Monday, April 18, 2016

I Have This Strange Non-Talent --

-- I compose snatches of very bad music in my sleep. The closest I can remember to composing an entire very bad song in my sleep was when I dreamed about this aging metal band. They had huge handlebar moustaches and severe mullets. Some members of the band still wore black leather vests over bare torsos years after they should have stopped going shirtless. I can't recall the lyrics of the verses anymore, except that each verse was a rhyming couplet. Just one rhyming couplet. I haven't forgotten the chorus yet, but there's not that much to remember. Here's the whole chorus, set to a clanking, rumbling metal train that sounds as if could grind to a halt completely at any moment:

"Rollin'. Rollin'. Rollin'. Rollin'."

I'm pretty sure the verses all described people who were not rollin' down that road with the band, and were jealous. It was all very, very sad and unimpressive. Wait, I just remembered one of the verses!

"And you know that I love it/If they don't, they can shove it."

As I said -- very, very sad and unimpressive.

But recently I dreamed up a couple of bars' worth of a song, and although if I were objective I might see that it's as awful as anything I've composed while asleep, I can't be objective about it. I like it. The way that someone might take home the most pathetically-crippled dog or cat from the shelter, not to be noble, but because they really and truly fell in love with the poor thing. I keep singing it.

Here are the lyrics to my three-legged puppy of a dreamed few seconds' worth of music:

"Won't you help MEEEEEEEEEE/To unnerstan[...]"

That's right: not "understand," but "unnerstan." This music is too pathetic to have d's.

But very much unlike the tired clanking rumbling metal anthem about rollin' down that road and leaving the jealous haters behind,

"Won't you help MEEEEEEEEEE/To unnerstan[...]"

is about me. It's about my autism, and being baffled by the behavior of most people, and asking for help in tryin' to unnerstan everthing.

I don't really know how obvious it is to others that I'm "special." More obvious to some than to others, I guess. And some of those more perceptive ones have been very kind, and have done a lot to try to help meeeeeee to unnerstan. And I guess that those are the people that I'm talking to when I say things like "thnk yu verr mutch pleez, yur verr nice persun." Or: "Won't you help MEEEEEEEEEE/To unnerstan."

I haven't yet read an entire novel or story by David Foster Wallace, but recently I read a meme with a quote from him (I checked it out and it's really from him), in which, if I've understood him correctly, he says that perhaps being human means being

"unavoidably sentimental and naive and goo-prone and generally pathetic, [...] in some basic interior way forever infantile, some sort of not-quite-right-looking infant dragging itself anaclitically around the map, with big wet eyes and froggy-soft skin, huge skull, gooey drool"

And if Wallace is right about that -- assuming I'm right about what he's saying -- then it means that I'm not so different from the neurologically-typical as I sometimes think, because I'm most definitely -- all that, that Wallace said, there. Maybe the autism has to do more with expressing my essence in an unusual way, than with my essence being unusual. Maybe sometimes those verr nice persuns have not so much been taking pity on me, as responding to things they recognize within themselves. As one not-quite-right-looking infant to another.

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