Tag Archives: Friendship

Advent Calendar Day 8 & 9: The Double Day

Writing a double post like this means I’ll only have 23 instead of 24 posts but I think it’s better this way because Wednesday and Thursday really were one long day for me. No matter what I did I would have been wrong and I would have been annoyed with myself either way. It was just the case of taking the least worse course of action, I guess damage control in a sense. So I’m not going to bother obsessing over whether I shouldn’t have gone or not which is what I’d usually be doing. There’s no point in doing that. It’s just a case of stupid person does yet another stupid thing. And I feel exactly as I expected to feel. Of course I was tired when I got home, tired enough to have spent all day in bed too. I needed the sleep yet it puts me back at square one. Having gotten up so late I’m not going to be able to get any sleep between now and the game. Not that I ever would miss a game but this is one I really can’t miss, it’s the last home game of the Hinrunde. And with their  poor away record it’s a must win game, I mean they all are but it’s extra important. Not least because Darmstadt sacked their coach after last weekend’s defeat to fellow strugglers HSV. Usually a team get a boost from having a new coach in charge, though not always. Obviously I’m hoping that won’t be the case for Darmstadt, for one thing it’s not nice to end the year at home with a defeat.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, I’ve got the rest of the night to get through first. It’s just how I expected it to be, how it always is. Tired last night and not at all tired now. Despite being so tired when I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about everything that happened. Looking back on  it now I realise what I hate the most about the way I obsess over everything. I constantly worry about being a good enough friend, and in allowing myself to obsess the way I do then I’m not doing that. I allow the anxiety to take over and question things I know to be true. I shouldn’t allow myself to doubt whether they’re my friends or not. Because that’s what I always think about, if they really are my friends or not and all the rest of it. And with regards to this particular person I really shouldn’t question anything. After all they’ve survived several of my obsessions and that is a rare thing indeed. Our friendship survived beyond the initial interest which first brought us together.

Plus they kept their word, they promised me if it was too loud then we could leave, and when I said it was they said ok, no questions asked. Sometimes people can be funny about that, but they’ve never been anything less than patient with me. Which only makes it more absurd that I allow such worries to get to me. If I wasn’t being a good enough friend in some way they would call me out on it. They’re not the kind of person to let themselves be walked over that way. The fact I’m sitting here thinking about all this makes me laugh. The reason being an article someone sent me a few days ago about how people with AS aren’t capable of empathy and how they destroy everyone around them. If I didn’t care about other people then how come I worry about them so much? How come I worry so much that I don’t care enough about them? It’s not caring about other people I have a problem with, it’s showing it. I think it’s kind of unfair me to be judged on how well I’m able to show and understand my feelings in regards to other people when I struggle to understand my feelings in general.

In thinking over all this friendship stuff it’s made me realise something else, another reason why having friends is a good thing. They give me a perspective on things I wouldn’t otherwise have. And just last night I had that pointed out to me. It seems how I percieve myself differs from what other people see, there are things about myself I don’t even know. For example I was telling them about something from one of my stories, something which another person found funny and I couldn’t understand why. I had written it to be slightly humourous but not laugh out loud funny yet that’s exactly the reaction I got. Thing is they weren’t even surprised I didn’t get it, apparently I don’t see or understand that I can be quite funny. That surprised me, I have to admit it really did. I know I make sarcastic comments which make people laugh but I would never describe myself as being funny in any way. I appreciate them for a lot of reasons but for their insightful comments about my writing most of all.

Point is I don’t think it’s just my decision in whether or not to have friends. You can’t just cut people out of your life that way, it’s not just about my feelings. When I’m thinking this way I often wonder if I’d be doing them a favour by ending the friendship but all I’d be doing is hurting them. I’ve done that before and I hope the person in question can forgive me for it, though I can’t forgive myself. To disappear like that is unforgiveable. Ending a friendship is one thing but you should at leasts have the decency to explain why and tell them. It still makes little sense to me why I did that, but then things don’t make much more sense now. Not much does in fact and it’s not because I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Right now I feel like I’m a daze, awake but not really there. My mind is relatively quiet which is a good thing but it’s not the way I want it to happen. What’s left of Friday and Saturday will be another double day. It’s messed up but it’s the way it is. I can’t do anything about the schedule at the moment. You have to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt and not what you wish you had.

And now to the final part of the post, the calendars. Behind door number 8 for Freiburg was midfielder Onur Bulut who they signed from Bochum in the summer. It’s unfortunate that one of his major contributions to the campaign so far came in the Leverkusen game last weekend. He’d barely been on the field for a minute when he brought down a Leverkusen player to give away a penalty. But maybe him doing that wasn’t such a bad thing, if he hadn’t made that mistake Schwolow wouldn’t have got to save the penalty. Good can come out of bad. In the Dortmund calendar was Spanish defender Marc Bartra and I have equally mixed feelings about him because he’s a potential threat to Ginter’s place in the starting 11. Behind door number 9 was the Dortmund man Pascal Stenzel, but not in Dortmund’s calendar because he’s on loan to Freiburg and has been since last winter. Now him I don’t have any mixed feelings about and I’d very much like Freiburg to keep hold of him, how realistic that is I don’t know. But I would like it to happen, he’s a great addition to the team. Joining him was Dortmund and Poland player Lukasz Piszczek. Quite fitting giving his nationality because that was my Christmas present, the one I recieved on Thursday consisted entirely of very tasty Polish snacks.

20161210_014904-1onur-bulutFinding a good picture of Pascal is no problem, in fact I have the opposite problem, picking which one to use. You could fill a whole post with nothing but pictures of him. The first one from the KSC game last season and courtesy of the Südkurier is a particular favourite of mine:

pascal-stenzel-alexander-schwolow-sc-freiburg-v-ksc-2015-16pascal-stenzel

Friendship

One of the first things that came to mind when I saw today’s prompt was an episode of The Big Bang Theory. To cut a long story short Sheldon gets fired from the university and has to apologise to the president Dr Gablehauser, which he only does because his mother makes him. During the meeting which he apologises Sheldon’s mother lands herself a date with Gablehauser.

Sheldon was recounting this event to Leonard who asks what happened, the following two final lines of the conversation are what’s relevant here:

Sheldon: I’m not quite sure. It involves a part of the human experience that has always eluded me.

Leonard: “Well that narrows it down.”

You could easily say the same about me, there are many aspects of the human experience which baffle me too. Including the concept of friendship. How I managed to not only make a friend but keep that friend for several years is a mystery to me. I really have no idea what I’m doing, not then and not now. As things stand I’m not sure I have any friends left. A few months ago I’m sure I would have been upset at the prospect of such a thing, not so now. I’m unhappy when I do have friends (not to mention confused) and no happier when I don’t. I’m not sure it makes any difference. One thing for sure is I know I’m not good at this or at talking to people at all. However did I think I could keep a friendship going (and understand what I’m doing) when I find it difficult writing a short e-mail to someone. Why is it so hard to find the right words and to be “friendly?” It never seems to get easier. You read books about it, study other people’s interactions and it doesn’t help. You still don’t feel comfortable or end up second guessing yourself. It’s hard to work out if I enjoy having friends or not when it’s such an anxiety provoking experience.

