A Clip From Week 3 of #NaNoWriMo 2020

It always struck me as entertaining when another driver tried to push me and my car up the road, because I was only doing 50 miles an hour in a 45 mile an hour zone. For some reason, my car wouldn’t go any faster, no matter what they did. It was almost guaranteed that eventually, they’d switch lanes, burn 37 tons of gas, and the instant they thought they could get back in the lane, ahead of me, they’d cut back over, and add even more gas.

“People have no patience.” Seriously, they didn’t have any patience at all. But, if they wanted to drive at 47,000 miles an hour, I’d let the police deal with them. Wasn’t my job. After all, you can’t stop people from being stupid.

Of course the idiot, and the countless others just like him, only made me angry, only increased and reinforced my reasons for hating humanity. “Bitch gets pulled for the way he drives, he’s gonna cry like a little boy whose Mamma just took away his favorite toy, and told him to clean his room. Then, he’ll hire a lawyer, ‘cause. He didn’t do anything wrong.”

What I really hoped was I got to see his car, mangled, its front end wrapped around a tree, or a light pole, and him standing outside the remains, crying like a baby. That’s what I hoped to see. Didn’t want anyone to die, or even get hurt. Just wanted an idiot to learn how physics worked, in a lesson he’d probably remember for a whole 31 seconds.

When I’d spent years in psychotherapy, my doc and I talked about that. About how stupid people are. “Hell, they don’t even know they’re killing themselves with stress, causing all their own heart attacks, and strokes, and alcoholism, and drug abuse, ‘cause they’re bodies can’t take it anymore.”

Doc had told me, after a few weeks of sessions, people looked at him, and asked what that new, quiet, calm feeling they had was. “It’s you. De-stressing from life. From the shit you put yourself through daily.” Doc said it shocked people to learn what they did to themselves, just by living a normal life, and pretending everything was OK.

I was like, “No shit, Doc. They don’t even know the building’s on fire. They just keep doing their job. And pretending everything’s how it’s supposed to be.”

As I watched that idiot that had just tried to drive me off the road, because I was “in his fucking way!” race down the road, I had to laugh when he caught up to the vehicles in front of me, and slammed on his brakes. I could imagine his ass, sitting in his car, screaming, and beating on the steering wheel, as he looked for a way to get around the idiots of life, so he could get on with his reality.

You could have had a bus with 60 people on board catch fire, and block the road, and that idiot would have driven through people’s yards, or nearby neighborhoods, screaming on his phone about how traffic was going to make him late, and it wasn’t his fault, while 60 people tried not to turn into Bar-B-Que dinner, and the police and fire departments tried to get them to safety, and put out the fire before it lit off the fuel supply in the bus, and went, “BOOM!”

None of that mattered to Mr. Get The Fuck Out Of The Way! Hell, his own Mother could be on the bus that was on fire, and it wouldn’t have made any difference.

In sheer spite, I looked up at the clouds, “May he only manage to kill himself, and may the rest of humanity be safe from his stupid ass.”

Of course, most people would say, “That only happens once in a while. That’s not a daily thing. There are usually extenuating circumstances.” Those people never drove on the same streets and roads I drove on. The same thing happened every fucking day. Hell, I even memorized some of the license plates on the cars that kept doing the same thing, endlessly. “Oh, look. It’s Mercedes I’m Better Than You Boy. Watch him. Yep. Didn’t even slow down for that red light.” And, “It’s another Jeep-ass-hole. Trying to push the guy in front of him through the intersection, and the red light, ‘cause he doesn’t want to stop.”

I hated Jeeps as much as I hated people. “Here! Let’s weaponize cars! And then give them to trigger happy ass-holes!”

Driving home at night was every bit as entertaining as driving to work in the mornings. At night, it was, “Look for the cars with no lights on.” It’s 7 miles from where I work to my house. One night, there were 12 cars with no lights on. Best part was their drivers acting like people were stupid, because no one could see them.

Driving itself was pretty fun, really. I didn’t mind driving. I got to listen to my music, see different neighborhoods, see ducks and geese at the park that was along the way. Driving was, by itself, OK.

It was the fucking humans that made it hell.

A Clip From Week 2 Of #NaNoWriMo 2020

And like a fucking idiot, I remembered it all. Every last departure. Every last trip to watch someone tell stories about another part of my life that was gone. Until only one part was left.

Me.

I remembered the words from an old song.

“In a world that I don’t want to know
With a message that I never want to send
To be freed from all of this
I want you to quicken my end”

The one thing I’d prayed for in my life. To die first. To be the first one to leave this world, the world that hurt me so much, that made me so angry, that I couldn’t begin to understand. How I’d wanted to be freed from the chaos, the confusion, the destruction we humans had caused, and were still causing.

