Talking with Aspergers

Posted on November 4, 2012


For around five years or so I had a friend, a really bright, amazing person who I connected with on an inextricably deep, and somewhat unexplainable level. It was pretty special. A total one off. But it was complicated, because he had been diagnosed with Aspergers when he was younger, meaning he was on the autistic spectrum. People with Aspergers can be high functioning but lack empathy skills and any conventional social execution. With him it wasn’t always obvious, and more often than not, very easy to forget.

Calling him a friend is a loose term to really describe what was a complicated romance, one that unsurprisingly never really got off the ground in hindsight, despite a lot of time and energy that was consumed by it.

In spring 2012 we were emailing back and forth over a period of months re-establishing the lost connection from when we were both in relationships which were our first long terms ones since the time we’d first met.

Out of frustration one time upon finding him consistently impossible to meet up with, despite him insisting that we needed to hang out more, I emailed him the following, to which he replied:

‘That is one of the funniest and most insightful things I’ve ever heard from you’

You and me, we talk a completely different language

You say: ‘i want us to give things a go’ I hear: ‘let’s go out on a date / let’s start somefink / i wanna start seeing you (more regularly at least)’

You mean: ‘i’m just sayin, i’d quite like to explore what could happen, doesn’t mean i’ll call/see you for a while though. Life’s crazy right now’

I say ‘Ok, but let’s take things slow’ You hear: ‘Let’s just see what happens, no pressure to see/talk to each other/reply to each other’
I mean: ‘I can’t envision this actually working out until its happening I guess’

You say: ‘I’ll call you later’ I hear: ‘I’ll call you later’
You mean ‘Sorry I don’t want to carry this conversation on, you’re telling me off again. Goodbye.’

I say: ‘Arggh it doesn’t really feel like you want a relationship, i’m confused’ you hear: ‘i want to settle down. I want your babies’

I say: ‘you make me horny’ you hear: ‘i’m horny again, you have one use and that’s it.’
I mean: ‘all this relationship talk is stopping us from enjoying each other’s company, let’s just chill and fuck and the rest will follow..’

A few months earlier

Earlier that year when we were in the most platonic place we’ve possibly ever been, and we weren’t really engaging in the real world because he was still in a relationship, I said something along the lines of how silly everything must seem now we had the gift of hindsight. This was around the time we were starting to open up again and explore the dynamic of our relationship. When I read his reply, my chest tightened and swelled and for the rest of that day I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I felt like i’d been hit in the face with a firework, only I didn’t care because all I could feel was some indescribable force working its way through my body. I think I thought it was love:

‘What seems a bit silly? Us? Some of it was. Immensely silly. A lot of it was
also incredibly sublime. some of it was pretty intense, a metric fuck-tonne
of it was heartbreaking and just the tiniest part was far, far too
self-destructive to be healthy.

All of it was important. To me, anyway. Still is.’

This person with aspergers, clearly knew how to communicate with a touch for the dramatics. Maybe it’s just because I really did love him, that his words felt so powerful.

Posted in: History, Journal, Random