Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Syndrome that Sounds Like Ass Burgers

There is such a thing, and I have it! The fact that I have been medically diagnosed with this condition, by myself, changes nothing. If anything, it just disappoints me to learn that I'm not the only one to have this crippling lack of social acumen; I thought I had invented something new! Other than that, the Dave who now knows his condition has a name is indistinguishable from the Dave who didn't know. I still alternate daily between constipation so severe it must be cleared digitally and diarrhea that makes a bad bout of amoebic dysentery feel like a single bad taco; I still get beat up for using words like ennui in the break room; I still have people ask me, "Jesus Christ, Renfro, do you talk about kayaks all the time?" "Not when I'm sleeping." I always reply as I continue my twenty-minute explanation of a method of running waterfalls called "boofing," a technique which I myself have never attempted. The diagnosis was a slam-dunk just from reading the Wikipedia article; it was mere curiosity that--and this is a stylistically terrible way to write this sentence--drove me to drive to the bookstore to purchase a copy of Tony Attwood's The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome* along with Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. When I read it (the Asperger's book), it was is if I had written it myself! About me! Seriously, every paragraph is like a mirror into my own socially dysfunctional soul. It talks about "pedantic speech" and "unusual prosody" and such: I have no fucking idea what prosody is but I'm all about pedantry! Why be merely correct when you can be pedantic? That's what I always say! The fact is, I know I must speak and write using rigorously correct grammar or everything I say will definitely be misunderstood, probably earning me a slap in the face or worse. The book also talks about unusual and narrow interests. Here's an actual quote: "The child with Asperger's may have read fifty novels by 19th century French realists with syphilis but won't be able to explain the meaning of any of them" (Attwood, 2007). No shit! It's really in there! And of course it mentions "using metaphor meaningful only to the speaker." I'm the poster boy for using metaphor meaningful only to the speaker! Did you know that the marriage to my partner of now fifteen years nearly never happened because of a botched metaphor? I was working as an airframe mechanic at the time that I composed what I thought was the most tender and heartfelt tribute I could ever offer her, that going a day without her love holding me tight would be like going a day without my cleco pliers. I guess she didn't understand how completely fucking impossible it is to perform even the simplest airframe repair without cleco pliers. It took a month of grovelling to win her back! So yes! It's a slam dunk. I do have Asperger's and I'm going to continue to have it till I die, eighty frustrating years from now, because I like it and I want to have it. Without it, or more precisely without the knowledge of it, I would still be wandering about looking for something to explain my astonishing lack of success in this world. Now I know!

*It is true that this book was recommended to me by a therapist who works with young children. Infer nothing! It is Mrs. DMG's position, and therefore my position, that even if DMG Jr. had what my Guru to All Things Rod White calls "the most grand and glorious 'wrong' that a person can have," and it would thrill me to learn that he did because it is glorious and it is grand, I should not post anything about it here. And so I won't.

13 comments:

Martijn said...

Dave, you're back! I place myself in grave danger here by writing a comment even though I think I need to read your post at least twice again to fully understand it. Maybe I got a touch of the asperger too, or maybe I'm just oldfashionately certifiable, but I am in such a shape today that it is hard for me to understand anything. That has nothing to do with your fine writing. The constipation that had to be 'cleared digitally' took me about 10 seconds to understand, but then it cracked my up like nothing else today. I will read your post again and again, untill I get it (I've got the nasty suspicion you're using irony here... ), but this comment is just so you know I watch out for a new DMG all the time. Greetings!

Martijn

carl duewall said...

Truly a great self-diagnosis, my friend. Indeed you are plum ate up with it. Now all you need is the T-shirt.

red dirt girl said...

Three hip, hip, horrays for you, Dave! I'm glad you are exactly who you are. I mean I get it, I do. From one 'diagnosed' adult to another - welcome to the club ... hee hee :)
xxx

red dirt girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Mows Grass said...

I do not use irony, Martijn, but irony sometimes uses me! Thanks for stopping by!

I am plumb ate up with it, as indicated on the fine recreational survey you sent me. I've always scored well on tests! Truth is, I had already heard the word kicked around by Donald's teachers a few times and started checking it out. Nothing at all has changed, though. You'll be glad to know I'm still every bit the asshole that I've always been.

When I find those T-shirts, I'll be sure to grab one for you, too! Cheers!

Dave Mows Grass said...

Oh, hi mule friend! You stopped by as I was typing. And yeah, I wouldn't change a thing. The way I see it now, my new job is one-third getting my boy the help he needs so he doesn't get behind and two-thirds making sure he doesn't get jammed with more help than he really needs. We're going to walk so deep in the woods that, if we do encounter another person, that person will also be seeking a bit of solitude, probably for the same reasons. Yep, hikes with Donald and I have always been very quiet affairs. People talk too much!

xxx

Anonymous said...

Ochlophobia

carl duewall said...

no it was me.

Dave Mows Grass said...

You win, Carl. It was you!

I may have a spot of this Ochlophobia, but I would be what's called "sub-clinical" in the Lingo, similar to my sub-clinical depression, anxiety, and panaphobia, which of course is the irrational fear of everything. I'm sure you'll be able to name a dozen more disorders which I definitely have but have never heard of before, and I look forward to reading all of them!

Cheers!

carl duewall said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RezHc7YRSlA&feature=related

Anonymous said...

I can think of nothing to add to either your wonderful post or this interesting series of commentaries upon it. So I will quote the guy who said, "All you can is yourself. And sometimes you fail at that."

Your admirer, UF Mike

red dirt girl said...

Take a long long walk for me, friend! Much hugs and xxx to you and yours, for the holiday season and beyond! I think this post is effing AWESOME !!
XXX

Dave Mows Grass said...

Hugs all around there, too, mule friend. You're the best!

xxx