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.