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The Beggar Was a Chooser

My mother had a bunch of witty sayings she’d throw at me in my youth. I suppose her youth, too, come to think of it, now that she’s old and decrepit.

“Beggars can’t be choosers.”

“Get over it; life’s not fair.”

“Stay in your limits.”

That last one isn’t a witty ism that everyone used, I don’t think… She defined my “limits” — the limit of my wandering being okay. I basically had to be within clear sight of one porch or the other so if she came outside to check on me, I would be easy to find. Talk about respecting boundaries. This was one “invisible” boundary I was taught… there was a sidewalk that went around our little area of the ghetto. That was the limit. If I was past that sidewalk, typically that was not good and I’d get beaten or time out, depending. Or grounded… that happened before.

God and I are having a very dark conversation about my childhood now… I am loathe to speak about it because it might not even be true. In my last entry, I talk about how I let my subconscious mind train itself so I don’t have to clutter up my forebrain. Well, as it turns out, my memory is better the longer I spend thinking about a specific topic. Hearing something once and briefly is not going to imprint itself on my brain well.

I was asking God if I really did ask my dad to go outside to bike ride when my mother said no to me. I did, but she didn’t tell me not to do this in a way that really settled into my brain… with direct eye contact and waiting for it to sink in. I barely have any memory before age five. And yet, I am a child whose first words were, “I love you, daddy.” Before I was two years old.

You see, my mother drowned me as a child. This caused brain damage that I’ve been living with all my life, expressing as thirteen different learning disabilities. One of these is my autism. I have a “smooth brain” from this “accident” and things do not take easily. I get too frustrated trying to really learn things via my forebrain. It was actually memorizing the times tables that convinced me that trying too hard was pointless. I had flash cards, if you recall those, and we practiced them until I could just spit the number out. I was not able to actually do the math in my head. I still can’t do it without pen and paper, but then again calculators live in our pockets nowadays.

Anyway, it took me four times longer than my brothers to memorize the times tables.

She told me once not to ask my father for the thing she said no to. I forgot I asked her already and happened to ask him if I could ride my bike, to which he said yes. This was my favorite activity as a child… however, I was prone to falling off it and requiring first aid. My knees looked like cottage cheese because I picked all the scabs constantly.

Now, I’ll take the opportunity to point out here that a real functional couple would have talked about this request to make sure it was fine since I didn’t ask my father anything first anyway. The child should not have had to bear the consequences of this lack of communication alone. Yet, it happens all the time, even now. Parents don’t talk to each other about all the minor details — or, if they do, one of them checks out in boredom. This is wrong. You shouldn’t have offspring if you can’t pay attention, dammit. You agreed to nurture a small being until it could fend for itself the day you chose to create a baby instead of murdering it like a sane person.

P.S.: I AM THE ONE YOU WAITED FOR… there is no need to pretend you have to save every life in the womb to bear the messiah any longer. P.P.S.: Reincarnation is real. You don’t cease to exist once you die. This is the end of your P.S.A. regarding this topic. Thank you for your patience.

And now for our sponsored partners, THE BEES! SAVE THE MOTHERFUCKING BEES OR WE ALL DIE!!!!!

Moving on.

I have a smooth brain. Nothing sticks unless I spend a lot of time thinking about it, especially when I’m sick from malnutrition. (Who dies of malnutrition in the 21st century? Everyone in America, it turns out.)

And in other news, it’s espresso o’clock and there is still no deli man sharing it with me.

And that’s another matter entirely: I have prosopagnosia. Also known as FACE BLINDNESS. Shoot… I have to move Princess Powderpuff to use the facilities. Have you ever heard a cat mewl and cry over being put to the side so the human can resume life? In other words, it’s CUTE. And she’s the only kind of baby I’ll ever have. I’ve heard of your monstrous behaviors enough. I’ve experienced them enough. I’m not subjecting a new being to your collective psychopathy, thanks.

I suspect prosopagnosia is one facet of smooth brain, which is one facet of brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. As such, it takes constant repetition to get the gist of a face, let alone remember it. Eyes are something I can remember. I can remember the pieces alone, sometimes, but not the whole of it. I’m also terrible at puzzling it together in my imagination.

Thus, when I tell you that I close my eyes at night and start seeing faces that are unfamiliar, you have to understand this cannot be me. I can’t even tell you what exactly my mother looks like from memory. I can recognize her out of some combination of a scowl or grumpy look and long hair. I stare and stare and yet that’s all I can tell you. I don’t even know what color her eyes are. Brown, God interjects. Her eyes are brown. (Thanks, bro.)

