Thursday, 22 September 2016


Science, these days, tells us the brain is malleable, which puts me squarely in the minority camp because mine doesn't seem to have any plastic qualities. It hates change of any sort: big leaps into the unknown, the medium-sized still daunting but not so terrifying, the small stepping stone blips and the microscopic which nobody else appears to bat an eye at.
Most people remain untroubled whilst I spot all the intricacies; my brain busily computing what this means and what I will have to do to make it sit easily with me. There are instances where I cannot and so then the idea gets dropped regardless of whether I think I should or could take myself out of my comfort zone. Other times I just need a bit of familiarity or some sort of reassuring presence whether that be a person or a landmark. And then there are occasions when the rug gets pulled out from under me. It hasn't you understand, at least not in the context that phrase is generally used, but a triviality can upset my carefully thought-out day and the frustration will stay. And stay, carry on into the next twenty-four hours.
You can't be like that, people say, but I am, I tell them. I'm a fixed human being.
Though to be honest, I don't attempt to explain that to many. It's not something you can anyway as to those who conduct their lives flexibly it sounds ridiculous. No, my immoveable preferences are as unmentionable as undergarments used to be. The only person they're able to accommodate is me and they don't even do that sometimes. The fabric holding me in often seeming too tight, too well-fitting, so snug it digs into my lean flesh and leaves dents, ridges and grid patterns. There's no extra room to comfortably slouch and release the tension.
I think I hide it well, not the uprightness but the constant nipping unless it gives me a pinched expression I'm unaware of, along with my so-I've-been-told tendency to frown and draw my shoulders inwards when encumbered. I'm oblivious to these specialities which I'm guessing aren't admired as you might a person's dimples or unconscious gestures, rather a fault to be corrected.
No, such attributes are distancing: keeps me quarantined and holds others away, just how I like it. Is that true? Well, there might be some truth in that but there are other contributing factors which have absolutely nothing to do with my in-elasticity. Factors I was born with and those I gathered to shape my now faceted personality, which I hasten to add is not peculiar to me nor to a subdivision of beings like me. We're in this together, it's just the majority learn to adapt better. Use this happen-stance of nature and nurture to their advantage.
And those that don't are at a disadvantage. Fluidness is valued, whereas an entrenched position depreciates your worth, regardless of what other merchantable traits you might own.
Stubbornness is my ruination, except I dispute its implied deliberateness, as do others who place themselves in this stationary category. It's not premeditated, as in to be purposely unhelpful or unwilling, it's a automated response whereby doing anything contradictory to it goes against every fibre of our being, everything that the wires in our brains and nerves in our bodies are telling us to do, even if a very small part wants to, at times, disagree. To challenge it results in a struggle; a struggle which I'm always surprised others can't see as it manifests at large, annihilating anything in its path until an executable solution or compromise is found, and then, only then, can any normality, as we know it, resume. Equilibrium returns until the next time, which in my case comes all too soon.
There's so much that has the potential to perplex me, particularly social events and occasions where I have to present and represent myself. The thorny issues that circulate then are paramount, even weeks before attendance, and then if I go my attention once there is distracted. More attentive to my internalising and the environment than to those I'm sharing it with. It takes an incredible amount of concentrated focus to keep myself in the room, with whomever I'm with. The eyes glaze, the energies flag, and most, if not all, cognitive sense departs. I have no idea of what my companion is speaking or of what I'm saying in reply.
I take the only course that's wise: retreat and repent my uncultured mores.

Picture credit: For instance now, there's the King's Messenger,  from Illustrations To Through the Looking Glass, 1970, Peter Blake