Wednesday, 11 August 2010

On Being Out of Kilter. Bowie, Hunter S Thompson, Asperger's and my Dizzy Self can be made to connect

I have Labyrinthitis, no not a constant urge to watch that old film with David Bowie in it, but something to do with the inner ear. It involves dizziness, vertigo and having a brain that feels stuffed full of cotton wool and being on a ship that is navigating quite a rough sea. Strangely the only time I feel balanced is when I am driving which I am told is something to do with forward visual concentration, so hurrah there is some light at the end of this queasy tunnel. I am also managing to type this by adopting the same forward concentration on the screen but I have to admit the back lit nature of it is making it quite a challenge and I am not entirely sure if Microsoft word has a tilt text facility which I have somehow engaged inadvertently
It is strange to say the least to have to doubt your experience of the world…no the floor is not moving….no the corridor is not tipping to starboard and the supermarket aisle is not narrowing and than expanding. I just wonder at how Hunter S Thompson managed to get through the world in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegaswhen so much of the out there was not computing correctly or rather computing as something else entirely.

So in the interests of my remaining a balanced person I will keep this post short.
I have been working on an article about Autism and the Creative Mind and have a collection of similes and definition of words gleaned over the years made by children who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s or are somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum. I suspect many creative people are on there somewhere, including myself, but some are just further along than others. Indeed this is a proposal I investigate in the article.
I have posted the quotations below. I find the specific nature of them or the lateral approach quite refreshing.As many who are diagnosed with some form of Asperger's can testify they see the world just a little a kilter which ties in well with things being a little out of whack for me at present.

Some Similies and Definitions written by Children between 7 and 12 in mainstream schools who have been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Condition or Asperger’s Syndrome


Angry as a waste of paper
Angry as a ‘No right turn’
Angry as two bulls in a field
Awkward as a Zombie at a birthday party that's not fancy dress.


Beautiful is something certain
Big as Mrs Cook’s dog.
Black as liquorice, but not the red sort.


Careful as a cat on stubble [Boy lives on farm. He explained how feral cats won’t walk on stubble if they can avoid it as it is very sharp and can cut their paws]
Crazy as a windy playground.
Clumsy as raspberry Slush Puppy on a new carpet


Deliberate as a right spelling
Drunk as my Nan on Bailey’s at Christmas
Dark as a drove road dyke


Empty as a box of nicked chocolates
Excited as bullocks and a yappy dog
Endless as the middle


Frightening as the fire alarm bell when you are standing underneath it
Frightening as things that hide
Friendly as a daft dog


Germy as the toilets at the bus station that my Mum won’t let me go in
Green as Dad’s best wellies that he only keeps for shows.
Grey as Hunstanton and Nan’s face after the crab.


Happy is things being right.
Happy as my Mum when she’s throwing snails into next doors garden
High as the things they don’t want you to touch, even if you stand on a chair.
Hot as the chippie’s fat by closing time.
Hopeful as a BP garage scratch card


Interesting as a Tyrannosaurus Rex even though they’re dead but why they’re dead is just as interesting as well [Guess what his particular obsession is]
Ideal is the thing you’ve got when you want it.
Itchy as a bite at night in Newquay.


Jolly as Mr Benson pretending to be Santa when he’s already too jolly
Jumpy as Nan waiting by the phone for the hospital to ring


Kind is a quiet voice
Kind as shoes that fit
Knotty as old bale twine


Lazy as smoked bees
Lumpy as old rice at the back of the fridge
Late as the Number 14


Magical as birds in your sleeves
Mean is anything less that a quid
Musical is sounds that make sense in your head
Many is more that a few but not too much, if that’s what you want.


New as a baby. Our baby is even newer because she was early.
New as the first time
Nice is a biscuit, a real biscuit, that isn’t very nice.
Nasty as sticking a pencil up your sister’s nose


Odd is not being in a two.
Odd is not being in the right jigsaw box.
Odd as black turning white because it’s always the other way round
Old as Romans and ration books
Ordinary is being different in disguise


Poorly as a day on the sofa
Private is a sign to keep out
Proud is showing off and having a big head about something but it’s ok for about a day.
Prickly as a row of ones


Quarrelsome as Aunty Sue and Maureen about the pork pie at the wedding
Quiet is waiting for a noise
Quick is almost missing it


Regular as crap work [Mishearing I think!]
Round as a year [Boy explained that he sees years as round because the season’s keep recurring in a circle, days are triangles; morning, afternoon, night and weeks are long thin oblongs. many ASC children have wonderful islets of synaesthesia]
Rough as blue sandpaper pants.
Reliable is when you are there, at the time you are meant to be there even if you don’t want to be there and you try to pretend you want to be there and do it the same as if you are glad you are there. But if you hate being reliable after a while you are allowed to stop being reliable because it would be stupid to carry on being reliable about something you hate doing.


Suspicious as a fierce dog and a BMW.
Silent as a broken iPod
Still as dead glasses in our pub
Secret as a gun in a sock drawer


Tight as my Nan’s chest
Terrible as losing when you are three goals up
Twisted as words when you’re tired
Tubby as a Tudor [Boy doing Henry VIII and I think ‘Tubby the Tuba’ was something they had listened to that week in assembly]


Urgent is when you can’t wait until the next services.
Unhappy as a hen on china eggs
Unwanted as nits in Class Four
Unexplained is them not wanting to tell you.


Violent as broken teeth and windows
Virtual is a thing made by a computer to be real but it isn’t real, although if it feels real to me it is my real but not your real. Things can be definitely unreal but make you have real feelings and other things are really real, it’s when you don’t know the difference that my Mum has to take the pills and sometimes go into hospital because she doesn’t know what is really real anymore. Our brain is just a computer really and Mum has to go and get rebooted.
Vague as sometime


White as washing on the adverts about Persil
Worried is when you keep thinking about something you’d rather not think about.
Wishful as a man with a lamp


Yellow as Grandad’s fag fingers
Yappy as my Gran on the bus

Random collections of comments

The day was as grey and thin as my sister in her faded Scooby Do pyjamas.
The sky was full of clouds that were like someone had stuck bones in a liquidiser.
She cried like she was trying to wash it all away.
He smelt as if he were trying not to smell of anything.
No door can ever shut enough to be safe, the outside can always be inside.

If anyone is interested there is a wonderful lecture by Dr Temple Grandin on YouTube which looks at how she, as someone diagnosed with severe autism as a child, views the world. Worth watching, for any poet or writer as it reveals how pain,anxiety,vindication and joy, not necessarily a god, is in the detail.
May post the article up on the blog later this year if I don't find a home for it elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

Great post, thanks. I love the similes.
You may be interested in this old thread on the Poets on Fire forum.


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Anonymous said...

Nice post. Thanks.