The soft light of the quiet day



An empty room, a quiet house, an understanding that there is nothing to be done today, or tomorrow: that nothing can stretch out over as many days and weeks as I want.

The loveliness of being home, the joy of not having to be anywhere else. This is what freedom feels like.

There is no loneliness, only solitude. No knock at the door or grasping, grabbing world coming up in the street. The clock ticks, the hands turn, the light moves across the mirror.

Best would be a day of rain, gentle rain that takes all day to finish falling. The outside sheened through the glass and if I look close, the trees are blurred within it. The window, open enough to hear the rain without letting it in and the brief patters as the drops blow against the sill.

This is the sort of day that I want to last forever, the kind of peace I think of when I sit in traffic jams or wait for a student to do their work. Surrounded by the lives of others I yearn for my own, as if it also belonged to someone else.

We all know, in the real world, there is a price to pay for staying in, not meeting the world, not being the person who can do that. But in those quiet times when the perfect life is momentarily here, homesickness washes over me for the quiet room, the rain, the soft light of the quiet day.

Amanda



 A Guide to Your Aspie

 How to talk to your Aspie



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Being socially awkward



I have it down to a fine art, being socially awkward.

Mostly I cover this side with the role of Friendly Person. I'm sure some of you know this role. You change your face, your voice, even what you might talk about: you are Friendly.

This doesn't mean making new friends, it's just a way to get by, especially if small talk is involved.

I am a temporary Queen of Small Talk. My favourite is the weather because I like talking about the weather anyway. And if I also like the person wanting to talk small, I slot in other little subjects good for tiny chats.

Chitter-chatter when I am feeling on top of things is fine. I can do it, the pretence lasts long enough for me to be a Friendly Person. And then...

The times when the Friendly role won't fit. It's like waking up and being two clothes sizes bigger overnight. I get up, do what I always do, and it won't fit. The small talk that worked yesterday doesn't work today.

The words I normally use, sentences well-worked and easy, they come out all wrong. I can hear them, the tone, the muffled feeling of not having it quite right. And my smile, it doesn't work either. I can tell my face is doing something else, though I have no idea what.

Oh for the ability to just be socially apt for a couple of minutes at a time! But no, it isn't that easy. Those days when socially awkward will not be hidden, mistakes happen.

Easy conversations are suddenly hard. As my phrases fall apart, so the conversation wavers like a heat haze. I am in the middle of it, trying to make it stay still, watching the other person to see if they notice I'm doing it wrong (I do recognise this behaviour makes me no less awkward).

Invariably I will say something kind of stupid - not fully stupid, just stupid enough to make me cringe. And then I'll try to cover it up , which of course is like putting make up on a pig.

Good grief, why do I bother?!

Well, mainly because I have to talk to people a lot for my work and it's best to come across as nice and friendly. And usually it's fine and social and I don't mind. Then on the days I do mind and it isn't social, it's awkward because I am awkward. The whole thing becomes awkward.

One lucky aspect is that my work means seeing lots of people in small-ish time slots so if I show myself up it is over quite quickly and I can move on to the next person - and do it all again. Though I might have to cringe at myself every single time, other people only have to suffer it the once.

So the next time I see them I am hopefully back to 'normal', with no weird smile that was only half-born and no stupid comments either. Back to desperately covering up the fact I am totally, irredeemably, socially awkward.

Bliss for those times when I meet someone worse than myself! The empathy is palpable and so is my relief that, for a small-ish amount of time, I don't have to worry over odd comments about the weather and wrong smiles.

Like minds aren't just about being able to talk about the same things; sometimes it's about listening to someone else make a hash of it and knowing exactly how they feel.

Amanda



 A Guide to Your Aspie

 How to talk to your Aspie



My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter!