May 24, 2013

May 23

I have learned from my Super-CS hosts,  Amy and Andre (Andre is a musician and both work with kids with autism), that Victoria is much wilder underneath than it appears on the surface. Laura calls it “the California of Canada.” That’s good to know.

It’s still not Mexico (or Jamaica or anywhere else where people are “wilder”). No one sings in public (on the street, on the bus, etc.).

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I am at Serious Coffee again. Had coffee and toast with Andre as Amy rushed off to work. Slept well on the couch and did a little yoga this morning plus my knee exercises (osteoarthritis).

Andre asked me how different I felt after I got my Asperger Syndrome diagnosis. An interesting question, and now I realize I did feel different–better–after the diagnosis. I knew my group; I understood my history. I began connecting with other Aspies.

I had always felt “on the outside looking in.” Suddenly, we Aspies began making our own IN GROUP! We didn’t need the NTs (neuro-typicals) in the same way anymore; NT acceptance of us no longer mattered. And (big thing) we didn’t identify ourselves as “flawed” anymore. We weren’t required to change according to NT standards and expectations. Neuro-typicals had to do some changing of their own. We identified THEIR flaws (eg. lying), and we let them know we wouldn’t stand for it.

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May 24

I am making changes in myself–as always–and one involves doing things in smaller segments. I used to challenge myself with huge, long projects. If I walked somewhere, it had to be an hour’s walk. When I exercised, it had to be an hour or more. Now, when I do yoga or meditate or whatever, I do it in ten minute increments. That works, and it doesn’t scare me away the next time. Doing ten minutes of ANYTHING is very doable.

I also am implementing the “Do Nothing” rule: empty my mind; let all the thoughts just float away, harming no one. This is a form of meditation that can be used anywhere, sitting, walking, playing, socializing.

And I know it’s true that “It’s none of my business what others think of me.”

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People here in Victoria (or at least in Cook Street Village) don’t look each other in the eye on the street (like they do in New Orleans). It makes me very uncomfortable.

A New Orleans show is on WWOZ and they are interviewing someone in the burlesque scene in NOLA. Trixie Minx (who has performed [somewhere; The Royal Sonesta?] from midnight to 2 am for three years)! Trixie has been doing burlesque in NOLA for seven years. The New Orleans’ approach to sex–and sex shows–is humorous, open and inviting to both men and women, and fun. It’s not sex-as-something-bad-and-divisive-forbidden.

“Just because I want someone who’s kind with a heart as good and pure as mine…” (from Creole String Beans‘ song “Just Because”)

A musician, Desmond ______, is on WWOZ now, being interviewed. He talked about growing up in NOLA and starting to play music on the street at age ten or eleven. Like my dad (Karl F. John) was out on the street in Berlin at about that age, selling newspapers.

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In some ways, I am getting less, not more, comfortable socially around NTs. Especially the men. I suppose I found out too much about men’s sexual side, and I saw too much ugliness in them, when I was experimenting with sex and exploring my sexuality. Now, anything untoward about men–and especially men my age or older–disgusts and repels me.

Einstein supposedly said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” And my imagination about men’s sexuality is often more accurate as well as more important than my actual knowledge about individual , anonymous men sitting in a cafe. And it’s not good. I can imagine their sex lives, their sexual tastes and proclivities, their weaknesses and strengths, and their prejudices. It’s a very unpleasant picture and it makes me uncomfortable around many people. I wonder if this is why some counselors seldom mingle in public. They know people too well.

Old men are really a public nuisance when they try to retain the social power (based on misogyny and patriarchy) they had in their heyday. Awful old buggers. Of course, some old men are wonderful, so I don’t want to just avoid them all. I have to be vulnerable and open myself up to the awful ones in order to not miss the good ones.

Another problem I have with men, and especially older men, is that they sometimes seem to think I am flirting with them or perhaps they want to flirt with me. I don’t flirt! And I REALLY don’t want to flirt with these old farts. Ugh! I feel like Sherlock Holmes (BBC, 2010, with Benedict Cumberbatch) when that awful reporter came to him in the men’s bathroom for an interview (she later turned up as a supporter of “Rick Brooks” a.k.a “Jim Moriarty”).

Being online here at the cafe, and especially having my earphones on (wherever I am), helps me avoid and ignore undesirable people. I turn my body away from them whenever possible. I don’t want to see them or hear them or know that they exist. I appreciate good works they do, but otherwise for me they are invisible, thank god.

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I sit in cafes a lot these days, and I am doing more yoga and meditation. When I’m at someone’s house, I just hang out there and get to know the hosts and their lives and their neighborhood.

This little Cook Street Village is quiet, slightly upscale, and full of retirees. It’s the kind of faux-quaint “village” I used to avoid. Now I find places like this (and Ojai) comfortable for a few days at a time. Any more of any oh-so-cute place, and I’m ready for a challenging, two-week stint in a cozy, mental institution. Or perhaps a week of hitchhiking: out there, living by my wits, among The People, rather than in this pre-death graveyard.

The old men at the table next to me are talking about sports cars. “Well, at least it didn’t break ya’.” And “My lady friend, ya’ know, she died on me!” The old women are saying things like, “She didn’t get that from my side of the family.” Where in the hell am I? A nursing home in Siberia? No, these old codgers and bitches would be much less annoying in an incomprehensible language.

Now that I think about it, I find it very hard to believe these people in Victoria ever GET DOWN. Maybe Canadians’ definition of “wild and crazy” is different from the American one. There are those of us, I suppose, in every culture who know from experience what “wild and crazy” means. And some  people certainly have explored that field much more thoroughly than I.

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