That’s half her fault, though, sitting in front of the television day in and day out, never really giving any attention to me as I cook and clean and retrieve food daily just so she can stay alive, too. I’m about ready to go selfish on her ass and only cook for myself.

It’s one way to offer her space to step back into her self-sovereignty. You see, rapists and murderers rely on controlling other people and taking their right to choose for themselves away.

I’ll tell you what: I haven’t needed to go to Wegmans daily for half a year, yet I do, scanning for my favorite employee. His superhero name is Bandanna Man. I’m working on a theme song, too. I think I might be able to turn it into an animated story of some sort, the crap that goes through my head that’s worth sharing. (Some of it is pure piss and vinegar, I’ll tell you, and I’m very tired of it. I think it might come from you, dear reader. Please be kinder.)

I decided he’s a different superhero when he’s not at work. He has two jobs. At Wegmans, he wears his usual attire, which is the white deli man shirt and the black deli man hat (or deli woman, but I’m zeroing in on one worker, peeps.) And then, of course, he has his head covering, glasses, and so on. And let me tell you, he looks nothing the same once he changes into his other superhero getup. (Which normal people would tell you are normal clothes.)

Okay now you know my hobbies, but let’s discuss prosopagnosia in relation to this: the Clark Kent disguise works. When he’s not wearing his glasses, I have very little to go on. It changes the reception of his face completely in my little smooth brained mind. Suddenly, he is someone else, and I could not point him out in a crowd. I guess I’m just in love with the bandanna.

That makes me think of Rand in the Wheel of Time. Jordan never specified that thing came back off, so they joke about him wearing it in perpetuity. Maybe he did… day in and day out, covering his head with the scarf. It’s called a Fashion Statement, my friend.

I actually imagine the only reason we know Clark Kent is Superman is because we’re staring at him and watching it happen. Yes, many of us can extrapolate and say they have an incredible likeness, but if you believed Mr. Kent relied on those glasses because he’s short-sighted, which he pretends at least once in a while, then you wouldn’t think (especially in the 1950s through the 1990s, before LASIK became obtainable) that they could be the same person.

I’m relying on this, actually; I don’t think anyone in my home town can recognize me without spectacles, which I ditched in 2018 with the help of a LASIK surgeon. In fact, old family friends kind of took a double take at my father’s funeral. I don’t look like the woman they last saw twenty years ago. Nor do I want to, considering everyone thinks I’m gay.

At least, they did before I married a man.

The weirdest thing about prosopagnosia and telepathy together is that I can see outlines of peoples’ faces as they (presumably) think about me. Most of the time, there are no words that accompany this; it’s just remembering my face, I think. Do y’all sit around recalling faces in your imagination all day? Is this one of the ways I am unlike the rest of humanity? Or does it mean you think I’m pretty? TELL ME! I’m dying to know because, quite honestly, it’s driving me insane.

A hundred times a day, Bandanna Man is right there, staring at me.

Sometimes he is sad, sometimes he is not.

Listen to Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars with this link.

Also I should tell you, Wegmans has two Bandanna Men. I can tell them apart. I’m SO PROUD OF MYSELF >>> Until I realize it’s because one’s taller than the other and has broader shoulders. That’s not facial recognition, bro.

Their hair is also slightly different and there are a few other things… but I’ll be intentionally vague because I bet a bunch of Wegmans will have surprise visitors before long looking for Bandanna Man.


But you know what? If he’s going to run away because of you all being twats and not respecting his crush on me, I’d rather it be now. Now’s a good time. Before we ever say hello to each other. If it is a crush, anyway.

I can tell you right now, hundreds of people flow through my brain at any given moment. YOU’RE NOT ALL NICE. Can we work on that, please?

I used to fall in the same traps you’re finding yourself in. Because the bad words going in mean bad words going out. Because accepting shitty behavior means giving yourself permission to have shitty behavior, too. We’re all human, after all. I get it… I truly get it. But here’s the first thing you can do to stop the insanity in your brain:

Stop listening to music that denigrates others. I call this hate music. You need music that makes you feel good about yourself and others. Reprogram your subconscious mind. I invite you to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem:

A link to a mostly positive playlist on Spotify.

P.S.: I’m not perfect. There might be something on here that doesn’t belong on here and I haven’t cultivated it out yet. Please excuse me… WE’RE UNDER (RE) CONSTRUCTION.

Image of a tiny crane thingy.

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