Birthdays: Through the eyes of ASD

I had just turned six. I woke up to hear Paul McCartney’s 1990 ‘Birthday’ song was blasting downstairs in the kitchen, and my dad singing along so all the neighbours could hear. I bum-shuffled down the stairs (avoiding the nails holding the carpet down) and before he could say ‘Happy Birthday’ I launched myself towards the presents. My mum, being the reasonable parent, told me to wait patiently until after the party.

“Party! What party?” I jumped on the spot with excitement.

Sure enough, when the clock struck 12, guests began to arrive. Three of my cousins, a few friends from school, Amy from across the road, and parents. The kitchen got louder and louder. Parents murmured in a crowd, children squealed and laughed, it was hell. It felt like everyone was looking at me, watching what I was doing and where I was going.

“Stop looking at me. Stop looking at me. Stop looking at me.” I started to panic.

My vision began to blur. It felt like electricity was zooming around my brain and my head ached. Boom boom boom boom. My heart beat out of my chest faster than I could run. There were too many people, too much noise. It was loud. Too loud. They needed to leave.

Another knock on the door. Mum answered. Two women wearing brightly coloured suits and huge hats that were taller than the doorway came in. They carried suitcases and had flowers in the pocket of their waistcoats. Their hats and bright clothes frightened me. They looked like evil cartoon characters who came to hurt me. Will they kill me?

I reluctantly followed the crowd into the garden and watched as the women pulled props from their cases like magic wands and scarves.

“Where is the birthday girl? Come and help us with our first spell!” One asked.

I ran. I ran as fast as I could and hid under the desk in the living room. I cried and cried and cried.

Everything was too much. Too loud. Too bright. I don’t want another party.

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My house keeps me sheltered, but home keeps me happy.

 

Home is our foundation for comfort, security, and acceptance. Home is where we go to escape from the stress of the world. However, home doesn’t always have to be a house. A house can be where we can kick feet up, lounge in our pyjamas, and binge watch Friends instead of working and not feel guilty about it. Sometimes a house is haunted by an atmosphere, causing anxiety to squeeze your chest until it’s difficult to breathe. Sometimes, a house is void of laughter, and loneliness is the only sound that echoes from wall to wall. For me, home is my mum.

 

My mum brings me comfort, security, and helps me grow and better myself every day. Living 300 miles from my mum has been one of those ‘easier said than done’ moments. I didn’t anticipate how much I would miss her until I moved away. In Morrisons, an elderly couple stopped near me in the Mother’s Day aisle. The woman turned to her husband and said, “We don’t have mother’s, do we, dear.” She said it with such melancholy and mourning that it made me ponder the fear of losing my own mum. Life without her is imaginable. I often wish that immortality was a possibility, that we could have enough time on earth to make up for silly arguments or make enough memories to fill the ocean. Or that we could rewind time and do the dishes you were asked to do 15 years ago.

 

Time is limited, and each day we get older. I want to make every day I have with her unforgettable.

 

Written from the writing prompt: Home.

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Short Memoir

I can’t stand football. It’s just a bunch of millionaires chasing a ball around a field for 90 minutes waiting for the whistle to blow. As I child, however, I loved it! My bizarre love for football even stopped me from being baptised, but I don’t regret it at all. The memories with my dad and football are heartwarming.

We stopped the car close to the church entrance. It was so early on Sunday that the sky was still dark, and we hadn’t even had breakfast. The vicar, or priest (I can’t remember which from what), emerged from the church doors and shuffled towards us. Dad rolled the window down and the ‘vicar priest’ asked if I was ready for my baptism.

 

My dad told him that we were off to a football match instead.

 

We drove away, leaving the poor man alone in the car park. It didn’t take long before we reached the coach station and met with the Kent Reds, the local Liverpool supporters club. I was the youngest one boarding the coach, being only 10. The members were intrigued by my interest in football, as apparently, it was a boy thing. One member was almost kicked off the coach for having a copy of The Sun. Dad explained it was because the paper lied about the Hillsborough disaster, claiming that “fans urinated on police, pick-pocketed dead victims and prevented brave PCs giving the kiss of life to some of the victims at Hillsborough.” – The Guardian.

This was, of course, later proven entirely false and malicious.

 

My dad took me to see the Shankly statue, a few stalls, and to the Hillsborough memorial. 96 names carved in gold besides the gates of Anfield. Flowers, scarves, gloves, shirts, and anything ‘Liverpool’ was placed along the wall. 96 people dead, one was younger than me. Even Man City fans gave their hats to the wall. I learned that the victims of the Hillsborough disaster will never walk alone and will always be remembered.

 

I never did get baptised.

One for Sorrow – Mr. Magpie (Free Write)

One for Sorrow

 Have you ever heard of the Magpie Man? The man who found an infant magpie bird and took it into his home. He nursed it, cleaned it, and kept it warm. As the bird grew, the man became attached to his adopted friend and decided to keep it for himself. My initial thoughts were naturally, “what an amazing man, I wish more people would be like him.”

