The joke is, “What comes between fear and sex?”
…and the answer is:
How about, “What comes between vier und sechs?”
Aha! Die Antwort: Fünf.
Wird es jetzt sehr klar?
Ok, so this is a joke to be told, not written. But this is a blog.
So, what does this ‘joke’ have to do with a blog that is concerned with autism and siblings of autism? That’s a fair question. (Actually I think it’s funny and should be classified as a joke, without the ‘scare quotes’, but some may not agree.)
Growing up with an autistic older brother and a chaotic family dynamic wasn’t conducive to developing social skills. Let me refine that thought: Growing up in my family didn’t do much for me in the social skills department. I touched on this in a previous post. Without going into details, I got married in my mid-thirties, but started dating in earnest after my divorce. (Hey J__, still friends, right?)
Cutting to the chase
So I put this personal ad in New York Magazine. There is a lot more to the personal ad saga, but I won’t digress here.
Lo and behold, I got a reply from Hamburg, Germany! We corresponded for a little while and I prepared for my international blind date. I was preoccupied with journaling and photography at the time, so my preparations were all documented in a 9X12, hard covered book. I wrote down serial numbers, included photos of my lenses, the two 35mm camera bodies and two Polaroid cameras. The Polaroids were for pictures I could tape into my journal right away, without waiting for film development. I won’t tell you how many rolls of film I took with me, because it is just too embarrassing. Suffice it to say that I just came across a couple of unexposed rolls of that batch, yesterday.
Being in a foreign country, where everything was fresh and novel, put me in journaling heaven. I spent on average 1-2 hours a night, in my hotel, writing. I also had another book in which I recorded my dreams.
Oh yes, my date
M__ was really nice. We went to a lot of different places. We saw an opera in Berlin; art and history museums including an entire museum dedicated to Edvard Munch; the marzipan capital of the world (Lubek); a church where Buxtehude, J.S. Bach’s teacher, was the organist; Christmasschmuck (no kidding) in Bremen; and lots of interesting sights. Since this was a couple of years after the Berlin Wall fell, we took a tour bus through East Berlin and she showed me some of the landmarks that she remembered.
It was an interesting trip. M__ and I still send the occasional e-mail, but nothing romantic happened.
Book of Funf
This is a picture of my Book of Funf.
No longer a 9X12 journal, but a multi-layered, Polaroid-included, panoramic-laden, dream-overlaid document of my time overseas. Did I reveal any autistic traits in my journey? Aside from an obsessive compulsiveness to capture every moment, thought, picture and dream, I think not.