We want April — Autism Acceptance Month — to matter, to help
further acceptance and understanding of autistic experiences, happiness,
and rights for autistic people of all ages and abilities. We will be
publishing Autism Acceptance posts and pictures all month long. -TPGA
7a.m., Monday morning.
I make a rare appearance in the break room at work. I’m sipping coffee, trying to wake up. I’m standing in the corner hoping to avoid people, but a co-worker makes intentional eye contact and starts walking towards me. I think, “Why, god? Why?” I can’t remember his name or which department he’s from.
The protective social mimicry kicks in.
Co-worker: Dude, can you believe it?
Me: Dude, I really can’t.
I have no idea what he’s talking about.
Co-worker: You know what I’m talking about … right?
Me: Of course. You’re talking about … you know, what a surprise it was.
C: I know! Twenty-one six in, like, no time at all!
I blank out … pause … then realize that this is likely a sports reference of some sort.
M: I mean, really. It was crazy.
C: Psshh. Best-team-in-the-league? Not anymore, buddy.
M: I know, right?
C: Did you see the whole thing?
M: Oh yeah. You didn’t give up on it, did you?
C: Almost. Dude … I almost stopped at half time.
“Half time” … we’re probably talking about football. Was the super bowl this weekend? Should I make a super bowl reference? No. Not yet. Rule #1 in conversing with humans: stay vague.
M: Still, games like that … that’s what it’s all about.
C: Oh no doubt.
Yikes. He’s looking at me expectantly, but I’m out of ammo. I’m glancing at the door behind him, thinking, “He’s on to you! Run!”
I need to bait him into saying something. What do they do in football?
M: The, um, throwing game…
I pause to see if he’ll pick up the slack.
C: Seriously. It killed, you know? I mean, it was non-existent there for awhile, I didn’t think it was gonna happen, but yeah. It killed.
M: He stepped up when it mattered.
I’m assuming there’s a notable “he” involved; seems like a safe bet.
C: They oughtta shorten his last name to just “Man,” you know?
M: Yes! There’s an idea. And put a “the” in front of it. The Man.
He holds a fist up. I experimentally hold a fist up. He proceeds to tap his knuckles against mine. Oh god … have I just been initiated into a weird sports cult?
M: Wow, look at the time. I’m late for a meeting…
There is no meeting.
C: Take it easy, bro.
I flee the scene.