One thing I know for sure is that imaginary friends are the best kind of friends. Nothing to worry about there, no saying the wrong thing or misinterpreting something. It’s not perfect but then what is? In a way imaginary friends can make you feel even more lonely. As if they are a reminder of what you can’t have. But then I feel that way with actual people too. As if there’s something I can’t quite understand, like as if it’s not really real. I don’t know, it probably doesn’t make much sense. There is one thing that most definitely makes sense right now, something which requires no figuring out on my part. Freiburg’s hard earned 1-0 victory over their neighbours KSC. I said in yesterday’s post that one goal would see them go back to the top of the table. One goal would see them be once more “der Tabellenführer.” They did just that, scoring only one goal courtesy of Mike Frantz. Which means they go into the international break ahead of RB Leipzig. Now I’m still not particularly looking forward to the upcoming internationals but I am exceedingly happy about this:

2.Bundesliga table - MD27

Longing

Today’s daily prompt asks you to write about longing, that’s all you get. Just one word, no further guidance. I’ve not written anything for the daily prompt the past few days, I found this new found style a little unsettling. My first reaction was it’s different, I don’t like it. I think I may have found the lack of specific guidance a little unsettling too. I’m getting over that now. I suppose it’s a good thing in one way, no specific question means no rules to stick to. Even more than usual I can ramble randomly.

So just what am I longing for at the moment? Well for one thing a sticker of Nils Petersen. All I have is a Bremen one from last season, I so badly want one of him in a Freiburg shirt. I don’t want to curse it but maybe I’ll get one next season. At least there’s a card of him which I’m getting in a trade, so I’ll have something of him from this season besides his team card. It’s a trade which has proved satisfactory in more ways than one, not only am I getting two Freiburg cards but I get to send a letter to Germany to someone named Andreas. That is just awesome.

Besides a sticker of Petersen I’m not really longing for anything right now. I’m a very good mood. Freiburg beat Arminia Bielefeld 4-1 yesterday and Florian Niederlechner scored two goals. And this time it was a real goal. His first goal was something of a comedy of errors, the keeper dropped the ball into his own net. This time he more than deserved it. I’m particularly pleased with it because Alexander Schwolow is the one who initiated the move. He kicked the ball up field whereupon Grifo headed it and it fell perfectly for Niederlechner to battle for it and then go one on one with the keeper to score. The second one was great too but I can’t help but feel bad because Bielefeld didn’t deserve to lose 4-1. All season they’ve kept things pretty tight defensively speaking including battling hard to draw 2-2 against Freiburg earlier in the season. Even better is the fact Freiburg achieved this victory without Nils Petersen who for a second game in a row was on the bench. It’s good to have another regular goal scorer in the team, it takes the pressure off Petersen a little. The irony of the situation doesn’t escape me, that Niederlechner is on loan from Mainz. Because Mainz is of course a former team of Thomas Tuchel who I like a great deal at the moment. Even more interesting is the fact Niederlechner used to play for 1.FC Heidenheim. On Wednesday afternoon they came close to beating RB Leipzig, being 1-0 up at half-time. Unfortunately they went on to lose 3-1, a shame because it w0uld have been excellent for Freiburg had Leipzig lost.

Florian Niederlechner - Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Florian Niederlechner & Vincenzo Grifo - Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Florian Niederlechner & Vincenzo Grifo - Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 2 Florian Niederlechner & Vincenzo Grifo - Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 3Freiburg took all three points, maintaining their grip on second place and the Bundesliga provided plenty of entertainment last night too. Bremen orchestrating a teriffic 4-1 win over Leverkusen, repeating their Cup triumph in the league. And Mainz somehow against all the odds beat Bayern 2-1. I feel kind of bad about it because part of me was rooting for Mainz to win. Simply because it would make the title race a little more interesting and adds to the already considerable intrigue around what is arguably the biggest match of the second half of the season, der Klassiker round 2. Dortmund v Bayern. Dortmund have not lost a game at home all season, are Bayern going to bring that run to an end? I also feel bad for Neuer, for him being this angry. Evidently I don’t feel so bad that I can’t make these amusing GIFs:

Angry_Manuel_Neuer_Bayern_v_Mainz_1 Angry_Manuel_Neuer_2_Bayern_v_MainzLike I said above I’m not really longing for anything right now. I have the new Bundesliga album, the Euro 2016 Schoolshop one on the way from Serbia, Freiburg have won their last three games and they play on Monday this weekend. Which means unless I choose to I don’t have to get up early on Saturday or Sunday. Plus der Klassiker to look forward to. So what’s the problem? Well I think I may just be a little too easily pleased for one thing. That’s the negative thought lurking behind my good mood right now. The thought that I should want something more other than stickers and a good football match to watch. In what seemed to be a friendship ending conversation last week I said that I was tired of pretending to be normal or anything approaching it. That I’m not going to waste anymore time on pretending to be something I’m not. I think I may have been a little more blunt than I needed to be but I don’t regret what I said. There’s something I read online which gave me some perspective on the matter. Gist of it was there’s four version of ourselves, different versions that we present to different people. There shouldn’t be a significant difference between the person you are when you’re by yourself and when you’re with your friends. I got to thinking that if there is a significant difference, why are you friends? Surely the friendship is founded upon an untruth if you have to hide who you really are. I don’t know for sure but I can’t help but wonder if the reason I’m feeling so content and relaxed right now is because I’m going to see Hail Cesar by myself tomorrow. If it’s because I don’t expect to have any e-mails to reply to. Like as if I’m free from the obligation and stress of it all. That’s probably telling in itself. That I’m relieved at the prospect of not having to reply to e-mails of a social nature.

Catching Up

It feels like I’m always playing catch-up at the moment in regards to pretty much everything. In the main I feel like I’m always catching up on sleep. But you can’t do that forever. If you keep saying I’ll catch up next week eventually there won’t be a next week. The longer you let it go on for the bigger the pile of things to catch up on gets. I know that and yet I still can’t snap out of it. All my projects start out well and they all end the same way. That is they don’t really end at all, I just fall behind and never catch up. I slowly stop working on them and never get back to it.

I don’t want that to happen here, I want to finish this one at least. Even if it’s late, I still want to complete it. This month would be perfect to knuckle down and start working through the backlog. It is after all an international month, Germany have two friendlies at the end of the month. It would be great to get at least halfway through the backlog by then. If I made sure there were no distractions surely I could at least do that. On the subject of distractions avoiding any more friendship related drama is necessary on this count. It would be a good thing anyway but becomes more important in this context.

It’s not just sleep I’m catching up on, in a way it’s time itself. Only now are the events of last week becoming clear to me. Though I have to admit I had some help. Rather than me endlessly obsessing over it I talked it through with someone, a person whom in comparison to me is a responsible adult. Evidently they are someone who has a better understanding of people and relationships than I do. It’s a conversation which was a post-match analysis of sorts. Looking at what happened, what could have gone better and how I could have acted differently to bring that about. Not only that but they took the time to explain why it went the way it did. To explain it’s not what I said but how I said it. To get to the point I was too blunt about it and perhaps a little insensitive. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your feelings, especially when you’ve been asked to but you still have to consider how what you’re saying could affect someone else.

I won’t lie, it still doesn’t really make much sense to me but at least I know I was wrong and why. It’s far better and more constructive than me obsessing over it by myself. I guess accepting help from other people isn’t always a bad thing. I’m no less confused about everything else but at least that’s not bothering me. One of the reasons I’m feeling a little out of sorts this week is because it’s “die englische Woche” as the Germans call it, meaning there’s midweek games. In fact this week there’s football on every night of the week if you count the regional league game that was on Monday night. This afternoon is a homecoming of sorts for Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow because they’re visiting newly promoted Arminia Bielefeld which is the team he spent last season on loan at, helping them win promotion to the second tier and getting to the quarter finals of the DFB Pokal. Funnily enough one of the teams they knocked out was Gladbach, funny because at the time the team contained former Freiburg striker Max Kruse.

