6 comments on “The Peculiar Visitor, a short story I have brought out of storage

  1. I like it. I have a somewhat similar fantasy myself — not of going back and warning my parents, because I feel like they pretty much did what I would’ve told them to do, and what David has told his to do: listen, be mindful and respectful of my differences, don’t try and force me to be normal — but of telling some other parents of autistic children whatever they need to hear to do right by their kids. I mostly do this by trying to soothe their anxieties, telling them that yes, we do grow, we do develop, we do learn, we’re not the Eternal Children you’ve heard we are, but I also make sure they understand that we’re different, and those differences can’t be erased and shouldn’t be ignored.

    (Because I was not abused, because my relationship to my own parents is a friendly, candid one, I find it easier to be friendly and reassuring to other parents. I’m more like an “It gets better” public service announcement than a cautionary tale, which is good in some ways and bad in others. It’s bad because I cannot prophesy as direly and forcefully as, say, you can about the harm done by forced normalization, because I never experienced it. And because I’m able to speak, and have always done very well academically and well enough socially, some people might find it easy to write me off as totally irrelevant to their child, who needs a cure. You might be just as different from their child as I am, but you at least could show them how attempts to make their child normal at any cost will end up hurting him more than helping him.)

    If you don’t mind my asking, how much of David is you?

    • The story was more intended to be put out at the time of its writing (sometime before 2009 if I remember correctly), sent to people within the autistic community for distribution and appraisal. It was partly a response to a story in which a scientist makes a confession that they are the ones who have perfected the autism pre-natal test, condemned millions of unborn children to death, only to discover through self-testing that they are autistic themselves. But between then and now, I have begun to think of this story more as a prologue to the story that explains where my character Kronisk comes from and why he is what he is. Thirty-year-old David will meet a nice girl who talks to him like he is a person instead of a piece of poo at the base of a stop sign, only to find out that she has been murdered just for being decent to him. And thus will begin the end of Terra as a living planet.

      (I remember one point on the Radical Neurodivergence Speaking journal post about responses to some of the commentary they get. The point I like to always drag out, and have done since long before I ever heard that journal existed, was “I might not be exactly like your child, I am after all two decades older, but do not come crying to me if two decades from now you learn that I am more like your child than you will ever be” (my way of saying it). I tend to try to be as much of a negative example as I can. In person, I frequently say “you want your child to be more like me than what you want in twenty years?”. Then, as they shake their head no like I have told them I have been poisoning their food with bacteria, “good, because you are going exactly the right way about it now”.)

      As I mentioned, David and Kronisk are basically the same person. The former just has not killed every Human save for the children and a small percentage of the adults yet, or moved many of the other living creatures (especially Bears) to a new world. That pretty much makes them the same person as me, leaving out a change in circumstance.

  2. Because of the weird formatting and all the punctuation errors, I’ve had to copy the story from the source code of this page so I can create an HTML document that’s halfway readable. I hope you don’t mind, I only did it because trying to read it here was making me feel physically sick.

    • That is all fine. It really pained me in the first place to try and put the text on this site to begin with, because reformatting it into HTML and browser-compatible forms really took a lot of effort. And whilst I can (with a lot of effort) read the text on my browser, an unfortunate problem encountered when putting stories online is that no two browsers show the same document the same way. That is why I have put a link to the epub version of my works in the title bar. I am going to try and adjust the options on that epub so the entire first story can be downloaded free of charge.

  3. Oh, cool! Cheers for that! That’s a bit above and beyond, so really grateful. Just a little tip: please remove the unnecessary bold and italics or make them optional. That’s the weird formatting I referred to.

    • Unfortunately, making things optional in the HTML or whatever it is of WordPress is more than a little difficult. I think the source of the problem is really the base font that I have used in the document (and believe me, changing fonts in a WordPress post is not fun). I am of a mind to remove all of these stories entirely because of the reading experience on WordPress, but for the time being I am fine with people copying and pasting the text into something that allows them better control over how it appears.

      A lot of the problems I have in terms of these texts, too, is editorial. I look at them and think “what was I thinking?”.

Chuck shit at me here

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