Monday, October 15, 2012

Last Kiss

It was brought to my attention recently how differently I perceive things. I could go on and on about how reality is relative, but for the purposes of maintaining my sanity and also your attention, I'll just limit myself to this particular instance of misperception, or non-neurotypical perception, as is the case.

Okay, I am the worst at brevity.

So there's this song called "Last Kiss," originally released by Wayne Cochran in 1961, but the version that I'm most familiar with is Pearl Jam's cover. Long story short, boy takes ladyfriend for a date in his father's car, loses control, and ladyfriend dies. Then he's all:

Oh where, oh where, can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me
She's gone to heaven, so I've got to be good
So I can see my baby when I leave this world

And then I was all,


I was probably fourteen or fifteen at the time, so I really didn't know much about driving and how accidents happen and whatnot. So when I heard,

We were out on a date in my daddy's car
We hadn't driven very far
There in the road, straight ahead
A car was stalled, the engine was dead
I couldn't stop, so I swerved to the right

All I could think was, WTF were you doing in that car that made you not pay attention to the road, dumbass?!


I thought to myself, if I were borrowing my parental unit's car, I would be EXTRA SUPER DUPER CAREFUL to not crash it because I CLEARLY would not be able to afford a replacement vehicle. And of the object in the road, straight ahead? If he's driving on a relatively straight road, as he denotes with the 'straight ahead,' he should have had PLENTY of time to stop if he were driving with the proper precautions. And I don't know that I thought about it at the time, but I'm curious to know whether or not the stalled vehicle had put on their hazard lights.

Aspie-me thought (thinks, even) that this tragedy could have all been avoided if he would have checked his hormones for like fifteen minutes to pay. attention. to. the. road.

What really ground (grinded?) my gears, though, was the fact that the singer believed that the Lord had taken his ladyfriend away, when clearly, by all logical standpoints, he was the one at fault.

The song legitimately made me sick for that reason. I thought he was just a stupid dudebro who wasn't paying any attention to the road, and while he may not have deserved what he got (mostly 'cause it was kinda the ladyfriend that got the shitty end of the deal), he had no place looking for any kind of sympathy because of the error of his ways.

It makes me kind of sad that I used to feel this way.

I happened to bring this up to my 53-year-old friend (heretofore to be known as "Beaner," and no, it's not a racial slur [well, it is, but not in this context], it's her actual nickname), and she shook her head and laughed at my interpretation. Then she did that thing where she looks at me for a period of time, and I get this look a lot, and from all kinds of different people, but I've yet to decipher its meaning, and she asks me, "Do you always think of things like that?"

And, in true Aspie fashion, I was all, "Like what?"

It really never occurs to me that other people don't always see the world as I do. Well. Sometimes I guess it does, but it's always a constant surprise when it's brought to my attention so starkly. She explained that the song came out when she was about four, and that it makes her cry every time (and also that it's the only song she knows by heart on the guitar; as she was in a band for most of her twenties, this is significant). Where she seen the whole picture, even at age four, how tragic something like this can be--is, I only seen pieces of the puzzle, seen only the elements that I could strip down and analyze and process. (Seriously, I think I'm a robot.)

Maybe because I drive now, or because I'm older and slightly more worldly, or even because I've had my heart broken, but I get it now. And not just in an intellectual sense. This song, when I'm really listening to it, when I'm really absorbed in it, will bring me to tears. And I rarely cry unless it's that damn Sarah McLaughlin commercial about abused animals or the end of The Little Mermaid.

It's funny how radically a song's meaning changed for me over the course of seven years. I guess that means I'm growing, which is good, but it kind of makes me wonder how I'm doing in other aspects of my life. I still really, really hurt over Stupid Boy, but then I wonder if I'm just hurting because I'm constantly misperceiving things. I want to trust my instincts and my perceptions because I honestly believe this AS is a gift, but on the other hand, I know it can make me somewhat narrow-minded (if that's even the right term for what I feel).

Even if I am misperceiving, it still doesn't change the day-to-day reality of my emotional turmoil (yeah, it sounds kinda melodramatic, but it's fo real). And even that sidebar just now! Why do I feel like I'm being melodramatic? Aren't my emotions valid? Shouldn't I describe them however I want or feel?

I feel, again, like there is a neurotypical girl trapped in the AS. And I think once I figure out how to properly harness my mutant Asperger's superpowers, I will be unstoppable.

Right now, though, I just feel stagnant.