ashes and flames

Page One hundred twenty-two


monday 25 february 2013

hello, small, stalwart clutch of readers…

I come, sorry to say, with no good news.

I am supposed to be in mourning now. I am in mourning, but not so much for the matter people (even you) expect  me to be grieving for.

less than twelve hours ago, I learned that one of my siblings is dead, and has been dead for some days. the youngest of us. and all will agree that I’m supposed to be mourning this loss. please remember that I am not average, or even normal, as people are constantly telling me. please also remember that I have asperger’s, which produces in me an outlook skewed off from the common neurotypical.

phone call by phone call I learned new pieces. the first phone call only told me death, as the date of death was not yet known. said date seems to have been tuesday 19 february. I wonder will that info change.

…(so many years I’ve been wandering a-stagger among the ugly, damaging, high-flown dramas created by my blood relations. every time I decide we are all too old for anymore such nightmares to be engendered, voilá… someone makes a new one. or, more rarely, the stinking randomness of living makes one)

since I’m a dogged devotee of truth, be it ugly, pretty or betwixt, I might as well cut to the chase and say that I no longer feel any love for this sibling. not for years. not in the psychological and behavioral configuration that this sibling adopted fifteen or so years ago. and phone call by call, I was given more reasons last night to resent and rage at this individual, now no longer alive.

this person had an alcohol problem for many years. alcohol costs money in large quantities, and is bad for the health. there was also a long-standing gambling issue, which costs money. and gourmandising on only the best restaurant food (another lifelong pursuit). there was apparently yet another finance-draining addiction that I never knew about, and that I’m too disgusted and ashamed to name. and since this person was in possession of our family home, they had the power to squander money on addictions, get very sick and unable to work, fail to keep up mortgage and make more than one refinancing arrangement, and fail to keep up payments, and lose our family home. this happened ten months ago, but I was only told last night. they never would have told me if the sibling had lived, because they are a right gaggle of cowards, and always have been. they knew my pain and my anger would be great, and they were too sissified to face it. this also rankles, as I’ve had to put up with temper and insanity and lies and all manner of other ugliness from blood relations all my days, but they can’t put up with my grief, or anger, or anything else.

my father’s house, which he wanted to have stay in the family, the very boards and bricks of which are imbued with his decades of labor at them, is gone to booze, bets, belly, and even more shameful addiction number three. my father’s house, which was taken away from me and my daughter in favor of this other sibling, which I desperately wanted to see stay in the family, is gone to the selfish, hedonistic obsessions of a liar and con-artist. and this person, in the days when we still spoke, was quite proud of being able to con people. and that’s only reason number one that I do not grieve the death overmuch.

on the other hand, I grieve greatly and in fury the loss of our family home, my dad’s house. purchased in 1958 by a young married couple with a very sick child (me, of course) who had to be got away from the dampness of the lakeside house we had, and foreclosed on because of an addict in 2012. I grieve. I rage. I deplore.

if there is a sibling to mourn, it is a long-lost configuration that existed for no more than thirty or so years… out of the fifty-five years and three months that this person lived.

… to assign the nightmares, the flames of drama that yield the ashes that yield yet another set of flames until, I guess, the moment of my own death… to assign the newest nightmares to their categories: the loss of the house one of the myriad high, ugly dramas created in my life by one of my blood relations; the death itself, and the fact that it was not discovered for some five days, might belong to the beastly randomness of living category. it might.

I look now at what I know about this person’s entire life (and I don’t know all of it, to be sure), and over and over again I think on a phone conversation between us in the mid-90’s. this person had the unmitigated nerve (always had this) to hold forth with a speech to the effect that they had always expected me, with my “talent and brains and education,” to do something really significant with my life, to succeed greatly, to be the “flagship” of the nakis family. and what a “disappointment” it was that I had got sick and ended up on disability (the implication was: such a failure). but I did not fail, financially or otherwise, because of booze and bets and belly (and the nameless thing). I failed because of physical illness, and I think, because of asperger’s, because of never fitting in anywhere. and the other thing? the other thing is that my siblings have easily as much quantifiable IQ as do I, and an equal share of talent to mine, if in some different directions. so why did this troll lay it on me alone to be the great success, to be the family’s “flagship?” why wasn’t it equally lain on the other siblings themselves? why was I yet again singled out for the blame and the shame? I compare our two failed lives and state: my failures were made in good faith, in spite of many strenuous efforts, and I have striven to live as clean, decent and honorable a life as possible (according to my personal definitions of such things), even if weird, even if asperger-oddball. I can’t say the same for the lost one, the proud con artist.

if you think me horrible for these emotions, lack of other emotions, for telling such a type of truth, then that’s what you think.



