She-raw, II

…As I was saying,

… This “Indian” dance for couples, or, at least, the brave’s part was opposite to the maiden’s–see, the maidens werE to grab the braves’ belt–but, wait! This boy does not Have a belt… he has, OMG, elastic on his Gran-made pants! ( Don’t swing me around too much, Helen! (I think that was her name. She and her family lived in a Cardboard shack beside a country-farm road–yes, in the  east Colorado high plains, yes, even in Winter!)

Helen was gentle with me, “feeling” my plight.

Postcard from another place #autism

The other side


These days it feels like I’m in another country. Landscapes fall away and I float  above them. Nothing is fixed and yet I feel more stable.

Life’s problems abound, don’t get me wrong about that.

No one has waved a magic wand. Yet it is possible to feel both lighter and more substantial.

I have been writing now about my personal and professional journey as an autistic woman since March 2016.

The journey metaphor is unavoidable (is it not?) Such cliches adhere to the collective consciousness for a reason. Like barnacles on a boat – they’re not going anywhere. And they’re real.

The landscapes we carry within us are the other eternal and lasting image. Humans are we, all tasked with mediating our inner and outer geographies.

You might well know what I mean when I say I’ve crossed a border. And I have.

Cliche, after cliche would like to…

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Cheraw, Colorado (Ahem “She”Raw!)

As we drove into town, that late summer day, our noses told us, “hold it right there! You have passed the point of ‘no return.’ Bear right, and just…bear it!”

I now firmly believe that the State forced those sidewalks to be rolled right up for good– health reasons, some years later, but not soon enough for these five sets of nostrils.

It Had to have been raw sewage..smelled the same as in unincorporated Alamosa, Colorado years later, to this set of nostrils. Well, the circumstances differed, but Not the smell! (And not even all the personalities, though That’s another story.)

So, is this a story about Cheraw or raw sewage? Both. “You can’t have one without the o…uh…uh…TheR” hear the music?

My first whiff of Cheraw was at the age of eight. I asked if there were fish in that, er, pool. “No, Son. We’ll  go back to Deer Creek someday.” “Okay, Dad.”

Settling into Dad’s new job was priority one, of course. He went to the High school, first day, and the sisters and I, to the elementary. I got Mrs. Cook’s classroom, one sis. got Miss Barbara’s, and I didn’t pay enough attention to big sister’s affairs to even know her circumstance, scholastically​.

We two smaller ones had it bad enough. Little Sister had to be a team member, part of shaming classmates, and I got to be the “other” shamed one, once or thrice!

It happened actually quite often: for each wrong answer, we would line up into the cloakroom, I suppose so as to be somewhat hidden from direct view, as our rears got swatted by the teacher with her “homeroom paddle,” aptly so named. Then there was the time my own other-than-farmboy attire showed me up. See, we were being taught an “Indian dance for couples. The maiden holds the “brave’s belt and they swing around. But, my Grandma-made trousers had elastic…No beltloops…No belt… Oops!

And then there was the afternoon dress-up for Halloween. Go home for lunch (no district-provided for Us) and return in costume. Maybe change seats, to help disguise yourself, but if your​ mom takes a lot of time to put a bandana on your head and make a sen~orita out of her boy, and you arrive later than everyone else, your cover is blown, Big time! (Yes. Mrs. Cook, Josie has Already been identified, so who could this be, indeed!)

The school year finally ended, and I could return to the neighborhood I had always loved, though that, too, is another story.