When I was three years old, the fruity broth of ideas in my head finally fermented enough to make me drunk.
As most of you who’ve been drunk will know; better out than in. Until then, “out” had meant viciously attacking an innocent piece of paper (or any available surface really) with crayons, textas, pencils, chalk, paint, and occasionally charcoal stealthily acquired from our fireplace.
But this was different; somehow, in the primordial ooze, the ideas had strung themselves together into an orderly chain. (When I say orderly, I mean in the same way that a desk or a bedroom that hasn’t been cleaned for a month, or your average man-cave, is orderly. That is, that the owner can see a semblance of order in it even if nobody else can) It was a story, and a story I didn’t feel I could properly regurgitate using only pictures.
The problem was, I hadn’t learned to write yet . So I accosted my mother, and got her to write down the story next to my illustrations as I told it.
And just like that, I was hooked; a literary alcoholic for life, vomiting the intoxicating ideas that collected in my head onto an increasingly sophisticated set of canvases, from scrap paper, to most recently the annoyingly user unfriendly Microsoft Word 2007.
I couldn’t stop; still can’t. A few weeks without writing is all it takes for the idea soup to go rotten and poison me with grumpiness, fatigue, and the kind of empty meaninglessness I expect that public payphones and VHS tapes feel.
Vomiting the stardust of exploded thoughts into the world was an outlet that kept me sane. But by itself, it was like masturbation; sure it was fun, but it was lacking something. A connection.
As someone with autism, I’ve always felt as though the world I experience is different to the one other people experience. It’s a very lonely feeling.
Then I began to wonder; what if these stories, these distilled extracts of my tangled brain, could convey to other people the way I thought and felt? What if I could share my soul with others, and perhaps discover that I wasn’t so alien after all?