I am not a cosplayer. Frankly, figuring out who I’m supposed to look like as my own self is difficult enough these days – that hugely fat, grouchy faced stranger in the mirror is NOT the me who lives in my head. Anyway, some weeks ago Sebastian came to me all dithery over something he’d seen on Kevin Smith’s twitter feed…
Kevin Smith? Director, screenwriter, and half of a duo of recurring characters who appear in almost all of his movies. As the starship Enterprise is the axis upon which the Star Trek universe revolves, so Jay and Silent Bob are for the View Askew universe. A pair of weed dealers who lean against walls in various locations in New Jersey and provide comic relief, continuity, an odd sort of moral philosophy, and occasionally a deus ex machina for the nerd boys and garrulous slackers who populate Kevin Smith’s foul-mouthed yet romantic cinematic slices of life. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash’ – the real life comic book shop and home base for the AMC reality show ‘Comic Book Men’ – Kev and company were throwing a party. Not just a party but an assemblage of enough Jay and Silent Bob cosplayers to break the Guinness Book World Record of Jay and Silent Bobs in one place.
This is us. I am on the extreme far left leaning against the fence with my elbow. If you can’t pick me out, no worries, it was wiggy enough to be IN this crowd. Sebastian made an excellent Jay, btw. A nearly note-perfect get-up and quote source. It was gratifying to see my son so animated and engaged! Life with Mom and Mick isn’t lively. Work, chores, school, the occasional movie, meh. So the opportunity to jaunt off with my kid to do something wacky and strange was GREAT! The 2+ hour drive made in the wee sma’s in a fricken MONSOON, the make-up and 15lb leather trench coat, the endless standing and queueing, fuh, all worth it. Sebastian was over the moon! And that, even without the delight of interacting with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes as a fan myself, oy, my son’s joy was priceless.
Once your kids are grown the opportunities to do cool shit with them drop to nearly zero. Thanks to Sebastian’s peculiar (?), exhausting, okay…fucking BRUTAL early years he and I missed out on many, many memory making moments. So to be invited along to something like this? A mile marker on Seb’s lifeline? Yeah, screw the 3:00am departure time, the frightening torrential downpour, the parkway tolls, and construction detours, and the physical punishment…….I did something FUN with my son!
For that I’d endure anything.
In the setting up and importing pics and formatting this entry I needed Sebastian’s help. The frustration and outright disgust from him! I don’t understand why he’s so angry. For real. I am sooo sorry I don’t understand how to do these ‘simple’ things. Silly stupid me wasting brain space on 54 years of memories, history, science, experience, and dopey shit like recipes, movie and book plots, music, current events, how to drive a stick shift, first aid, stats, culture, how to weight a ceiling fan so it doesn’t wobble, HIS ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE, the infield fly rule, DMV requirements in NY, paleontology, comparative religions, how to crochet mittens and sear sea scallops, Steve Buscemi’s public biography, the fees and operating hours of the Walden Humane Society animal shelter, how to identify and treat Lyme disease, Fiorello LaGuardia reading the comics, etc, etc, etc…
My hard drive is so, so, so full.
I would truly like to believe that Sebastian’s distress is simply the gap between his view and mine. But having been married to his father and knowing firsthand the Aspie disconnect between THEIR feelings and assessments and those of us on the accepted ‘normal’ scale I know my younger son is ‘off’. I get it. Sebastian and those on his spectrum are a one-way street. YOU do for them, they do NOT do for you.
This sucks. It sucks big time.
What? Are those who interact with the autistic automatically nominated for sainthood? Is our need for a social quid pro quo…gosh, is it always to be forfeit?
Interacting with the autistic is hard cheese all around? Tough shit?
I am NOT saying the autistic are unworthy of love. Nor am I advocating they be punished for behaviors they cannot help. All I ask is those who don’t skew as ‘different’ have some compassion. I just spent quite a bit of time describing an adventure and how grateful I was to have shared it with my kid and BOOM! Within minutes he shamed and hurt me and sucked away all the happiness I had from our time together Saturday. Because I wasn’t ‘perfect’. Nevermind HE’S not perfect; all that counts to Aspies is how everyone else disappoints them.
Take a day off from work? No. Assemble a decent costume and spend $17 on contour sticks and eyebrow pencils to fake a beard? No. Get up at 2:30am? No. MapQuest and navigate the 112 miles between here and Red Bank, New Jersey? No. Pay for tolls, gas, and parking? No. Get sopping wet while parking the car and then stand in line for four and a half hours in an intermittent drizzle without coffee or food (IBS issues) and maintain smile and enthusiasm? No. Sign legal documents and then be herded into a holding pen to stand around for another 3 hours cheering on command and providing ‘B’ roll for camera guys? No. On and on. Not once did I allow my physical distress and boredom show. Because I love Sebastian and only wanted him to have the best memories of this crazy goofy thing we did together. BUT because I asked for help with a blog post and was less than a star pupil about some computer crap IT’S ALL RUINED and I’M A SUCKY PERSON!
See how this goes with them? Mike the ex, Alex the elder son, and now Sebastian the younger son? They demand the impossible and give NOTHING in return. And I’m supposed to be okay with this. More so, grateful. Then if I exhibit frailty or confusion or any need of my own…ka-BLAM! I’m dead. I’ve become an enemy and a shit and a betrayer.
I am so tired of this. Do NOT talk to me about ‘accepting’ and fucking ‘celebrating’ the autistic and their ‘unique’ perspective. Their ‘unique’ perspective is soul crushing and endlessly painful. It requires sacrifice beyond the impossible. It demands you give and give and give and are immediately punished for anything less than saintly perfection and complete self abnegation.
All I wanted was to do a cool thing with my kid and make a happy blog post about it.
How foolish of me.
I did, however, help set a world record and sometime next season will be on an episode of ‘Comic Book Men’. I even get an IMDB credit out of it.
Pained, humiliated, and struggling to make a feast from scraps as usual, ~LA