Only to end up the last one left. Everyone I’d grown up with was gone. And the universe, for some fucked reason, had to make certain I lived to see them all die. Almost like it was telling me, “We’re going to make you suffer. You don’t understand misery and pain, you don’t understand tears, you don’t understand loneliness. We’re going to keep you here until you do.”

I keep looking in that mirror, at myself, and I wondered, “If someone we love dies, and crosses over, does that someone haunt us, not to torture us, not to scare us, not to get vengeance, or rush our death. But perhaps, so they can talk with us when we sleep, when we dream.”

As I looked into the mirror I heard my voice, as I spoke words I had never spoken before, “Never let the universe know you want to die. Bitch will keep you around forever. Just because.”

A Letter To My Dad.

Hey, Dad.

Someone said I should write a letter to you. Well. Here I am. Writing.

I don’t do feelings, you know. Most days I can’t tell you if I’m happy, or sad, or angry, or anything else. So, me, trying to say these last words to your soul, where it is right now, is going to be one more experiment in dealing with a society, and a world I never made.

I know I wasn’t there, never visited there, in the last 50 some odd months. I’m going to tell you why, even though I’m pretty sure you figured it all out a few years back.

It’s wasn’t you. I would have come down there in a heartbeat, and you know it.

It was so many things. So many reasons.

I didn’t come visit, because you lived in my brother’s home. A home I am not welcomed in. It’s pretty obvious, you know. How, the last few times I did visit, David, Jeanine, and the girls pretty much avoided all contact with me. David played nice, and visited, but that was more of a check up on you, and we both know that.

I’m not their kind of person. Long hair. Shave when I feel like it. Wear jeans and my wild t-shirts, and my athletic shoes. Hell, I don’t even have a suit. Every pair of boots I had is pretty much toast. The black ones are downstairs, in the shoe rack. You don’t want to know, Dad. There’s a ton of white and green on them. Looks like some kind of mold on the leather. Given how frickin’ humid it is up here, and how high the humidity in this house gets, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

David and I don’t talk. I think you knew that. Turns out he’s swallowed the QAnon bullshit, hook, line, and sinker. No way to reason with him. No point in trying. His mind is cast in concrete. He won’t change until his death bed, and likely not even then. Can’t tell him how physics works. Can’t tell him how the atmosphere works. Can’t tell him anything. Hell, for all I know he may believe we have a cure for every form of cancer sitting in a big pharma lab somewhere, and no one will ever let them see the light of day, ‘cause it would mean the end to their revenue stream.

David and I don’t talk.

I tried, Dad. I did. After they elected the orange shit-head, I spent three years going, “Explain this to me. Explain how having a narcissistic, sexual predator, who paid off the women he wanted sex with, and took money out of charity organizations he set up, and spent it on his own expenses, and his own debts, was the only viable choice for US President.”

No one ever did. No one ever could. No one talked to me about the reasons why, because they knew I’d never buy into the QAnon bullshit.

You’d think it wouldn’t hurt, right? That I’d just cut the ties altogether, and move on, and write him off as a lost cause. But, you know. That means I’d have to write off 80% of the white people in this country. And the vast majority of the churches, and religions in this country.

That’s hard to do, since I know the church is very literally what saved David’s life. That he wouldn’t be here if the church, and God, had not bitch-slapped him upside his little head, and woke his ass up.

I know the church does good things. I know it saves people, and gives them light when all they had was darkness. I know these things.

What makes it so fucking hard for me is I also know the church wants me dead. Either converted into a mindless copy of everyone else in any given church congregation, or dead. So yeah. It saved him. And it’s tried for 45+ years to kill me.

Don’t think I ever told you how Pastor Byrum told me to never walk up to the front again. “You’re already saved. That walk is for people who need it.”

So, here I am, 61 years old, and I am the prodigal son.

Dad. The church has, in so many ways, in this country, gone to hell. It’s turned into a country club. And a haven for white supremacy, and male misogyny. Where rape is ignored because no one got physically hurt. Where women are subservient to men. Where non-white people are the enemy, and trying to destroy the church, and the country.

Thank you. But white people are doing a rather thorough job of that all by themselves.

Yes, Dad. I’m angry. I’m always angry. I look around, daily, and everywhere I look I see the same kinds of insanity, where we worship God on Sunday mornings, and then do exactly what money tells us to the rest of the time.

I’m glad, you know, that you couldn’t drive the past few years. That you lost most of your vision. ‘Cause. It means you couldn’t see how stupid people have become. You didn’t get to experience the birth of Highway NASCAR racing. Where the number of automobile accidents and fatalities has gone up, pretty much across the entire country. ‘Cause. People have lost their fucking minds.

