temple. And then, to torture little voice, I ate two, very-bad-for-me cherries. While little voice was going on about the red dye health hazards of cherries, I ignored her and pictured myself cuddled up at home watching the series Breaking Bad.

But soon, I was interrupted with the same old tapes playing in my head, (or cd’s or Blu-Ray discs): What to say? How to say it? When to say it? How to sit? Where to look? When to smile? Blah, blah, blah.

I did receive a table-full of laughs when I mistook the miniature trivia, game-playing contraption (one of seven the waitress plopped on our table) for an ATM machine. I kept asking, while holding my little blue machine up high, “How does the machine know what I ordered for dinner? What buttons do I press? How does it know me?” Before looking for the slot to put my debit card in.

It’s nice to know that the whole over-my-head quality I had in high school, hasn’t changed. (Sorry…I know I do this a lot. But what does over my head mean, literally? Is it facts flying over me? Am I ducking? If I stood up taller or jumped, would I reach the adequate information?)

I ordered a Shirley Temple, instead of my standard water (usually bottled or sparkling, but bars usually don’t have that. I think it’s a conspiracy to make me order alcohol). I ordered a S. Temple, because in first grade, I lived right around the block from Shirley Temple Black. I used to walk up to her wrought iron gate, daydreaming about getting her autograph for my spy notebook, and try to figure out why she changed her name. I ordered the soda, for the sole purpose of saying: Shirley Temple. But no one knew that. Just like no one knew I can’t stand soda.

The bar visit wasn’t as terrible as it could have been. I managed the small talk, okay. Overall, I’m pretty darn proud of me, and even thankful to little voice, (just don’t tell her), because I faced a huge fear without a best friend, or even a friend, by my side.

As I was sharing with you, just now, I was reminded of my love of Shirley Temple’s: On the Good Ship Lollipop. I can still feel my feet pressing into the golden fibers of our shag carpet. And visualize my dog, Justice, a black mutt, dancing around with me. The way dogs dance.

I was obsessed with the Pledge of Allegiance back then, and would recite the entire pledge, just to get to the line: And Justice for All! That’s when Justice would come running to me. It was a game I played several times a day. It wasn’t until years and years later, when I was in my early twenties, that I realized And Justice for All was the last line of the pledge. For some reason I thought the line came earlier. I made my friends and relatives say the entire pledge, too. That’s how things worked at my house. We pledged to my dog. That’s saying something; now isn’t it?

While dancing with Justice, I had a difficult time picturing Shirley Temple’s Lollipop Ship, and trouble understanding how a ship was good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r4bbgv1If8

I think, if I’d had an inner-Blu-Ray-disc playing back then, I would have seen the ship as a cross between the Love Boat and the S.S. Minnow (Gilligan’s Island.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2XfQo1YguY (copy and paste for Gilligan’s Island)

Every chance I had, I would watch Gilligan’s Island. The show was great exercise for my brain. I thought: Why did they pack all those things on a tiny ship for a three-hour trip? How did all those clothes and furniture fit on the tiny ship? Why wasn’t my favorite Mary Ann in the opening scene? And why didn’t Gilligan get to be the leader of the gang? I mean, he was a mighty sailor man and fearless. And the entire island was named after him!

I guess since I’ve provided this whole telling about my childhood music and television show fixation, I might as well include the lyrics/song I would scribe in pencil on my desk, every single day as a freshman in Massachusetts. Everyday I wrote, then erased. I desperately missed California. At home, I would play the song over and over on my record player and later in my head. Even with my dyspraxia and dyslexia, I memorized the song to perfection. Little voice sang the lyrics all the time. Oh, listening to the words now brings me back. Makes me want to cry for that little girl in a strange state (as in Massachusetts).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUbTW928sMU

In the end, my short trip to the sports bar paid off, after all. I was able to share some of my favorites and take a trip down memory lane. Thanks for taking the trip with me, and for packing lightly.