A Warning for the Future

Arti shut me up. Here’s the story: Four weeks ago, we bought him an iPhone X. I call it an iPhone Ten, but Arti corrects me: “It’s called an iPhone X." He says the letter X. I point out that it came out between the eight and eleven. “So ten.” Apparently, Apple skipped the nine…

Skating

Arti has OCD too. Do I mean too: in addition to autism, or too: just like his old man? Either, both. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder accompanies several neurological disorders. In my case, Tourette Syndrome, in Arti’s case, autism. Neither of us has a crippling case, an inability to get through our lives, but for each of…

Progress

The last time we gathered, Arti sat in another room. My family, Sonya’s brother and his kids, her parents, crammed in a tight room, visiting. “Where’s Arti?” This was Ed, Sonya’s father. “He’s in the study.” “In the study? Alone? Why?” “He needs a break,” I said. “Too many people.” “Well I think that’s just…

My Blackface Moment

I won’t be running for President. Or Senate, or the House, the State House, or even school board. I’ve got skeletons. Plus a photographic record out on the internet. It’s out there for the world to see. Someone only needs to point. When Donald Trump won the election, Sonya renewed our passports. Like Offred in…

It Feels like Fate

The universe conspires: to beat me up; to fuck me over; to set things right. I don’t believe this, I don’t think. No fate but what we make. That’s how the saying goes. No predestiny, nothing preordained. I’m the captain of my ship. We told him: “You need to do something.” Fourteen years old. Arti’s…

Right into our lap

I worry about Arti. His life has spiraled in. His friendships dried up, slowly, over the years. He’s left with one friend. A friend I don’t even like. Arti’s eliminating interests, activities—bicycling, then kayaking, he refuses to hike with the family, or go to his sister’s games. He spends his life on the couch. Well,…

On the Spectrum

Now we’re an autism family. “He was a tough case. Some of the expected behaviors he doesn’t display at all.” This was the therapist who led Arti's autism assessment. “But in the end, I had to go with the data. He’s on the spectrum.” Does this make me an autism blogger? I’ve been reading autism…

Of dinner and self-loathing

We used to be close, Alex and me. We hung out like friends (hard-drinking friends). Sometimes with our group—a handful of guys, none married, no serious relationships, except with each other. Sometimes it was just the two of us. We went to bars, clubs, concerts. When we were young, still kids, our relationship was similar.…

Autism, maybe

“Scoff!” The psychiatrist scoffed. First, he gasped with a bit of laughter mixed in—that scoffing sound—then he chided me. “Autism is a serious condition. A diagnosis would be life changing. I think you need to take this more seriously.” In truth, he didn’t direct that statement to me, he said it to Sonia. I wasn’t…

Health Care for Us

Some of you are nodding your heads. Some are rolling your eyes. Others take secret pleasure in the knowledge that our seven-year experiment with a nontraditional lifestyle failed so miserably. There are no shortcuts. No secret recipes. We’re all in the same boat. Playing the same game. Following the same rules. Sonya gave up her career…