Freiburg are back to winning ways, after getting off to a bad start losing their firsts two, they went on to win the following two games. Still Bielefeld might prove to be a tough challenge, they certainly did when they visited the Schwarzwald Stadion. The final score was 2-2 and only because of a last minute goal by Lucas Hufnagel. Bielefeld may be small and are hovering just above the relegation battle but they are not to be taken for granted.

Whilst I’m not obsessing over what happened last week there is one thought troubling me. I mean one other than what game to watch tonight, I’m having trouble picking between Bayern v Mainz and Darmstadt v Dortmund. Besides that I’m wondering what the point is in having friends at all. That’s probably not the right way to put it. I think it’s better to say I’m thinking that not having friends can make for a lonely experience but having them can cause as many problems as it solves. Maybe I’m just not cut out for it. This friendship is going the exact same way as the one that came before it. It took a step too close to becoming something more and I couldn’t deal with that. After the previous friendship ended I spent close to a year not really spending time with anyone. Maybe that’s what I need, some time alone. Maybe I’m just burnt out and need some recharging time. I’ve wondered sometimes how all of this would work if I ever got to live by myself. I doubt then I would have any energy or resources left over for something as far down the list as social time. It’s something that may have to be sacrificed anyway.

Cool Like Kroos/Step One

This Friday is already going better than last week did, out of bed and dressed before midday. It seems the Europa league L16 draw was sufficient motivation to get out of bed. It’s a good thing too, I can’t get up late tomorrow because Freiburg are playing. I know I said I was going to take a  live and let live approach as regards to my sleeping patterns but if the pieces come together themselves that’s not a bad thing either. Maybe that’s what I need to do, to stop overthinking it and just let it happen. Today is so far going fine which is just as well seeing as how yesterday was something of a nightmare. I certainly needed to keep in mind that dream about Toni Kroos, keeping cool was the order of the day. Though I didn’t entirely succeed on this count. Still the rant wasn’t so bad, at least I wasn’t ranting about the person I was talking to. I managed to keep all of what I was thinking to myself. The rant in question was about how I’m sick of hearing the words “high-functioning autism” and how annoyed I am by it’s constant repetition online. It’s a phrase which has little real meaning and is not a diagnostic term yet it’s one which continues to get used, and it drives me nuts. Partly because people seem to think it equates to “mild autism” or to just being a little socially off, quirky and obsessive. But that’s a rant for another time, I’m not getting angry now. Not about that and not about anything else.

I knew the day wasn’t going to go well when they didn’t show up in the place we agreed to meet. Part of wishes I’d just gotten on the next train home and forgotten about the whole thing, I was tempted to do that. But I didn’t, as regards the film I’m glad I didn’t. As for the rest of the day, I wish I took the train home. It happened exactly the same as last time, I got in my head that they weren’t there and adjusted my plans accordingly. Then of course they showed up at the cinema and I had to adjust again. I know what the problem is here, I know I have issues with being flexible and being too rigid in my expectations. That’s not the issue, the problem is I wanted them not to be there. I wanted to see the film by myself and just generally be left alone. The first time I wanted them not to be there because I was mad at them. This time I’m not mad at them for being unreliable, I just didn’t want to see them.

I didn’t have to worry so much with talking too much, instead I had the opposite problem, that of finding any words at all. Except for the rant which wasn’t planned at all I had no idea what to talk about. I think the friendship is finally coming to and end. I have a hunch they might feel the same way. At least I hope they do, it’ll make what comes next easier. They themselves summed up the problem, I don’t know if it was deliberate on their part. If their words were meant to tell me something, whether it was deliberate or not I got the message. They talked about someone new they’ve met and whom they like. The gist of their point was that conversation with the person in question is easy and flows naturally, it just builds itself. Not like us then, not anymore anyway. Though as of late I feel that way with a lot of people but more so with them, it’s true.

It’s kind of weird that we saw Deadpool in light of recent developments. In the film Deadpool in his previous life falls in love in an unlikely set of circumstances. But it works for them, until he gets sick anyway. He left for her, because he didn’t want her to see him suffer. Everything he did was for her. I can only imagine what it must be like to love someone else that much. At the end after everything has gone wrong and she sees him for who he is now she accepts him back. He was scared she would reject him because of the way he looks and I guess because she’d be angry at him for leaving, which she was. I’m not sure what my point is, just that it felt weird to be watching that film now.

The journey home was the worst point, this was the problem the last time I went out as well. Though it turned out to be a little different this time, at least I didn’t have to deal with feeling like I was going to suffocate. In a way that would have been easier to deal with, at least with that you know what’s going on and what to do about it. I hate not knowing how I’m feeling, just having a general idea that I’m on edge about something. I’m not quite sure what prompted such a reaction, I was a little stressed out on the first part of the journey but not so much. Nothing that my headphones and some fan-fiction couldn’t fix. It might be their unexpected presence, it wasn’t planned for them to be a part of the return journey. I don’t like surprises or deal well with them at the best of times, so that may be the reason.

I just wanted them to go away, I was trying and failing to listen to them. At the same time I was trying to remember Toni Kroos, about being as calm and collected as he is known for being. Being afraid and worried is fine, letting other people see that is not. I was also thinking about what the Hulk said to Captain America when he told him it was time to get angry: “That’s my secret Cap, I’m always angry.”

I’m not always angry but I am always very close to the edge of being so. Most of the time it doesn’t take much to push me over the edge.
All I had to do was to get through it, to keep calm and remain as much as possible in control. This is the kind of situation Jogi cards were made for. Somehow I got through it in one piece, though not without them picking up on the fact something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t appreciate their remark about selective hearing though. That really upset me, I thought they of all people would know how difficult it is to listen to other people, let alone when you’re in an environment you aren’t entirely comfortable with. At that point I decided on giving up on putting so much effort into it. If they don’t appreciate the effort you’re making then it’s not worth it. I shouldn’t even have been trying anyway, I should have just told them the truth and admitted I can neither listen nor talk right now. I should have saved my resources for more important things.

All things considered it wasn’t a good day but it could have been worse. I can see that now. After all I did get home in one piece, I couldn’t pay much attention to Dortmund’s game last night that’s true but I can watch it again. The main thing is I didn’t spend all of today in bed because of it. The events of one day are not going to be allowed to dictate how I feel about the rest of the weekend. No, that’s Freiburg’s job. They play Kaiserslautern tomorrow. How I feel about the weekend will instead rest upon how well they play and the result of the game. Just like it should be.

2016: First Film of the Year and other Deliberations

Normally picking the first film of the year to watch would be a big deal. In fact it would not only be the topmost thought in my mind right now but it would already be decided by now. This year like the year just gone is a little different. Films are still important but they aren’t the foremost thought in my mind. Right now all I can think of is how many days there are till the Bundesliga returns and how many days till Freiburg’s next game. 21 days until it all kicks off again and Bayern play HSV. 22 days until a newly resurgent Gladbach play Dortmund. The prospect of that game is mouthwatering, unbelievably so. And most importantly and no less mouth watering is the game between Bochum and Freiburg, precisely 34 days from now. I’m happy they play on a Friday, it’s one less day to wait.

But of course there’s no football to watch right now, not live anyway. Not unless I watch the Premier League and so far I haven’t done. Back to the title, whatever the film I chose it was certain to be a German one. In the end it turned out to be a rather predictable choice, a by now very familiar favourite, The Lives of Others. Some films you just don’t get sick of, regardless of how many times you’ve seem them and how well you know them.What I love about The Lives of Other is it’s one of those films that makes me think every time I see it, that there’s always a new detail to notice. You really do gain something from every viewing. As for the first film at the cinema, I have a creeping suspicion that will be The Hateful Eight. It would be very fitting where that to be true.

