It's a small problem, right? It's not life-threatening: stars will not die nor oceans dry up. The moon will not change in its trajectory across our skies and the world health organisation will not start filling bunkers with nubile examples of the human genome.
It is, after all, only a noise.
It's a repetitive, annoying, unstoppable all-assailing noise which has decided to happen near me and cannot be locked out of my head without industrial-grade ear defenders. It is so regular and irritating that I feel as if my head will explode if it doesn't stop.
Anything else I have to do will stop. It will grind to a sudden halt as I stand, head on one side, listening to see where the noise is coming from. Once I realise the noise isn't under my control, I am doomed to listen, over and over and over again to this noise which will never end and stretches on forever into what used to be my future.
My teeth ache, caused by the noise. (Okay, possibly caused by setting my jaw in a suffering and rigid position). My head is full of the noise and nothing else can stay there for long. Any work I had to do comes second to the noise and any conversations I try to have tail off as I forget what we were saying and listen to the noise.
Other people are often so unaffected by this that I have to explain to them there even is a noise and then point out what it is. I stand there, angst-ridden, as they listen and finally hear it. 'Oh yes,' they say and carry on with what they were doing.
Later they might appear and ask, 'Why haven't you made any dinner?'
I look at them as if dinner was some new-fangled idea, then say, 'I was waiting for the noise to stop.'
'What noise?' they ask, having forgotten all about it.
'The noise!' I become animated. 'The noise that's been going on for ages!'
Non-aspies are never going to understand the profound affect of an unfriendly noise on the aspie consciousness. I barely understand it myself as I know, I really, logically know, that a small noise in the distance, or a larger noise next door, will not harm me and shouldn't put a hold on everyday life.
And yet it does. That noise becomes greater than it is, cutting out the aspie's shaky ability to process normal thoughts, making sure that the level of concentration required to hold it all together is disrupted to such an extent that nothing else exists within except the noise.
When it stops - bliss. The quiet! It feels like a vacuum, a beautiful emptiness devoid of anything but grace. It is the feeling we all live for, that sense of peace which makes the tumult of life bearable again.
Readers, it has stopped. It has gone. I am close to being human again. Everything denied me for the eternity it lasted is restored. I am whole once more.
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