I’m glad to have the chance to engage in this. I am pretty goddamned worried I’m going to offend him right here.
I felt very worried about this, too, while I was working on my page for you. I was teasing you, of course. And that can feel like all the respect I might have is discarded for cheap sarcasm.
However, I think relationships need to be tested to see what they can withstand—one of the ‘teases’ on that page is that I paint you as having this overly analytical sense of humor and I take a shot at autism. This is pretty cruel! But your sense of humor is not really that way at all—your sense of humor is completely transgressive and degenerate—it’s fantastic—and part of your great work is in perpetually nailing up these new self-portraits of yourself that are ridiculous and grotesque—the jester in the almighty courts—though I think you see your inner self as very noble and refined, in a way. My writing this effacing page of you is simply the act of doing your work for you. You do this to yourself anyway on any given day—I am just joining you for once.
So I’m glad it gave you a laugh for a moment—I don’t think you’ve said anything remotely offensive to me, which is pretty disappointing. I would think that you of all people could pull it off and I’d like to see you try. My fear is that I’ve not revealed enough of myself for you to hang on to—so it may take some time for you to discover that I am a grotesque in a completely different form: I am an emotional wreck, crying and pleading day after day, a small and insignificant creature in my real form—weak and crushable like Gandalf’s little moth buddy that flits around in the chaos, whisphering insignificant greetings.
One of things which is beautifully striking about your absurdly flattering hypertext object is that you accept me as your retarded brother (all of my family do me a great kindness in this) that sometimes has a good point to make (even if this bastard takes fucking forever to say it to you).
Hahhaha! My God—it’s so much funnier when you mock yourself than when I do. I do accept you as my retarded brother!! Can I be yours as well? I am not as retarded as you are, of course, but I will try to be! I am daftly sucking the collar of my lime t-shirt as we speak. I am fully wetting it, brother.
Yet, I would like to extend my trust to you further at no cost to or expectation of you.
(Since I am responding to a draft, I am just hanging on to this sentence in case it disappears. It’s just wonderful. It reminds me of a travelling salesman—my Trust, the whole Caboodle, the brushes, the Extension Arm for the trust and the fur-lined Encasement—all at no additional cost. All I ask is that you do nothing. Don’t move a muscle.)
I would like to send my cards to an address (which will not be disclosed on this wiki) of your choosing (I can also just send you the digital copies).
I am not to this point yet. This is probably a bit awkward to navigate—let me just say that I don’t see my correspondence with you as a short-term whim. It is a long game. We have a lot of years ahead of us to find out why the hell we’re talking to each other and what the Fuck is going on.
You can ask and say anything—I think it’s amazing that you would want to pass cards, converse and possibly make chat logs together. But this blog is not me quite yet. I am emerging from two years of great sorrow and struggle. I am trying to find my way—not through depression, but just through grief. “Kicks” is my prototype for this self that could survive.
I am building him and you’re helping me greatly. Hopefully he will appear in more realistic and fully-fledged forms. I am not catfishing; I am just trying to have fun again. I think it’s working.
One thing I have to tell you about autism. I had this second-grade student named Ethan. One day I took the desks out of the classroom and put down yoga mats instead for the day. The kids came in and got comfortable on the floor, except Ethan who leaned against the wall, eating a Tootsie Pop. He was a big kid with a flat top and bushy eyebrows.
Many of the kids were complaining about Ethan not sitting and eating candy in class.
“I get to have this,” he said. “Ms. Principal said so. I have a ticket in my pocket to prove it. And I have to stand up, I can’t sit down.”
“Oh, wow,” I said. “You have to stand up? You’re going to stand up all day?”
“Look, I have autism,” he said. “Yeah, that’s right! And I have it pretty bad right now. Ms. Principal said I could have this sucker. I have the ticket and everything.”
The kids go into uproar. “Ms. Principal didn’t say he could have a sucker! She never lets us have candy in class! He’s lying!”
“Okay, look class, leave him alone, he has autism, at least for today,” I said. “Ethan, will it last into tomorrow?”
“I have autism,” he said, shrugging, motioning with his sucker. “I really get it bad sometimes.” His whole body language was like, “What can any of us do about it? We just have to deal, ok?”
It was a good day. He got to stand up and enjoy the sucker like he wanted. And the rest of us had a lot of fun reminding him that he had autism that day. He was, honestly, the least autistic person I think I’ve ever met.