They have.

No, I’m not welcome in my brother’s house, and I know it. So, for that past 4+ years, I stayed away. It was better than fighting with him and Jeanine. It kept the peace, so to speak.

I know you understand that’s not all it was. We talked about that too, the last time I was there. About how I dress. And how I stick out like a full blown Klingon Warrior walking through a shopping mall.

Same problem here, in Virginia Beach. Just 4+ times as many people. And here, the white people don’t rule. They’re outnumbered. Virginia Beach is more blue now than it was 4 years ago.

We’ve got our red component. Like the dim bulb of a woman who saw me at Walmart, declared, “Oh, God!” and hauled her son sitting in that grocery cart as far away from me as she could get him, as fast as she could.

That’s what North Carolina is like for me. Like, “Yeah. You one of them libtards.”

Now, I’m sitting here, writing this note to you, knowing that in the morning, I have to get in my car, and drive to Oriental, North Carolina, for your funeral service. Good old Oriental First Baptist Church. And I find myself wondering if I should stand outside the sanctuary, looking through the windows in the doors, while they hold their service for you. Knowing I’m not welcome.

They’ll do what they did when Mom’s service happened. They’ll park me on the front row, with Pat, and Michael, and Maddy. As part of your “Family”. I don’t even remember the last time Pat went down there. She stayed away. Because. Jeanine. It’s that simple. She stayed away so she didn’t have to put up with Jeanine.

I left the churches, everywhere, and you know that. I left because I wasn’t welcome. Because the churches are, no polite way to put it, totally lost, and fucked up. Transgender people don’t need erased. They need God. They need to heal. They need, almost all of them, to feel love for the first time in their lives. And what do churches preach these days? “They should be shot on sight. Satan’s minions.”

And you can’t explain anything to them. They’re so gung-ho wrapped around their own axles in pursuit of some mythical definition of Christian Purity, they can’t see at all that they are condoning, and supporting murder of other people.

Last church I visited for any length of time, the pastor was a character, let me tell you. “Saw a man wearing a dress, and I about puked.” Yep. There’s the love for each other that is part of Jesus’ teachings.

You know I’m a clinically certified Autistic, with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I know you understand that. And that, because of that, I very much can’t be like so many social behavior only humans are. I’m, at best, tone deaf to social behavior, and more than likely, totally oblivious to it. It’s a genetic thing, you can do a genetic analysis of the 38 chromosomes in my cells, and it’ll show up. You can do a full electromagnetic brain scan of me, and the scan will show distinct differences in my brain activity from those who are not on the spectrum.

You have no idea how many people have declared I’m not Autistic. That the Autism Spectrum is made up by the medical field, so they can suck up more money from good, honest, hard working people.

Same thing with my biochemical depression. “You just need to get out in nature!”

One of those things I’ve heard from more than one church pastor, “Depression isn’t real.” Yeah. Right.

So, I didn’t visit for the last 4+ years. Not since April of 2016.

Because, Dad. I didn’t want to cause any trouble with the people around you down there. I didn’t want to cause trouble with David and Jeanine.

I never told you, but Hanna and I have not spoken or written one word to each other since Mom died. She lit into me about me not being part of the family, and not coming down there like a good son would have. That was the last I ever heard from her.

I’m pretty sure Jeanine and Rebekka feel the same way about me that Hanna does. “It’s best if he stays away forever, so we don’t have to put up with him. He’s not welcome.”

You know too, they will never say that. Not one of them will say that. They’ll tell you I’m always welcome there. Always was, and always will be.

The thing with Autism is, I don’t do social behavior. So social frameworks, social rules, they don’t exist. What does exist is what I can see. What I can observe. Words spoken. Tones of voice. The lines around another person’s eyes. The way they cross their arms. They way they avoid me. Little details that deviate from what I’ve learned over 61 years of observation and analysis, is normal behavior.

I have a dear friend. Don’t think I ever talked with you about her. Her name’s DS George-Jones. Dad, she’s amazing. Brilliant. One of the most real people I’ve ever known.

How we met? On Facebook. What broke the ice was a set of pictures she posted on her Facebook, where she went to meet one of her favorite writers, and stood in line, and waited until it was her turn to meet them.

No one said anything about those pictures, Dad. Except how beautiful she looked, and how happy her smile was.

I was totally different. I was me. I looked at those pictures, and my heart screamed at me in agony. I could see it in her eyes. She was in a ridiculous amount of pain. It was right there, Dad. Anyone with a heart could have seen it.

