A new name for everything

You asked for a pseudonym, so you got one. Voldemort…he who must not be named…but we’ll just go with V.

I’m not sure I can keep our bargain. Not about the name, I can adhere to that one without too much hassle. You’re not the first to receive a moniker, but this is a new thing unlike the others. And I’m at sixes and sevens about the predicament of navigating a friendship with you when other feelings have been brewing way before last night.

You say you always know the score. Ok, then it should come as no surprise that I’m still not saying everything. I’m saying way more than I normally do. I’m very good at burying things down so deep no one would see anything at ground level. Do you know how hard it is for an autistic to keep a secret? To not just say everything on her mind and ruminating in other organs?

You want to be friends. But I don’t have any friends who fit this pattern, who look at my Instagram posts, and who might even be scrolling down to look at things that have been around for quite some time. I see the ticks and tocks of a mind clicking on mornings when I have the heart to check. Up goes the counter. It’s someone. Someone who keeps looking. Over and over at something that I can’t imagine why anyone would care about. If it’s not you, that’s ok too. I’m not flattering myself. I just have hunches. If it is, feel free to keep looking. It won’t bother me. There are things I’m looking at too.

I want to wave the green flag. Take another lap. Keep going. It’s all clear. But how do I do that when I’m holding back for my sake and yours? How do I say “sure” to what you are willing to offer when I’m not even sure we know what this is yet?

Who does, really? It probably took me longer than most to figure out that no one really has it figured out.

When I can’t figure things out, I have a tendency to bolt. Sticks and stones, yeah, but also words kept at bay. That’s the part they got wrong. At least for someone like me. They’ll probably never be spoken at this rate.

I have a nicely-sized bedroom. It’s always felt big to me. But this morning, the distance between the corner of the bed where you sat and the window where I often sit and watch the world felt miles apart.

If you do always know the score, then you have to broach the subject because I never will. And if there is incongruity, so be it. I can learn to live with reality, even if I have a storied history evidencing the contrary. But at least the words would be said, acknowledged, dealt with, processed and things can move forward with more clarity.

I’m holding back but I don’t think I’m the only one. There is probably a name for what I feel but I can’t access it. It’s a new name; one I haven’t practiced using. So you’ll have to forgive me for being cryptic. I just can’t let this go on because I’ve been in the place where he wanted all the good but none of the reciprocative duties and I lied to myself that it could be enough. It could be enough. And treated it as a challenge. And then I languished in resentment for a year. You have all the time in the world. One of the perks of being young. I’ve let too much pass me by. One of the perks of being older.

I feel like we’re playing close to the vest and only putting down aces one at a time. And I think we both have more that we’re not ready to lay on the table. Is this the part that’s supposed to be fun? Discovery, yes. Exploration, yes. Awkward fumbling even. Pining, though, doesn’t feel like fun. It robs me of my ability to write and I end up just feeling angsty.

Don’t worry about this too much. I think you can handle my tsunamis without getting inundated. You know my tricks. I have to put my inky feelings down on paper, crumple the sheet up, submerge it in a half-filled glass and let the feelings dissipate until the marks are gone and the tempest subsides in a calm of blue-tinted water.

Give me time.

Take yours too. You have it in spades. Pressure is the last thing that needs to be applied in this situation. But know that I think I know that something more is brewing beyond the horizon that I can’t quite put words to. And I rarely lack for those.

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