The Strange Case of A Nearly-Forgotten Face

The photo at the top of the web page looked out at me, the face in it so familiar, yet now totally unknown to me… and the name beside it confirmed my suspicion. After nearly forty years, He’s hardly changed.

Back when we knew each other, from infancy to mid-teens, all I knew at first was that he was a little older than I (instead of many years like my older brother), and when He came to stay – along with his parents and sister – I just felt like I had someone of more-or-less my own age to play with without even leaving the house.

Depending on the season, we’d climb trees and run around in my massive garden or if the weather was too cold and wet or whatever we’d play board games indoors – computers were for futuristic science fiction in those days. It was fantastic to be able to share like this; most of my friends had brothers or sisters within a couple of years of themselves, whereas my brother and younger sister were 16 years apart, with me in the middle. Most of the time, I had felt like an only child until He came to stay.

I was in awe of him from the time I was about eight years old. At that age, I did not know how express things in these terms, but what both attracted me and made me want to run away and hide was his humanity. His gentility. I never felt worthy in his company – but then, it is not surprising in retrospect, as such feelings go with the territory in which I live: except we did not know it then. Feelings of inadequacy and suicidal ideation can be the norm for such as I, as I discovered upon diagnosis at the age of 50, and subsequent personal investigations into the nature of Asperger’s Syndrome.

What would He think of me now, broken as I am? How badly did it show back then? All I can say is that He only ever showed me kindness and friendship… until the we both got to be the age where we would stay at home when our parents went on holidays.

So one time, I was looking forward to him coming to stay and he had stayed home. Or I had stayed home when my own parents made the return visit. I am not sure which way around it was… either way it is now lost in the misty haze of time. Perhaps we would have grown apart naturally over time, and lives had led to college, university and beyond.

Yet… at random… from a link sent to me… looking older and as humane and genteel as ever, His eyes gazed at me, unblinking, unseeing, possibly unknowing that it was I looking back at Him. 

Did he know where this piece would end up when he sent it that day? Was there a suspicion and could this have been a way to reach out? The possibilities rattled in my mind… but then again, what if it was simply random? An accident. Fate.

Either way, the question persisted… what, if anything, should I do?

Because I am so very broken, and have become more so over the years as my Autistic Condition plays havoc with all I see and hear. What is for the best?

For 20 years now, I have avoided any romantic relationships with women because I did not feel I had anything much to offer. In the last couple of years I was working at Comet, I was too impovrished to afford much more than taking deep breaths as a luxury, then when I finally succumbed to HeadCrash in 97… well… I did not feel I could even offer myself.

From my disastrous marriage I had brought with me the idea that although many say all you need is love, it just is not enough. Money helps a lot. It buys a stable platform upon which to build a life; it is not the be-all and end-all, of course, because also in that framework is a stable psyche. With the exception of the first, none of my relationship partners had been prepared to stick around during my… ‘phases’-despite expecting me to give unflinching support to them no matter what they put me through.

So to extend that premise, knowing that I am part of a group of people regarded (according to opinion polls) as amongst the lowest of the low; that I have ‘Phases’ and internal instability and am even less social than I ever thought possible…

WHAT ON EARTH COULD I HAVE TO OFFER?

I have even less than I had previously.

So, maybe I should turn away from the long-gone past and not bother anyone with it; do what I always do and simply suck up the unwelcome emotions only to expell them in a controlled manner using a film or music to let it out.

I have many secrets, as does He, but… He is one step ahead. I know He has read at least SOME of my memoirs as published on http://www.leanonus.co (Adventures In Mental Health and The Inside Inside)… so salient points of my last 40 years are there in as much detail as I could bear to share.

And I..? I know almost nothing of Him. Of His life. Dare I publish this, if so, how should I hope this be interpreted?

As a tentative hello or as the goodbye we never said?

Post Script.

He then went and voted to leave the EU, little realising that it was exactly what the people pulling the strings behind those we THINK have power want.

Just goes to show how people can change, how people can be duped, how… I’ve avoided telling him what I think. The betrayal – not just to me, but thousands in my position.

I forgave my ex-wife her duplicity and her shagging someone else… What I never will forgive is that it was with a Tory.

This feels the same.

And it isn’t for me to forgive, it’s for future generations either to laugh mockingly or to weep with sadness.

For now, I just fade… Fade… Fade…

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2 thoughts on “The Strange Case of A Nearly-Forgotten Face”

  1. This is amazing, Jeremiah. I met ‘him’ on Twitter some time ago and I’m not surprised by how you remember him at all. Absolutely wonderful.

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