That’s how I met her. I was the only one that saw that in those pictures. She has a chronic illness, Dad. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). It’s a neurological disease. Best anyone understands it right now, the body’s cells go into a survival mode, as if the body is under attack, and at risk of death. It wipes out the energy storage in the human body. The cells stop storing energy, and stop making much new energy.

She lives in agony, every day, Dad.

And I put up, every day, with people telling me it’s all fake. That ME doesn’t exist. That she’s faking it, and needs to get up off her lazy ass, and get back to life.

Makes me want to club a ton of people over the head with Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. People are literally that stupid.

I’ve got a lot of friends now that are disabled. And they are real friends. I try to help them as best I can. I send DS at least a Christmas Present every year. OK. So it’s an Amazon gift card. She lives in Georgia, so I don’t get to visit, you know.

There’s also Farrah. Farrah has all kinds of problems. Among them EDS. Dad. She’s 32, and she uses a wheelchair. More and more each month. Her days of walking are fast reaching their end. And with EDS, it’s only a matter of time until her life reaches its end.

She doesn’t know. I haven’t said it. But I’d give her, and DS both 10 years of what I have left. I’ve had my time here, Dad. They have so much left in life they won’t ever get to see.

And it turns my blood to fire when I hear Christians and Churches declaring they’re faking it. Because I can see they are wounded. It’s right there, in broad daylight, in the pictures of them. I’ve actually met DS, and her husband, Mike. We had dinner at a restaurant in the Atlanta area in 2017, when Pat and I went to Dragon*Con.

Dad. I sat cross the table from her, and I noticed every tremor. Every hidden wince. I saw the hurt she was going through just for us to meet in person.

Anyone ever hurts her, I’ll want to run over them with a truck, you know.

You remember Danielle? I think I told you about her. She was transgender. Dad. That’s part of why I lost my freaking mind at Dam Neck. I’m convinced of that. Not because of her. Danielle never hurt me, never upset me. She was a great friend.

It was the bone headed people at Dam Neck. “I’ll never set foot in that restroom again!” Oh, the things they said about Danielle when she wasn’t around to hear.

Yeah. I didn’t visit in the last 4+ years. I hope this helps explain why. It wasn’t you. It was so many other things in life. So many other people.

I wrote a tiny flash fiction story, years ago. About a lady ghost who visited her still living husband, and watched over him every night. That was Mom, you know. It was. Visiting you, every night. Watching over you. It’s what my heart told me was real.

Just like now, how my heart tells me you are Mom are together, and healthy, and happy, beyond the veil of life. Along with all your brothers and sisters.

Hope you enjoy the life you have where you are now.

Don’t worry, you know. Sooner or later, my time will run out, and I’ll get to visit you there.

Mark.

A Clip From #NaNoWriMo 2020

That night, after I got home, after dinner, I could not calm myself down. She knew, I could tell by how she looked at me. To anyone else, I’d look calm, and in control, but she knew. The way my fingers twitched, the way my feet couldn’t stay planted, and insisted on moving all the time. Not far, not a lot of movement, just a continuous motion of an inch or two.

My mind was running wide open, processing a million thoughts, moving from one to another faster than I could keep up. Had I done everything I needed to at work? Had I done everything I could at work? Did I have a way to fix the operating system on that one computer? Did I need to try looking up a solution to the missing WiFi adapter problem again, because I knew I’d run into that problem tomorrow.

At the same time, it was asking philosophical questions. Is there a reason God lets random events happen? Why does racism exist? Is it a normal biological function to believe you are superior to other people? Or to believe your breed of human is superior? Do we record history so we won’t forget what happened, or do we record history, and leave out the bad parts, so we can feel good about ourselves?

Then there were the social questions. What is the answer to the question, “How are you today?” What do people mean when they say, “You can’t be like that?” or, “You can’t be that way?” If there is only one God, why are there so many different religions for that God?

The questions echoed endlessly in my head, and I couldn’t stop them. I’d learned most of them didn’t have answers. I’d learned all the questions I had reduced down to one single question, with only one word.

Why?

That was the root question. The center of everything. Why?

Why are people the way they are? Why does physics work like it works? Why does electricity work like it does? Why do magnets stick to some metals, and not to others? Why is the sky blue? Why is the sun Orange? Why do people think the moon is hollow, and aliens live there, spying on us? Why can’t people figure out chemical imbalances in a person’s brain are physical problems, just like broken bones are physical problems?

Everything always reduced to that one word question. Why?

Why did people drive like insane maniacs in some strange stock car race? Why did people think murder was a crime, but sexual assault wasn’t? Why did people kill themselves by living how they lived, when they could change how they lived, and live longer?

And why couldn’t I turn my brain off?