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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2013 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

de profundis in extremis

wednesday 24 march 2012

destruction day. family-stealing day. the day of the phony police chief. that’s what today is. the anniversary thereof, that is.

these are some of the names, but by no means all, that I have for the second wednesday in march of 2008, the worst day of my life, bar none. and now here it is again: the second wednesday in march.

have I mentioned, in my hundreds of pages of internet writing, that I loathe the human species? I’m very sure I have — at least once or twice. as a person with Asperger’s, I  never had a great fondness for humankind to begin with, since way back in toddlerhood. but since this day four years ago, I can say that extreme trauma has exacerbated my natural autistic tendencies not to understand or particularly admire homo sapiens to a pinnacle of disgust, mistrust, and resentment. these are facts. if post-modern, new-age drifty readers don’t want to read words of this kind of truth, then they’d best get out of this blog right now.

what names would you give such a day, if such a day should happen to you? a day on which you lost your way of life as you had always known it, and on which every single being that you loved was torn from you… what names would you call it? and if this great disaster had not been brought about by a fire, a flood or an earthquake, but rather by the viciousness and malice aforethought of other human beings, what might you feel?

maybe the answers to those questions wouldn’t contain any let’s-stay-positive-and-let’s-forgive new-age fluff. or maybe they would. if your answers would contain such drivel, then you should definitely get out of this blog. I have little tolerance or mercy for such attitudes on an ordinary day, but I reach absolute zero today: family-stealing day; destruction day.


read…   Extemporaneana…   Being toward death

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

rarefied air

Page One hundred nine

Wednesday 3 November 2010

I’m going to go on about love here. After a short diversion.

My one and only human friend just recently gave me a quote from Temple Grandin, that very famous person with Asperger’s. It’s a quote of hers I hadn’t encountered before, spoken to describe how she feels among neurotypical people: Like an anthropologist on Mars. This is a time when I have to say a very loud DITTO to the words of Ms. Grandin. That’s exactly how I feel among neurotypicals. Anthropologist on Mars, mermaid on the land, and whatever other metaphors of alienation you want to construct. Absolutely as if I am among creatures who are backward, whose movements and words and behaviors are mostly illogical to me, and coarse, and incomprehensible. Lacking sensitivity and sensibility and reasoned thinking. Thrown in among creatures whose words and actions constantly hurt and offend and exclude me.

All of this being true, human love has been a thing with much darkness in it for me, much insecurity and uncertainty and pain. Love as we’d like it to be, as I need it to be, and as many writers and poets have described it down the centuries… that kind of love I have experienced with humans only in certain moments on certain days. To experience it on a daily basis, over years, I always had to turn to animals. And likewise to give love in the way that it absolutely should be given is only possible for me with animals.

Before I go any further, I’m going to warn my one and only human friend to stop reading right now. She doesn’t like sentimentality, or maudlin feelings, or probably a number of other states I might evoke in this post. And since I don’t want her to reach the gagging state, I’m telling her to leave off right here.

The rarefied air I’m talking about in the title is the air you breathe when you breathe it with someone you love, who loves you in return. The air of which I have so very little since my animals were stolen from me on March 12 of 2008. That air that is like no other, at least for me, at least in the 57 years I’ve been breathing on this planet.

I can’t describe this air to you. If you know it, you do, and if you don’t, I can’t help you. It’s the air produced by sharing time and space and breathing in a state of mutual love. It’s the air that makes you feel and do and say corny things, things you might not want all kinds of peripheral people to hear or see. Because that’s one of the things that real, sincere love does to us. It affects us in a place so fundamental and unsophisticated that we are thrown into the realm of the sentimental and the maudlin and the corny. So what. The two greatest lines Billy Joel ever wrote, to my mind, are these: I don’t care what consequence it brings. I have been a fool for lesser things. A fancier way of saying: I love you. I will be corny and vulnerable for that love. So what. It’s worth it.

The air you breathe sleeping in the presence of someone you love, walking with someone you love, acting silly with someone you love. That air that feels like yours alone, and the rest of the world is shut out of it. Moments that make whatever crap happens in one’s day more bearable.

This is air that materialized in my first 55 years infinitely more often in relationships with animals than with people. I always had multiple animals, and therefore multiple sources of love, multiple places in which to put love. Having now just the one animal is not at all the same, and not nearly enough. I lie down at night waiting to feel it, but there is very little there.