Towards the end of last year I wrote a list of things I wanted to do in the year to come, some fun stuff and some serious stuff too. I haven’t done that this time round and I have no plans to. Not because I’m unhappy that I didn’t cross enough things off my list, I actually crossed off quite a few things, including the item at the top of my fun list. More because in the words of August from The Bridge my plan is to “not to have a plan.” I just don’t see the point, everything is all over the place and it’s close to impossible to make any plans, so I’m just not going to bother, not with any major overarching plans and not with any aims.

The first thing on my fun list was to learn how tie a scarf like Jogi Löw, which I am now able to do. The final point from that list was to write more Löw adventures. Well that’s pretty much taken care of it’s self, I have no worries on that front. In fact it’s taken over almost everything else. Everything but football itself that is.

Two things from my serious list were to save some money and to downsize my collection, that is my DVD and book collection. Saving money, not so much, but the latter I’ve had some success with and hope to move on to downsizing my book collection next. The most important thing on the list was to do the things which make me happy, regardless of whether other people find them strange or not. I’ve certainly done that, in fact I wonder if I may have committed to doing so a little too much. At the same time I can’t help but wonder how good the friendship in question was if it was almost broken over a special interest. And just what or who was in the wrong, If a special interest can really be more important than a friendship, And if you’re even asking that question, then surely the friendship doesn’t mean as much as you thought it did. Is it possible that I wanted an excuse, an out from it, and the special interest conflict just gave me the excuse I was looking for.

In a not so fun conversation a while back I was asked for my reasons for writing the Löw adventures, how it was that I who can’t stand romance in any form likes to write such things. And whether or not writing said stories made me have any interest in romance and relationships in real life. Or if it was the case that I was writing them precisely because I have an interest in such things but that I can’t actually have them, so I write stories instead. I do find them fulfilling in a sense but not like that, they haven’t given me any interest in pursuing such things. I do however consider my characters good company and they are a lot less anxiety provoking than real life people, that’s for sure. Which is most likely why I prefer them, I always know what they’re thinking, what they’re going to say and what they mean. There’s only confusion if I want there to be. How could I not prefer them to real life people?

One thing from that post I will repeat here is to list four things I’m looking forward to this year. I thought Euro 2016 would be top of this list, but I have very mixed feelings about it now because of what happened in November. But then I can’t figure out what else would top the list. So my four things to look forward to in 2016:

  1. Euro 2016, not to mention the U19 Euros and the Olympics because Germany qualified football wise.
  2. The second half of the 2.Bundesliga season and finding out what will become of Freiburg and their promotion campaign.
  3. The Hateful Eight, Tarantino’s next film.
  4. Writing more Löw adventures.

Were the list to have a fifth addition no doubt something sticker related would make the list, perhaps the prospect of a German album for Euro 2016. But then seeing as Hansi won’t be in there, perhaps not.

One thing which I’m not at all looking forward to or have a great deal of enthusiasm for is the prospect of spending time with other people. It’s barely the first day of the year and I’m already worrying about how to get out of something of this nature. I no longer have the excuse of being sick but I still don’t feel like being around anyone. I know part of this is because it’ll take some time to get back to a normal routine and I’m feeling out of sorts because of all this. With that in mind I shouldn’t do anything stupid or rash. Which I have to admit is unlikely anyway because that would actually involve me making a decision and taking decisive action. That’s not like me, that’s not how I screw things up. It’s more because of what I don’t do as opposed to what I actually do. I let things like friendships fall apart by doing nothing. It’s always a tempting proposition, to simply disappear. To allow everything to fade away. Not to make any decisions but to do nothing and simply allow old habits to creep in. Like they are now, avoiding other people and creeping around in the dead of night. Allowing such patterns to continue because you know you can avoid other people that way.

With all this friendship stuff I can’t win. It’s not a question of whether I want friends or not, or even of whether I’m lonely or not. It’s a question of which is more tolerable, because I’ll be anxious and worried about something either way. If I have friends then I’m worrying about getting it wrong all the time, and if I’m a good enough friend. And when I think something’s gone wrong which is a lot, I can’t let go of it. Whilst part of me is worried they’ll never speak or write to me again another part of me secretly hopes they won’t, it would make it so much easier on my part. It’s tempting to think that having no friends at all would be easier, at least I would have one less thing to worry about.

The Spectre Affair

Mission accomplished in one sense, I did everything I was supposed to do yesterday. Everything but one small but very important thing, I didn’t get any sleep yesterday. Regardless I still went anyway, maybe it wasn’t the best choice. I think getting some sleep and then getting up in time for Bayern’s Champions League game would have been a better choice, but it’s not the way I went.

I saw the film, had the much dreaded conversation, saw the game, recorded two of my three copies and got the all important Jogi video, though sadly no interview to go with it.

It’s strange, when I got interested in Christoph Waltz a few years ago I was fixated on the idea that he had to play a Bond villain, he simply had to. It’s the kind of part he’s born to play. And now he has, and I no longer care. The film was just ok, not as bad as the previous two but nowhere as near as good as Casino Royale. I feel like I should go and see it again to see if it grows on me the second time round but I don’t know if I can sit through it again. How things change, if I still liked Christoph Waltz I would have gone to see it on the day it came out and would most likely have seen it three times already. These days I’m lucky to get to see a film twice, let alone see any film more than ten times, which I did for both Django Unchained and Rush.

Whether or not still going yesterday was a wise choice or not I don’t know, but I am up and dressed before 9:00am today. Which in light of recent events is quite impressive. Shame then it’s not my doing, getting up today at this hour was not optional. It’s not my schedule but one which has been imposed upon me for the day. That may be true, but I’m still glad at being awake. Yesterday was a long day, so I do feel terrible, but then if I had done it my way then that would still be true.

One thing I do regret is that being somewhat sleep deprived yesterday I remember very little of the conversation. I know what we talked about roughly but not the details. More importantly I’m not at all sure of what I said or what the point of it was. But then would that be any clearer even if I had gotten some sleep? Because I’m not sure any of this makes sense. They finally got what they did wrong and why I reacted the way I did. And I understand precisely what hurt their feelings. In addition they actually have an idea of what I’m thinking. Problem is I didn’t tell them,  Jogi did. That is he told Hansi in a story which they read. After reading that they said all of this finally makes some sense to them. Thanks to what they read they finally know that yes I do have feelings, I just can’t express them. Understanding all of this means they are no longer feel quite so pushed out by my favourite Germans. Because they finally get that it’s not a question of loving them more. It’s simply a question of being able to show your feelings, of being able to express them. And that they are predictable in a way real people can never be. Because of that they are safe and don’t terrify me in the same way real people do. It’s not that I don’t trust him, I don’t trust anyone. Because I’m very aware of the fact that people don’t always say what they mean and that people often say one thing but are really thinking another.

I’m also very aware that it’s difficult for me to form an idea as to what someone may be thinking. That my perspective is to put it simply, often wrong. It’s not just that I don’t trust other people, I can’t even trust myself. With my stories there’s none of this, in them there’s only confusion if I want there to be. And in them Hansi always knows what to do and say.

So, great, everybody understands other. But what difference does that make? That doesn’t solve the problem. Our requirements aren’t compatible, the problems still remain. All we’ve done is understand the theory side of things better, we’ve gone no way to solving the practical side of things. Because there’s no way to do that. They’re the kind of person who is very much in touch with their feelings, they’re a very tactile kind of person. So they need someone who can comfort them, both emotionally and physically. I can’t do either of those things.

More to the point they want things to get back to normal. For our friendship to resume. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. When thinking of yesterday my thoughts went as far as staying awake for Bayern’s game last night and getting to see Dortmund’s today. I’d given no thought whatsoever to next week or the one after it. I certainly hadn’t figured on other people fitting in anywhere. Next week is the international break. Two Germany games, the new shirt which is being released in time for then and my birthday. But I’m still not that excited about it. Perhaps that will change when the day actually comes.

