Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's kind of like a window.

I don't have an official diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. I have a diagnosis of "Asperger's traits," which I guess is like Asperger's Lite. This diagnosis was made by a psychiatrist who knew me for about an hour on a good day when I was extremely guarded. So I take it with a grain/handful of salt. I tell people I have Asperger's because it's easy, unless the person happens to be one of the 95% of people who apparently don't know what the hell it is. So I guess I tell people I have Asperger's because it's nice to have a name for Why I'm So Fucking Weird.

The reason I'm writing about it now is that it seems to be whacking me in the face with a big ol' Autism Stick, and I feel like I'm trying to push it away but I'm blindfolded and it keeps smacking me. Like a reverse pinata. In Soviet Russia, pinata whacks you!

Sounds have been particularly intense today. During my gender studies lecture people kept leaving (because the class sort of sucks) and the damn door to the damn classroom was SQUEAKY. Not like itty-bitty "eeeeee!" squeaks. Every single time someone opened the door it was like "eeeeEEEEEEEEFUCKYOUEEEEEEEEEEE!!" Even blocking my ears didn't really help much. But I got through it, and I was damn glad to get out. Then tonight I was sitting in the living room with Farz and Andre. Katie was making smoothies in the kitchen, which reminds me, blenders are LOUD. I don't think it could have been louder if she was making a smoothie of bricks and human bones. Anyway, I was trying to listen to a story Andre was telling. The guy tells great stories. I don't even remember what the hell he was talking about, because Farz was on the phone with Cynthia, talking about chem homework and I don't know if she was screaming into the phone or if I was just hypersensitive (both?) because all I could hear was stuff about numbers and moles. Then I would hear a snippet of Andre's voice, then something about an equation. I tried to look at Andre's mouth because I hear better when I can see the person's mouth moving, but I found it even more distracting and overwhelming to look at his face. So I focused on his shoulder, which as it turns out is kind of a common thing for me to do. Shoulders are close enough to the face so it almost counts as eye/face contact, but they don't have nearly as much visual information.

Anyway, once Andre was done talking to me, he and Kate started talking about something, and Farz kept talking, and I got so damn confused. It got to be way too much, so I sort of automatically got up and ran to my room, where I sat in the dark for awhile, holding my ears shut so I couldn't hear anything at all (good, because I imagine all three of them were making fun of me or wondering what the hell that was about). Meh. However, once everyone started talking calmly and one person at a time, I calmed down and was back to normal. Me-normal, that is. So "relatively normal" might be a better term.

However, this sound-sensitivity has its good points too. Lately I've been listening to Brandi Carlile's album "The Story." Let me just state that I am a SUCKER for good vocal harmonies. Let me state also that Brandi Carlile is the MASTER of the delicious vocal harmony. She is the master of a lot of other things too, like the vocal acrobatics and the gorgeous melodies and...okay, you get it. So I've spent quite awhile tonight listening to Brandi Carlile with headphones on and the volume way up (and my sense of hearing way up), just letting the music totally consume me. It's like an auditory orgasm. And then visual stuff comes in too, because when I close my eyes I see the colours of the music. I'm lucky that my synesthesia isn't too intense, because I think I would go insane, but I do like being able to sort of hear and feel colours.

Anyway, I was listening to the song "Again Today," rocking back and forth manically because that's just sort of what I do...and I'm rocking so hard (haha) that my headphones pop out of the jack. Brandi Carlile is screaming into the air and I'm in the middle of some kind of musical orgasm. I turned the music off and started freaking the hell out.

And then I wondered why I was freaking out.

And then I answered my question.

Those headphone-moments are...almost private. When I hear music through headphones, it's my own experience and I sort of fall into my own private world of me + music. But then to be yanked, quite literally, out of that world and into a world where everyone can hear my emotions--because music is a reflection of my emotions--is awfully jarring. I wasn't prepared for that. Even though I'm pretty sure it was only Kate who heard the two seconds of music before I turned it off. I wouldn't mind letting her into that private world of me + music, if she wanted to, but I need to be prepared for it!

Oh man. It's been...a day. A good day, actually, as these things go. Classes were boring as fuck but generally tolerable. Between classes I spent a lot of time at the Monroe County Public Library, and I ended up checking out 5 books, all of which should be hilarious. I like reading things that make me look like a crazy person because I'm laughing so much.

This is mostly because of my gender studies class from hell, but I am sick to death of film. Cinema. Movies. What-the-fuck-ever. My gender studies professor, who I'm sure is otherwise a very nice person, decided that it would be a good idea to morph a gender studies class into a film studies class simply because she felt like it. The class is "Gender, Sexuality, and Pop Culture." I didn't really care much during the first few weeks, other than the fact that all the reading was based on Freud's bullshit theories of psychoanalysis (Oedipus complex, castration anxiety...you know, the things that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE experiences). After a couple weeks of studying feminist film theory, I was sick of it and ready to move on to other facets of pop culture. Things like, oh I don't know, books? Music? Television? Advertising? Oh, wait. No. We diverted our attention to girlie-mags for about a week and then resumed studying film. Fucking hell. On Wednesday, I was so frustrated with the class that I actually cried about it that night. I feel like I'm missing the class that could have been. "Gender, Sexuality, and Pop Culture" sounds really cool and interesting. I figured we'd be analysing music lyrics, celebrities, literature, advertising and products, blah blah blah. Current stuff. You know, "pop" culture.

If I had wanted to take a fucking film studies course, I would have done just that. I didn't. I don't even really like movies. I don't want to fucking study them from a perspective that is bullshit in the first place.

And don't get me started on gender studies in general. There's a separate field of study called "women's studies." That's where blind feminism belongs, if anywhere. Gender studies should be more objective. I know the field was born out of the sexual revolution, blah blah blah, but we don't have to stay in the '70s, for fuck's sake. It's okay to move on to fairer, more enlightened points of view. Like...oh I don't know...gender equality. Not one sex over the other. Patriarchy is about male power and feminism is about female power. I propose a healthy medium.

Also, I propose that I stop ranting about that because who gives a shit? Not academia.

My favourite shirt felt itchy today, but only when I heard loud noises. That was disappointing and enlightening at the same time.

I'm experiencing a lot of intense emotions. There's a lot to be happy about and there are some things that I'm unhappy about. My mind is in about twelve trillion different places. All that emotion is confusing as hell. I never know what I'm feeling or even what I'm thinking about. All I know is that I'm feeling something, and it's intense. I'm not sure if I can handle it. "It's all too much," as George Harrison wrote.

I wish people would stop asking me to label my emotions. Happy. Upset. Angry. Who knows? Lately I've just been saying "frustrated" because I'm frustrated about not being able to answer the question "How are you feeling?" If I'm feeling good emotions, then I'll usually be able to say "I'm doing well" or "I'm excited" or whatever. "Excited" is kind of a standard response, whether or not I'm actually jumping for joy. Hell, sometimes I'm just excited to finally be in a good mood. Other times I'm excited because HOLY FUCK I GET TO SEE RENT TOMORROW! I keep forgetting that. It's true. I get to see Rent at the IU auditorium tomorrow night--tonight, technically--at 8pm. Oh, how...exciting!

So I'll end on that uplifting note. Wooooo Rent! Man, I'm tired. All this thinking and analyzing has really worn me out...or maybe I'm just getting a cold. Whichever. Goodnight.

P.S. Go listen to Brandi Carlile.

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