(part of the book Neverending Solitaire)

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.



physics and psyches

Page Ninety-three

Tuesday 17 August 2010               Turners, of course

The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.                                                         

~~  chinese, but who?                                                                                   





Ah, but one of the many contrary and infuriating and selfish traits of homo sapiens is that great numbers of them are willing to bask in one’s bright lights, even to suck them dry if given the chance, but none are willing to engage with the dark-dark shadows that accompany bright-bright lights. Take but no give. Etcetera, ad nauseam.

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animals versus homo sapiens

Page Ninety


                                  The human being is not the lord of beings,
                                  but the shepherd of Being.
                                           ~~~~~  martin heidegger


An exercise in compare and contrast on Thursday 5 August 2010, in the human cesspool commonly known as Turners Falls.

It’s been leveled at me more than once in my life, by more than one human and always in a scornful, jealous tone of voice:   You care more about animals than people.   Now to me, the person with Asperger’s, the person who has been psychologically bullied by neurotypicals in more ways and more times than I can count, the person who has only ever felt safe with animals, this statement seems to me, first, ridiculously obvious and logical, and second, filthy mean in its derisive tone of voice, and third, utterly bloody childish in its jealousy. So… a systematic look at why animals are better for me than humans, and always have been.

One:   You do something for an animal, and however small or medium or large that thing is, it is appreciated, and that appreciation is immediately obvious. In my own experience, and my own is the only kind I’m discussing here, this has very rarely been true with humans. Whatever appreciation there might have been was usually small, and usually very short-lived.


Two:   Animals scratch and bite and snarl, whereas in general, most humans do not. At least, not literally. Humans have different, more insidious ways of launching their attacks. But animals only attack in these ways (at least in the 55 years I lived with and observed them) when they are sick or injured or frightened. They are not doing it because they hate you, or envy you, or want to bully and control you, or desire to take something of yours away from you. When the animal attacks, you can suffer the injury and forgive them, because there was no malice in the act of the type that humans practice. An attacking animal doesn’t wish to see you destroyed in any way, it just wants to keep you off when it is in an extreme emotional state. I would rather be bitten by an animal once a week than assaulted ever again by the type of viciousness that the human species practices.

Three:   Animals live what they feel, they don’t simply flap their gums about it, as humans are fond of doing. Every day, you experience their love, their loyalty, their appreciation, and also whatever fear or anger might come over them. You feel these things subliminally, in the energy that emanates from them, you see them in their body language, and hear them in their non-human vocalizations. You’re seldom in doubt about what an animal is feeling, and what their intentions are towards you, and how they regard you in general. There are exceptions to this in some animals, but that’s fairly rare. You are never in doubt about their need for you, and the fact that they are grateful when the needs are met.

But humans? For an Aspie like me, neurotypical talk is a mine-field. They don’t speak directly, not in any way that I can define as direct. Their body language and facial expressions are very often saying something different than the words issuing from their pie-holes are saying. And their loyalty, or affection, or fondness can be meanly and manipulatively withdrawn at any second, and you may never, ever be told any truth about why it was withdrawn.

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Page Eighty-nine

Wednesday 4 August 2010           Turners casualty

If you think that there’s only so much other people can take away from you… or that there’s only so much a below-the-poverty-line disability check can deprive you of… or that there’s only so much Asperger’s syndrome and a sick immune system can ruin for a person…   I’d ask you to think again, and think again more deeply…

Asperger’s symtoms have done a great deal over 57 years to prevent my being loved, or liked, or included, or accepted, or valued — in many different situations and with many different kinds of neurotypical people. This has kept me from having a support system, a set of humans on whom I can rely, whom I know for certain care today and will still care tomorrow. Not to mention the number of direct, vicious attacks my oddness has stimulated in many people who like to bully and control what they don’t like or understand. And my immune system has prevented me from birth from working or playing or pursuing my interests to the same level that a healthy person can. Even in my working years, I could never work 40 or 60 hours a week, or more (as other single mothers I knew could) in order to have a downpayment and get that house.

The income, currently less than $1000 a month in today’s economy, with today’s prices, isn’t even high enough for me to have qualified for Habitat for Humanity, and other low-income home-buying programs. I checked into these things in 2003, when we had a lying, alcoholic landlord with an even sneakier woman-pal. I wanted my animals and me to be safe from the whims and underhandedness and plain meanness of anymore psychologically screwed up landlords in Turners Falls. I wanted the personal freedom to live my own way on my own property. Forget it.

And what other people will take? They have taken everything. Everything that mattered. Another mentally ill landlady took my apartment in an illegal eviction. The DMH allowed me to be put on the streets, and made arrangements behind my back to have my animals scattered to various places, and later euthanized. No rental unit of my own for over two years. No animals, the center of my existence. No love, no companionship, no sharing, no joy. 