To get back to the subject of problem solving, there is another problem that has gone unsolved. That of differing interests. They don’t like any of what I’m currently interested in. Which is a problem because I can think of little else. They want to go back to hanging out, what am I meant to do, just not talk about any of it? So then what do we talk about?

I’m trying hard not to obsess over this, that won’t help. It’s doing that which got me into trouble in the other situation. Overthinking things like that is dangerous. For the moment I should focus on getting everything straight again, on getting a good night’s sleep, and trying once more to start getting up before lunch time every day. There’s too much in flux at the moment to get into any kind of routine. One day at a time. I don’t need to rush into any decisions, not when I have no idea what’s going on. I need to catch up on some sleep. Some quiet time would be helpful.  Having gadget free day is most likely over ambitious, maybe just one night. I could read before I go to sleep, like I used to do. A good old fashioned book instead of a Jogi and Hansi adventure on my tablet.

What makes you happy?

Several different people are always in one way or another trying to help me figure out what I should do with my life. Though none of them seemed to have noticed that I really have no interest in doing anything. Because try as I might I can’t see myself as doing anything other than what I’m currently doing. Ironic as it is for someone who likes to write fiction, when it comes to real life my sense of imagination is not that good. Just like I have trouble predicting how other people may respond in any given situation so I have trouble imagining myself in a situation which isn’t actually happening right now.

They make helpful suggestions, they come up with ideas related to my current special interest and they keep doing so when my interests change. And the question that inevitably gets asked is “What makes you happy?”

I always have trouble answering this question in any meaningful way, in any kind of big picture way. Living outside of my own head and taking note of the world around me is not something that always comes easy to me. To quote Leo from The West Wing “I like the little things.” It’s true, I really do. From other people’s perspective in some sense I suppose I’m too easy to please. Which is ironic because quite a bit of the time I get accused of the exact opposite, of being impossible to make happy. Especially when it comes to getting gifts. But if only they listened to me or paid attention then maybe they wouldn’t have got it so wrong. Sometimes it makes me wonder if anyone knows me at all.  Like last week when someone was returning something of mine that they borrowed. They happened to come in when I was watching the Bundesliga highlights, at the time I was excited because I’d gotten some extra footage of Jogi at Darmstadt’s game. In their eyes I was too excited about having gotten an extra five seconds of footage. But like I said I like the little things. And given that the person in question is someone who I’ve known my entire life, I would have thought they knew that too. I don’t expect them to understand, but I’m surprised that they found it curious, that they aren’t used to such things. It makes me wonder what else they and everybody else aren’t used to. What else do they find strange or weird but not say anything about? Is it possible that the people you’ve spent your entire life with don’t know you at all?

I get that NT people don’t understand, that’s kind of a given. But I thought I wouldn’t have this problem with other autistic people, that problems like this wouldn’t happen. Making friends with someone who has a similar mixture of autism and anxiety I thought we wouldn’t have such problems. I was wrong. I wrongly thought it meant I could talk about things that I didn’t and couldn’t talk about with anyone else. After all I listened to them talk about such things, so it should have been ok for me to share too. But it didn’t work out that way. I deeply regret having done so, having told them what I was scared of. I never tell anyone such things and in having done so I feel like a real idiot, though I don’t understand exactly why. One thing I do know, ever since then I haven’t trusted them.

With their suggestions about ways in which I could branch out in relation to my current special interest they proved how little they know me anyway. It was no doubt intended as a helpful suggestion but it wasn’t one they’d given any thought to. The idea was not  bad one, to the contrary, it’s quite a good one actually. Just not for me. I know people do that online, make their own commentary for games and live stream it. But why would they think it was a good idea for me?

In a perfect world I’d love to do such a thing. But then in a perfect world I’d have no problem with talking out loud, with getting my words out and saying them in the right order. And in a perfect world I wouldn’t sound quite so strange. But of course the world is far from perfect. The suggestion hurt my feelings. Whilst it was intended to be helpful it felt like it was a reminder of just one more thing I can’t do. And I really don’t need anymore of those. Coming from anyone else I would have gotten over it eventually and decided it was thoughtless but not too hurtful. However coming from someone else who is also autistic, it hurts just that little bit more.

After this and a few other comments I felt like I couldn’t trust them anymore. Like I had to watch what I said to them the same way I did with everyone else, not just what I said but how I acted. Now it feels like there’s no-one I can talk freely with, no-one I can just be myself around. Maybe there never was, maybe it was just an illusion, I was just fooling myself. Whichever is true it’s exhausting having to put that front on all the time. But then what if I were to truly be myself around other people, what would that mean?

I once made the mistake of telling someone this, that I felt like I couldn’t be myself around anyone else. And they said it hurt their feelings that I meant them too, that I even felt that way about someone I was related to. I understand how it hurt their feelings, really I do. But what about my feelings? What about how I feel, knowing that people wouldn’t like me were I really to be myself around them.

Because truth is, if I spend more time being myself around them then it would mean interacting with them a lot less, with everyone in fact. Starting to talk with other people was one of the worst things I ever did. I wasn’t always like that, when I was a lot younger I was for the most part quiet and barely said a word. I didn’t even lecture people about my special interests. I wasn’t a little professor type Aspie when I was a small child, I was more of a live in my own head kind of person. I could talk, I just didn’t. I was a lot happier back then and a lot less confused. I didn’t have to worry about what other people were thinking, whether I’d said something wrong or not, or if I couldn’t understand and follow a conversation. I didn’t have to worry about any of that. Two of the worst things I ever did, starting to talk to other people and learning and understanding the concept that people had thoughts in their head that were different to mine. Ever since I learnt that I’ve found it difficult to stop obsessing over what other people are thinking, how what they say might not be what they are really thinking. It makes it impossible to trust anyone, and it makes other people question our friendship because I’m seemingly incapable of putting that amount of trust in them.

Which brings me to the question, what would make me happy? Right now I think nothing less than a full scale retreat would make me anything close to happy. Though I think happy is maybe not the right word for it. I think relieved would be more the right word. Relieved not to have to speak aloud, to find the right words, to make sense of what someone else is saying, or just generally to tolerate the presence of another person. More and more these days whenever I’m with someone else I can’t wait until they leave. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to listen to anyone talk about anything. That ability to listen and to make sense of the words just isn’t there.

When I dropped out of college the second time I spent the next three months doing nothing but playing video games. I slept in the day and played video games all night. I didn’t see anyone else or speak to them. I barely even saw the people who live in the same house as me. The way the times worked out I was getting up as they were going to bed. Later on the psychologist suggested I did this as a way of avoiding other people, so I didn’t have to face them and worry about hiding how I was feeling. I’ve written about this before in a post entitled “Don’t forget these days”, about how odd it is that when confronted with other people you do everything you can to put an act on, to convince them you’re fine. When really a part of you wants not to do this, you want them to see that something isn’t right.

I don’t know if it’s what I really want but it feels like it is, like that would be wonderful right now. There’s not any games I’m particularly looking forward to playing, indeed I’m not particularly enthusiastic about video games in general right now. It’s just the thought of escape that’s so appealing. Of not needing to be anywhere, of being able to sleep whenever and for however long I like. But something tells me this is not such a good idea. Partly I’m worried that were I to do this, it would be hard to break the habit. Which would be most troublesome if it turned out to be not what I wanted. Or to be a little more honest about it, I think I’m scared that if I allow myself to stay in bed that I’ll never want to get up again. It’s kind of like the Stalingrad metaphor I used in one of my stories, about the soldiers who were attempting to flee the advance of the Russian army. They had to keep moving because if they stopped they would die there, they just wouldn’t have the energy or the fight necessary in them to get back up again. They would sit there and freeze to death, not because they wanted to but because they really couldn’t move another inch. Sometimes, actually most of the time it’s a whole lot easier to give up than to carry on fighting.