 

The bird grew, and grew, and grew until it was large enough to go back into the wild. Instead of letting it go, he built an aviary. The mesh walls confined it to domestication, and the holes were windows teasing it with the world outside. Freedom was less than a centimetre away, but he was kept from it. Although the man had good intentions, I can’t help but wonder if his emotions drowned out his morality. The magpie was isolated from his kind, caged on the edge of freedom and torn from his instinct to fly without a barricading roof.

 

Magpies can live for 25 years.

Imagine 25 years of watching the wind blow through the trees, but not able to fly with the breeze. Or 25 years of hearing free birds sing, but you’re never allowed to join them. I could not spend my life in a cage.

Why should Mr. Magpie?

Free Write from a Prompt (Prompt included)

Prompt: The story must involve some musical pipes in it.

Tapping my fingers on the edge of my seat, I closed my eyes and felt the music beat in my mind. As the plane cut through the clouds, I imagined that it was me. I was flying, hands stretched out a mile ahead of my brain as I soared into the unknown. Nothing could tear me from the flight path. I had never felt freedom like this. I swoop and spin like a bird without fear, racing beyond the birds that glide peacefully and without destination. Boom boom boom: the beat continued. It pulsated through my chest in such a rhythm I had never heard before. I wrote down the sequence in my notebook as fast as I could before it disappeared. It wasn’t long before the plane spoke eagerly through its speakers, “Adventure is just a step away, take it.” The plane rolled to a halt. I leaped from my chair, yanked my rucksack from above me, and hurled my entirety out of the doors.

India was blooming with autumnal colours and pipes played on every corner. I ruffled my hair until it flicked in dark curves on each end, rubbed the sweat from my forehead, and grinned as I bounced through the busied streets. The locals seemed oblivious that I was lost. Happily bobbing my head in the crowds, I squeezed between them making every attempt to see where I was going. Dust from the roads was being kicked up by people’s feet, making it difficult to see and breathe steadily. “Excuse me, excuse me.” I apologised as I prised myself between a couple to get past them. The man grabbed my arm, and pulled me back towards them. Boom boom. My heart began to beat with music again. Without looking at him, I tried to pull myself back but his grip tightened. I tried again.

“Calm down! I don’t want you getting lost like this. Where ya heading?” He asked.

I looked up. He was American, and the woman he was with smiled at me in reassurance. I didn’t answer, and he released my arm.

“You’re young. I’m guessing 18? Ya shouldn’t be out here on yer own. We’re going to a hotel down the road, ya can kip with us if ya not got no place to go. Looks like yer backpacking it, can’t do that in a place like this. My wife don’t like me snoring so she got a different room, stay with her if ya like.” He lit a cigar.

(20 minutes up.)

You should try it! Sit for 20 minutes writing from the same prompt.

If you do, comment below. I would love to hear what you come out with.

Autism – Special Interest? (Peter Pan)

My special interest is most definitely Peter Pan. Since before I can remember, I have been infatuated by J.M. Barrie’s masterpiece about the boy who never grew up. As a child, I would watch the Disney adaptation over and over, every night I could. It came to the point where my parents would have to drag me from my window at night, stopping me from flying out of it.

 

Neverland is my forever destination, and I will try to find it wherever I go. As (ironically) I grew up, I began to study the story. I researched the author, collecting as much information I could about him and connected his life to the novel. I could talk to you for hours about how dark and sinister the tale truly is, and how Hook, the “dark and sinister man” reflects much of Barrie himself.

 

My collection of information, films, novels, and merchandise is ever growing. Only yesterday, I discovered and bought a copy of 2004 Finding Neverland. One Christmas, I was given a first edition of 1902 The Little White Bird, the first novel Pan ever appeared in. I have not read it, as I’m too afraid to touch it with unworthy hands. Another Christmas, I was given enough money to pay for another Peter Pan tattoo, making two so far. Peter Pan, to me, is so much more than a favorite book.

It’s my happy thought.

What’s your special interest? When did you realize that it was more than just a hobby? Comment below if you have one, I would love to hear it.

DD/LG and LDR – Moving away regret

Is it strange that I miss the mess when you went away? I miss the wrappers all over the desk, and the pile of clothes at the bottom of the bed. Your filthy shoes. They were covered in dirt from your adventure around the block when you searched hopelessly for our window. It was never found. I cannot bare to move your empty glasses, a part of me still believes you may return. You would frown at the thought of even more washing up, and I would smile and tell you “Get used to it Daddy.”. My bratty back-chat never went down well.

The Kraken sits in the midst of the glasses with only a sip left settled at the bottom. It is sticky, and tears of rum have stained the sides where it was sloppily poured. I slip my fingers through the handle and unscrew the top, lifting it towards my nose with my eyes sealed. It smells like caramel, it’s far sweeter than your usual taste. I can never throw it away. I turn to put it down and see your mattress on top of mine. It’s empty, wheezing for air as it lay wrinkled and alone. I wish you were here. The beds would be a colossus castle again, blown up and towering together. I could reach my arms out and squeal as you lift me onto the castle, higher than everything in the room. I remember looking down, bed wobbling and tipping as I moved, yet I felt safe. I felt safe with you there, you were always ready to catch me if fall.

I sometimes wish I didn’t choose a University so far away.