And without the animals… no more radio shows that I enjoyed, or reading print books, or drawing, or the huge variety of music that we listened to, because I’m no longer able to do these things without the family I had around me. No more walking in nature with my cats and dogs, something that was one of the biggest pleasures in my deliberately quiet, reclusive life.

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neurotypical love

Page Seventy

monday 26 april 2010                     turners turning grey

“Love isn’t worth anything if the actions don’t match the words.”

                                                                       ~~~~  val mcDermid

This quote came from a detective novel, of all places, but it’s very similar in wording to a conviction that I’ve had for years, and means the same thing: love isn’t just words, it’s actions too. And if the actions aren’t there to back up the words, then the words are hollow sound vibrations.

I’ve written in other, earlier posts on this subject too. The subject of love as I’ve experienced it from neurotypical (non-autistic) people. There are always many words, and even tears, and even yelling, about love. But the actions that in my strange, autistically-wired mind speak of love, are very rarely forthcoming from humans. Many words and actions that in my strange mind are not evidence of love show up too. And yet I’m supposed to believe in their love. I’m not supposed to call it a fairy tale, or a performance, or a temporary glow they had that left them. I’m  not supposed to speak disparagingly of their love; I’m only doing this to  hurt them.

And that’s total crap. Because when I speak in these ways about their love it’s because that’s precisely how I perceive it, how I feel it: something dicey that will abuse me when it wants to, abandon me when it wants to,  will be fickle and flimsy and only occasionally there.

the Asperger’s page of my website

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Again my world

Page Thirty-four

Saturday 24 October 2009     Greenfield

When I got into my late thirties, I began, with every passing year, to want my own world more and more. I began to grow more and more weary of trying to fit, to make something good happen in the non-autistic world.

It’s still the same as it ever was. People want me to be what they want me to be and feel what they want me to feel and do what they want me to do, and to recover from the traumas of the last 19 months right now. The more they pressure me in these ways, the more I retreat, the more desperately I want only my own world. Most of my own world, and the most important parts of it, have been taken away. But there are still a few elements left of my realm that I can use to recede into, to allow myself to be autistic and all the other unacceptable things I am.

And it’s not as easy as saying, Find other autistic people. We vary tremendously, and when I do a little blog-reading on Wrongplanet, I find people I dislike as much as I dislike any neurotypical. As Asperger’s agencies are fond of saying, “when you’ve met one person with Asperger’s, you’ve met one person with Asperger’s.” As I said, we vary tremendously.

Yesterday I got to walk into one of our former yards, for the first time since I moved out of it in 1997. I was able to do this because I was visiting a woman who lives in the upstairs of the house where we used to live in the downstairs. It was so sad to be in that yard again and in that building, and at the same time so comforting. Visiting a past chapter of my own life and my own world. Almost nothing that’s happened since March of 2008 is in any meaningful way my own.

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Again the windmill

Page Twenty-eight

Thursday 10 Sept 2009…     Turners Fails

Well, as of yesterday, the human friendship seems to be back on, at least for the time being. Jesus, the usual neurotypical roller-coaster. And yet for the days it was off, I retreated so far into myself, into my autistic self, that I’m not sure I want to come out. A large part of me wants to stay where I was.

So what is the advantage of withdrawing inside and staying there? For me? No more seeking that certain purity in humans and suffering when I don’t find it. Staying in the certainty of where I know for sure that purity exists: my memories of animals, and music, and snow and ice and trees and the sky. I can’t participate in these things very much anymore: it’s far too painful without my animals. But I have my memories of all the years of participation in these mysteries, these purities, these joys. On my journals and in my photos and inside me, I have the memories of the only kind of world I can truly inhabit.

Zoë-Jane, six years dead today; a candle in my heart for you.

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tuesday 8 september 2009

Page Twenty-six


It appears my one human friendship may be over. My only animal friendship too, as this friend has a dog, the only dog I will get near. I still have some few wild animals as friends.

I think I’m the one who decided this friendship may be over, though I’m not absolutely sure of that. Maybe decisions were made on the other side too.

But this isn’t unusual. A lifetime of wandering through humans, and really, in the end, not being able to take it. Looking for the wrong things in all this human-wandering. Looking for a kind of purity that animals have, and water, and trees, and the sky, and certain music. Looking for a kind of purity that I know full well after 56 years doesn’t exist in humans, and yet I go on looking for it, tilting at windmills. Just call me Quixote.

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.


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