I’ve felt like that every morning these past few days, asking myself if I really have to get up. I suppose that’s one reason I don’t want to part ways with my current special interest. Because if I do, what reason would I have to get up in the mornings? Or to be more precise the afternoons these days, either way the point still stands. I’m worried about running out of reasons to make myself get out of bed. When of course the real question I should be asking is, why is it so hard to get out bed to begin with?

It really is a most tempting prospect, not to concern yourself with the outside world at all. Not to talk to other people, not knowing what’s going on, not even keeping up with football, nothing real at all. Nothing but the story of whatever game you happen to be playing. I wonder if I was truly happy during those three months and if so why. Is that the key to happiness, complete detachment from reality? Because making contact with reality means plenty to worry about and lots to be stressed out about. It can’t be a coincidence that the time I was the least stressed out is when I had nothing to do with the real world.

Only problem is I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of my current interest. I’m not sure I want to start over again, not now. But then I don’t really know if that’s true. I don’t know for sure if it’s because I would miss Freiburg, the Bundesliga in general, Jogi and Hansi, and Manuel Neuer of course. Or if it’s because I just don’t like change and once I’ve gotten locked into something it’s really hard to get out of.

One thing is for sure, I’m not feeling quite as optimistic as when I wrote the post mentioned above. The title of that post came from a book called “A Life too Short.”It’s about Robert Enke, a German goalkeeper who had depression and ended up committing suicide. Those words “don’t forget these days” were what was written on the last page of his journal. This is how I ended that post:

“Don’t forget the good things, the things that make you so happy is what I tell myself. One day is just that, one day. How you feel today will not be potentially how you feel tomorrow, or even an hour or a minute from now. I list all the good things there are, all the things that are important to me.  And try to remember all those little moments, all those wonderful little moments that came about in an otherwise terrible day.”

Right now it’s not easy to convince myself that there’s any truth in that. Right now all I can think is that those little moment aren’t enough. That everything which goes wrong overshadows all of it. I’m not quite sure what makes me happy right now. It feels like nothing can. I’ve been excited about Arsenal’s trip to the Allianz Arena ever since the draw was made, and even more so since the first leg of the tie. That game is tonight in fact and I got my wish as regards to what channel it’s on, in spite of that I’m having difficulty mustering up any real enthusiasm for it. I hope it doesn’t turn out like Sunday did. Then I woke up not really looking forward to the game, but I thought it was just because I was tired, that I would be happy once I’d woken up a bit more. It didn’t work out that way.

Earlier I was reading a discussion online about whether or not life is really worth the effort. One person made a good point in saying that the worst mistake they ever made was making their happiness reliant on another person or a relationship. Happiness should come from within, it shouldn’t be dependent on someone else or something else, on factors you can’t control. I especially should not let any part of my happiness be dependent in anyway on other people. Because it’s a sure fire way to being miserable. I get things wrong so much of the time that it’s the worst idea possible to be reliant in anyway on such a thing. So what should I allow to make me happy?

It seems as if none of the things that make me happy recently are real in any way. Football related videos, my Jogi and Hansi collection, my Bundesliga and die Mannschaft collection, football stickers and other random collectibles. Do they really make me happy? Are they enough? Does it matter that I seem to have no interest in living in the real world?

I should be asleep right now, in fact I’m supposed to be getting up in about four and half hours. But I can’t sleep, I feel sick with worry at knowing what’s coming. I don’t know which aspect of the day ahead worries me the most, which part it is that I’m most worked up about. If it’s getting dressed in outside clothes, spending time with someone else or if it’s just the idea of going out at all. But if I want to see Spectre than I have no choice about that part at least.

Instead of sleeping I’ve been reading Sherlock fan fiction, to be more specific autistic Sherlock stories. The past few months I’ve been beating myself up for not reading enough books, with my latest discovery I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. A lot of it makes for very addictive reading. One of them in particular was interesting, Sherlock is talking about how he sometimes he can’t figure Watson out and people in general, that people are too unpredictable. Watson comments that people have a habit of being unpredictable when you think they’re absolutely predictable.

Very wise words, and very helpful ones to me right now. Watson’s point is at the center of my latest social errors. The problem is that people acted in a way other than what I expected them to. Because when I chose my course of action I only saw it from my point of view, I thought I was seeing it from their point of view but I didn’t. It’s all logical to me, but then they aren’t me, they don’t know what I’m thinking. If I can’t deal with that, with people acting in a way other than what I expect than obviously any kind of social contact is out of the question. I’ve read a lot of books about autism, I have two shelves worth of them, but I never understood the relationship between autism and imagination. I didn’t understand why it was part of the diagnostic criteria, and I argued vehemently against that part of the criteria applying to me.  Now I get it, both in the context of social imagination and in a larger context. This is what it’s about, being able to have an idea of what someone else may be thinking, of how they may react to your actions or comments. It never occurred to me they would react in a way differently to what I had in mind, to how I thought they would. It really threw me when that did happen. And now it’s un-fixable. It’s not the fact that I can’t talk to them that gets to me the most, it’s the fact that I can’t correct my mistake. I hate being wrong, I really hate it. I know it’s probably not right that it’s my first concern rather than the former.

Winter is Coming

Winter is my favourite time of year, it’s when I come out of hiding and actually feel happy after the nightmare of summer. Not so this year, forget about getting over this summer I feel like I’m still getting over the one from the previous year. September has come and gone and I didn’t get a new special interest, January will be the next test. I should be pleased, that all of my favourite Germans are still in place. But I’m not, I feel sort of restless. It’s not that I’m tired of this interest, that I miss an old one or even that I want a new one. It’s more that I don’t want one at all. I don’t want to have one thing that I focus on to the exclusion of everything else, one thing that I build my entire universe around. I’m not upset that it causes problems with other people, but that’s only because I can do a perfectly fine job of that all by myself. I don’t need an obsession or a special interest of any kind to screw that up.

Though it’s not always my fault, but I end up blaming myself anyway which I know is totally illogical but then little of what I’m thinking or doing right now is logical. It’s not my fault that people don’t say what they mean or that they say one thing and then do another. But I still punish myself for not working it out, for getting it wrong. I guess I’m used to being the one who makes the mistakes. In two out of three of the problems however it is almost all my fault. It’s not the mistakes I made which make me so angry, it’s the fact that I still don’t get it. All this time spent thinking about it, all this obsessing over it and I still don’t know or understand what exactly I did wrong. Except for the obvious, that I shouldn’t be talking to other people at all. Not in real life and not online. And there are actually people right now who are encouraging me to make more friends, to try to meet new people. Why, what’s the point ? I’ll just ruin that too. I think I should stay well away from other people, at least anything beyond superficial conversation anyway.

I can’t help but wonder what their motives are in encouraging me to meet new people, the thought lurking at the back of my mind is that they want me to do that so I’ll spend less time with them. That probably doesn’t make me a good person to question their motives in that way, to think such things. Regardless it’s what I think. But then when it comes to working out why people do what they do I can’t even make sense of why I do half the stuff I do, so why should it be any easier to work other people out? It’s just so confusing, if you crossed a line why wouldn’t they tell you? Why wouldn’t they tell you that you said something you shouldn’t have?

