Yesterday I tried to do something really stupid. I tried to explain to you what the Poetry Business looks and feels like fro someone who has Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Hubris? Perhaps. But I don't think it was stupid because such a thing can't be done, or that you wouldn't be able to see what I was trying to say, but because I knew I would get lost within my own narrative and lose track of what I was trying to say. And that's exactly what happened. I kept talking about things which had no bearing (except for me) on the point at hand. Well, I will try to keep this much shorter and subject specific.
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1. Everyone but me is cool. You all have a secret handshake and I will never learn it. I will always feel like an outsider and that is why a lot of you probably think I am trying way too hard to convince you I belong and that is why I will always try too hard to make you think I belong with all of you. It is why I will always talk too much and it is why I will only occasionally be able to tell when I am beginning to wear out my welcome with any of you. The overwhelming perception I have of you is that you are just being nice to the slow kid. And believe me when I tell you the existence of so many MFA programs causes me no end of grief. Don't even get me started on AWP. It's at the point where I just need to go away for 30 days before and 30 days after just to maintain my sanity.
2. Every time somebody neglects to meet a deadline, I freak out. I mean every time. It's not your fault at all, but when someone tells me they will e-mail me by Tuesday with notes or an answer and that doesn't happen, I panic. I mean, you said you were going to give me a blurb in a month, and that month ended yesterday. Where is my blurb? Did you forget? Are you avoiding me? Did something terrible happen to you? The weird thing is when someone says to me, "It will be a while. I'll get back to you as soon as I can," everything is great. That will keep me calm for months at a time. I don't know why that is, but it is. It's why you have probably received some stupid e-mail from me asking about the status of something you thought wasn't that big of a deal. Please accept my apology.
3. I have no idea why you don't share my warped sense of quid pro quo. Oh, I am sure all of you have some sense of fair play and helping out other poets when you can, but I am genuinely puzzled not a single one of you sees this practice of supporting your fellow artists the EXACT SAME WAY I DO. I mean, my way is the best and it makes perfect sense, so why aren't you on board. I am not talking about your specific support of me, either. I am talking about how you do things differently than me. It's as simple as that. You don't support the poets in the writing community the way I do, and that's just weird. Why don't you review your friends' books on your blog and on your Tumblr pages---even informally? Why don't you take a picture of all the books of friends you buy and post them on Facebook? Don't you want your friends to succeed?
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The worst part of this is my AS makes me think irrational thoughts, gets me to believe you are all consciously doing these things to me. You know I want to be a part of your world and you are making sure there are too many roadblocks for me to get from where I am to where you are. Even a year ago I had no idea why I believed that about all of you, but now I do, and I want to apologize for allowing all of those irrational thoughts getting in the way of honest relationships and letting them affect our interactions.
Next time I will talk about my Alexithymia, and how that little slice of heaven plays with my writing.