Well, it certainly didn’t help.
I’ve thought about writing this a few times. It’s been in my ‘maybe’ folder of documents along with several call-out posts and a half dozen suicide notes. But Hell—this could be my hook. The writer that thinks their fiction is real.
Ah, that hurt even to type.
It’s a tall order to ask you not to judge me too harshly. I’m probably going to be right up there with Rachel Dolezal, with the Final Fantasy House, with every delusional twat that just wanted something more. Here’s the thing; nothing I did was for attention. I believed a lot of it—I still do. It’s a harmless self-soothing tactic against loneliness. But I needed to write out my experience, my skepticism of it, and the damning effects it’s had on my life. And will continue to have.
For a confession will far from clear me from my sins. My fiction is my religion. It’s my creed. It’s my life. It’s the only home I’ve ever known—besides one other, that I may never enter again, upon the time that I write this.
These entries won’t necessarily be chronological. They won’t be clean. You’ll be lucky if they’re even published. But they’re true. At least to me.
I was an exceptionally lonely child. It’s not an excuse, it’s a fact. My entire world seemed soaked in loneliness. There were people around me, but all they seemed to do was reinforce my solitude.
Being autistic seems a societal crime, only visible to the guilty. I seemed marked as a target early on by my peers, that wouldn’t be able to even spell the diagnosis until ten years later. I may be giving the Ohio public schooling system too much credit.
One memory that stands out for me was running after two other children in my class. I must have been about six. They had declared myself my friends the day prior, but that day, they ran from me and laughed as they did so. I remember so clearly, the white winter afternoon glint. The soreness of my throat as the cold air whooshed through my lungs. I was sobbing and asking ‘why?’
My arms were bulging with one of those cheap neon bubble-jackets. It was likely pink. The fabric swiped my eye as I tried to wipe my tears away. I remember the feeling of utter confusion and legitimate pain.
Think about the first time the world rejected you.
I think you remember exactly how it feels.
As I cried, the two children halted in their steps. Fearful of my getting the teacher involved, they bribed me. They actually bribed me.
“Here! Here! Stop crying, you can have this! Just don’t cry anymore, okay?”
This was a plastic pink gem on a keychain. It had a layer of iridescent paint, which was clearly symbolic of its magical properties. I dried my tears and held the gem in my hands. This gem, clearly, offered magical energy. Protection from the pain on my psyche—
I think it reminded me of the iridescent scales from Dragon Tales. You know, the sort that you say a spell over and they take you to another world full of—you guessed it! Dragons. This odd, plastic keychain was suddenly my link into another world. I couldn’t tell you what was in that other world. But I knew I wasn’t crying and running after two other children that said they were my friends.