It frustrates me that not only do I make the same stupid mistakes over and over again but that other people understand this better than I do. That they understand what I did better than I do myself. Not only that but they seem to have a better understanding of my feelings than I do. They knew before I did that something wasn’t right. That was the reason for their questions a few weeks ago. For asking how much sleep I’m getting, whether I’ve eaten or not and if I’m planning on getting dressed today. No doubt they’ll start asking them again now seeing as I’ve done so little. Especially seeing as I didn’t make my own lunch and that I haven’t gotten dressed, but then what’s the point in getting dressed when you get up so late. I didn’t know myself until Saturday night. I knew something wasn’t right when I gave serious thought to not getting up to see Freiburg’s game. I haven’t missed a single game since last November so missing one would be a big deal. I did get up, but only with half an hour to spare. But I couldn’t pay attention to it, I didn’t see most of the second half and even though it was just yesterday I can barely remember it.

It’s all very strange, I shouldn’t be feeling like this. There’s plenty of stuff to look forward to and I have plenty to do. Yet I don’t feel happy about any of it. Not even the international break which is coming up and should in theory be a real treat, not least because there is a game on my birthday. It’s just impossible to feel happy about anything. I guess everybody else is more than aware of how I feel, at least the question I was asked last night suggests they are. I asked someone to read my latest story and the only question they had is “why are you writing such sad stuff at the moment?”

Did they already know the answer and they just wanted to see how I would react and what I would say? I bet it scared them, that I would write about autism in such a way. I imagine it would have done given that we’ve never talked about self-hatred before and wanting to be normal. Because as far as they and everybody else knows I have no interest in being normal and have no such feelings. That isn’t true, I’ve just never talked about them. Before reading that they had no idea how angry I was about such things. Truth was before writing that chapter, I didn’t know I was that angry about it.

But I am. It makes me angrier than I could ever put into words. People online and in real life who say that it’s ok, it’s only mild autism” and you’re “high functioning.” That both those things means you don’t have real problems, or in some people’s eyes that you don’t really have autism either. Some people see you as just a quirky, socially awkward but really smart person. Because they don’t get to see all the work that goes into putting on that front, they only see you for a short amount of time. If they saw you the rest of the time they would think twice. And they would understand just why my mother is so overprotective and why she hates letting me go anywhere alone, why on some level she prefers me being stuck in my room playing Playstation because at least then she doesn’t have to worry about me. It’s strange that I’m the “high functioning” one and yet I’m the one she worries about the most.

It’s not that I want to be normal, I have no idea what normal is. I just don’t want to be me anymore. I don’t want to be the helpless one, the one who always screws up and the relies on other people to step in and fix my mistakes. I’m tired of being the one who’s afraid of everything. Of being the one that can write 150 page stories, that can lecture people to the point of boredom about my current special interest, could tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the Nazis and yet I can’t even tell someone I’m upset. And even if I could tell them I can’t let them comfort me. I can’t stand people touching me, even less so when I’m on edge like this. And I can’t deal with verbal reassurance either. Which means I can’t let anyone help me at all. Talking about this won’t help anyway, it won’t make me feel better and it won’t change anything. I’m sick to death of endless conversations about how I feel, of them trying to pry it out of me. It’s not like I need more people bothering me anyhow. Besides they’ll just think I’m depressed again. I don’t think so, I’m not depressed, I’m just tired. That’s always their answer. Maybe’s it’s not that, maybe it’s just a perfectly logical reaction. I can see what the problems are and I can see they’re unsolvable. I’m tired of having to deal with the same problems over and over again with no success. Thus I’m tired of it all, of having to do so. Like I said logical.

I know what the answer to that will be, that my thinking is faulty. That it’s the depression making me think this way. What if it’s not, what if what I’m thinking is correct and makes perfect sense?

Getting back to the topic of special interests, one thing  I’ll never forget is what one of my friends told me, that they admire my passion and the way I completely devote myself to a particular topic, even though they are often baffled why.

If they had to deal with me more often they wouldn’t admire it. If they spent more time with me they’d quickly get sick of it. I find it interesting that they think there’s any degree of choice involved, that they think I choose to devote myself to something. It doesn’t work that way, possessed would be a better way to put it. I say I want to be free of this obsession, but what then? What do I do then? I get a new one and the same thing happens all over again. But what if I didn’t have an obsession, what would I do then? Except I can’t choose not to have one, I always have one. A few weeks ago I was worried if other people would get sick of me. Well right now I’m sick of myself.  I’m sick of the fact that everything is such hard work. That I put all that effort into interacting with other people and still get it wrong anyway. Clearly it’s not worth it, I work hard at it and still screw up, so why should I bother? I can live with making mistakes but not with not knowing what I did wrong.

Not that it really matters because nothing is really real anyway. From one obsession to the next, from one kind of craziness to another. I quit this obsession and dismantle my collection, there’ll be another one to follow it. Though I have to admit I’m tempted to take it apart just to see what will happen. Because I have no other interests right now. I’m curious, if I don’t have an obsession and I can’t find a new one, does that mean I can finally quit? That I can stop pretending to be human at all? That I can stop pretending that I have any interest in life, in doing what I’m meant to do and what everyone wants me to do? That sounds like a very tempting prospect, to not have get up and go through this madness every day.

There are games to look forward to, I have films to watch, plenty of games to play and stories to write and all I can think is, it’s pointless. All of it is pointless. I don’t want to do anything. I keep dragging myself out of bed but I’m close to the point where I think why bother, it’s so late you may as well not bother. And so what if you miss a game, so what if you don’t show up, you’re just bringing forward the inevitable. Because they just like everyone else will discover what an insufferable idiot I really am. I’d be doing them a favour, this way they won’t have to find  a way to get rid of me.

I feel a little better having written this all down but no less enthusiastic about the prospect of getting up and doing all of this again tomorrow. Nor am I anymore enthusiastic about the prospect of spending time with anyone else but it’s too late to do anything about that now. I would say I should just get through it and try not to say anything stupid. However I don’t feel like doing that, I don’t feel like lying or pretending to be something I’m not. If I say yet one more stupid thing, so what? It’ll just mean one more person I’ve annoyed or alienated. And what difference would that really make? If I make them all go away then it’ll be one less thing to worry about, to be stressed out about. I would have eliminated the major source of my anxiety. You can’t say stupid things to people if you don’t talk to anyone.

I can’t stop thinking about a new show I started watching called River. Stellan Skarsgard plays a tormented police officer who’s dealing with the murder of his partner. He’s a very strange character in lots of ways, not least because he talks to his dead partner. Whether or not he’s suffering from some kind of mental illness or he’s seeing ghosts isn’t entirely clear. I suppose that’s for the viewer to make up their mind. Something he said stuck in my mind, “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, then you’re in bad company.”

I suppose he was talking about people not being comfortable in their own company, that if you can’t be alone with yourself then you don’t like yourself very much or aren’t happy with who you are. I think he may have meant something different, but I can’t quite explain it. One thing I do know, I’m not lonely when I’m by myself. I only feel lonely when I’m around other people or am thinking about other people. Because talking to other people or recognizing their existence is just a way of making me feel miserable. It’s just a reminder that I don’t really belong here, that I’m trying to be something I’m not. That it’s wrong that I have to do that. I’m fine until I have to talk to other people or confront reality in someway. Which of course means I’m not fine, because you can’t have any kind of life without doing either of those things.

But then who says I want one, who says I don’t want to keep hiding out in my room and pretending the rest of the world doesn’t exist? Because either way I’m not going to be happy. That’s not negative thinking, that’s not depression talking, that’s a fact. It’s just logic. Go out there and pretend to be something you’re not, make lots of mistakes and try and fail to fit in and you’ll be unhappy. Stay inside and think about what you could be doing, how you’d like to do something, to be a part of something, to feel connected with someone and you’ll still be unhappy. Either way it’s all a lie. I’m confused, I don’t know what anything means. I see the facts but I can’t make sense of them. On Sunday there was a segment in the pre-match show about Darmstadt player Marco Sailer, his girlfriend wore a t-shirt with this slogan “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not.”

It seems so simple doesn’t it, but life is rarely as simple as a slogan on a t-shirt. Things like that are easy to say but a quite a bit harder to actually believe. Especially when the few things that other people do like about you are actually things you hate about yourself.

The End of the Night/Home with Hansi

There it is, all over and done with, my social time for the month. All five hours of it. With that done and the international break over now it’s time for some sort of normality to resume. It’s back to the Bundesliga tomorrow night with Dortmund playing Mainz, Thomas Tuchel revisiting his former club. I hope it’ll be as entertaining as it was last year, though I hope Roman is not the one who makes it so. It was during the Mainz game last year that Dortmund conceded a very early goal, thanks to what can only be described as a comedy of errors on the part of Roman Weidenfeller and his defenders. Though of course he’s not the Roman in goal tomorrow night, that will be Roman Bürki and after the disaster at Bayern and how badly he played, I want everything to go perfect for him tomorrow night. He may not be a Freiburg player anymore, but I still want things to go well for him.  Freiburg don’t play until Sunday, they play host to Greuther Fürth. It is the month of Sunday’s for Freiburg, they play on that day for four weeks in a row. A fact I am most displeased about. I know I should be grateful that I get to see them play at all, which I am. It’s just the prospect of four early morning starts on a Sunday in a row is not at all appealing.

I did not of course come home with Hansi, or come home to be greeted by him, it’s the title of my next Jogi adventure which I came up with on the walk home. Even if I hadn’t enjoyed the evening (which I did) it would have been worth going out just to walk home in the dark and get that chance to think. I always come up with good ideas at night, all the more so on late night walks like that. I guess I’m not so much a creature of the night as a writer of the night.

I’m actually glad that because of the late hour there was in fact no-one to greet me upon my return. For as much as I enjoyed the evening, I’m glad it’s over and done with. That’s usually how I feel after any social time. This particular occasion has a bonus however, something which makes it extra special and that is being allowed to share my Jogi videos, and being allowed to talk about him and the team for an hour straight. Not only that but getting them to indulge in the wonderfulness that is the Löw highlights and getting to share the most sweetest video of all, the one that may just be one of the best ever additions to my collection. I think maybe some NTs aren’t as “normal” as they claim to be. For after a few Jogi videos not only do they share your excitement but they too are wanting to watch certain scenes over and over again. This is the video in question, the all so special one:

More important than that I finally got the opportunity to hear their thoughts on some of the stuff I’ve been writing lately. An interesting question they asked was whether or not learning German has had any effect on my understanding and use of grammar. I know this is a problem area for me. I can only think perhaps there has been some improvement in regards to the matter, hence their question. One important insight they did offer was that my writing is a lot more concise and less rambling which is a very big problem for me but one that’s getting better it seems. Perhaps not on here so much but then I don’t worry about it so much here. I don’t mind if my blog is a little random and rambling in places. I think it should be. After all a blog should reflect the person writing it, should it not?

To get back to the topic of my stories, there was one chapter in particular I wanted them to read, the chapter in question contains a character who does not feature in any other story, thus I’m not particularly acquainted with him. As a result writing dialogue for him, understanding how he thinks and his motivations was something of a challenge. Despite those difficulties I seem to have pulled it off, they had no criticisms to make of his character.

The most important part of the process is the fact that the story in question provoked an emoti0nal response from them. From what they said (that it was too sad to read anymore and they had to stop now) and the expression on their face I gather it was about to make them cry. How strange it is, I almost made someone cry with my words and for once it’s a good thing.

The film we saw was Sicario and apart from the brief entertainment of attempting to remember who Silvio was and where we’d seen him before it didn’t really register. In fact the final shot of the film sums it up for me. It ends with Silvio’s son at a football match, the kids are playing, he’s bearing down on goal when all of a sudden they stop. Gunfire is heard in the background and everyone there freezes. The gunfire is not near enough to put any of them in imminent danger but still they freeze. After a few seconds, the game resumes. Life goes on, the gunfire is just normal background noise. I guess that’s the message of the film, it’s their statement about the war on drugs. That as long as the violence is in someone else’s backyard, as long as it’s not their kids being killed, people won’t care. My point was, that’s what the film felt like, just background noise. Nothing particularly special bar the exception of a few stunning shots of the night-time desert sky. But it was no doubt a better option than seeing The Martian.

The film and indeed the whole evening has been a most welcome distraction. But now that I’m back home and am no longer hyped up from the sugar in the popcorn my mind is starting to return to the same obsessive loop I found myself in last night. Same topic, same problem, the all so troublesome question. I find myself unable to stop going over what I think I should say in response and working out any possible reactions and responses to that. I can’t let it go. Question is, if I do decide to act will that stop all of this? Or in doing so will I give myself something new to obsess over?

I’m more than likely overthinking all of this. Overthinking can be dangerous, especially so when you have a limited understanding of the subject in question. Sometimes I wonder if it’s better to be blunt with people. To preempt all of this, instead of waiting for the inevitable awkwardness to occur, perhaps I should just tell people straight. Though I suspect that would bring up a new set of problems, working out how to word such a thing. I suppose asking someone I trust to assist with that may be a useful idea to consider.

So as not to end on such a negative note, there is one positive about tonight. I’m not obsessing over any of the night’s events. Not what we talked about, how much I talked about Jogi and Hansi, if I made any social errors. None of it and that is a very good thing indeed. Nor am I questioning any of the comments they made about what they read. I have a tendency to do that, to wonder if someone is really telling me truth. Wondering if perhaps they think it’s not so good but they don’t want to tell me. It is wrong on my part in thinking that way, it’s as if I don’t trust the person in question.

It’s not as if I’ve suddenly woken up one day and realised how absurd all of my anxieties and fears are. It’s because of a very honest and frank conversation we had about lying. To be more precise lying and how it relates to autism. A friend of theirs told a story about an acquaintance and they wanted to know my thoughts on it. At first I found it curious that they didn’t ask me whether or not I was capable of lying. A few minutes into the conversation the reason for this was made clear. They didn’t ask because it turns out they are well aware that’s it’s close to impossible for me to lie. Not just in my words but in every other way too. Apparently I can’t hide how bored I am when someone talks about a topic I have no interest in, even if I care about the person in question.

The reason I found this so helpful is that I got part of answer to something which has been worrying me for a while. That I’m not a good enough friend, that I talk too much about my special interests and don’t listen enough in return. I have a basic understanding of how social interaction should work. I’ve read about it online, studied such things from TV and films and have read social skills programmes designed to assist autistic people with learning about such things. But all of it is theory. I have a real problem putting what I know into practice. I think maybe because I don’t really understand it all, it just doesn’t come naturally to me at all. Which is probably the reason for the several failures in my attempts to be “friendly.” I probably don’t have a friendly mode, I don’t come across well to other people, not initially. I’m most likely too strange and too intense. I can’t help it, I don’t how to be something other than what I really am.

My point is getting away from me now. What I meant to get at is they know I can’t pretend to be interested in things I have no interest in. They know I talk too much at times. They know how obsessively focused I can be. They are ok with all of this. It’s not a problem. If it was they wouldn’t be spending time with me. They certainly don’t have to, they are under no obligation to do so and they have plenty of other friends and opportunities for social interaction. I can trust them to tell me the truth. For now at least this knowledge is enough to prevent me from obsessing over the things I usually would right now.