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.

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.



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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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.


Monday 24 August 2009

Page Twenty-four


Almost out of my allowed time.                                                                                             

Where do I go to find anne nakis… into the past. Into the days and years before 12 March 2008. It’s hard to go there much without my own apartment; my behavior where I live now is scrutinized to some degree. My ability to find who I was is very limited. But that’s all I want, to live in the past where I was me. Follow a backward path into any day before that day in 2008.

The present isn’t mine, isn’t me. I no longer want a truce with the non-autistic world. I want to sink into the past where I was me, and sink into the Asperger’s, not wishing to try to “normalize” myself to any degree anymore. It didn’t work anyway. Whenever I was working my hardest to fit in, I was still way too off the mainstream. Still was bullied, made fun of, excluded, whatever.

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monday 10 august 2009

Page Fourteen

Greenfield (another hated place)                                 some of our chimes                                                                                                            

There was always so much music in my own life. My thoughts and memories wander, and they are starting now to wander over all the songs, all the compositions we listened to over the years together. They hurt enough when they’re there in my mind. I can’t bear to play our music (the little of it I have with me), or to turn on the radio shows we got music from. Our music, that of my friends and me, that of my own life, is 99% of it now as lost to me as those friends are.

My own world. It’s most of it been stolen from me now, but what little of my own world I can still make is beginning slowly to claim me, as it should. It’s very tough in my living situation to make my own world; I can only do it part-time. But my distaste for the world outside my door, for the way human beings conduct themselves, is greater than ever, my need to withdraw from it and make a world of my own even greater. But animals were always the largest, the most important part of my own world. The last 14 I had were torn from me all in one day, and that has changed, has darkened and bloodied any future relationship I might have with an animal of my own.

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Only the animals

Page Twelve

Anne Nakis… only animals loved her, needed her, valued her. That’s been true always. Not complaining. I feel very blessed by their

love and loyalty and trust. But I did always need one human, one of my own kind, to love and value and be with me. Could not get this among the human species.                                                               


to Animals

to the stolen ones


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


Wednesday 29 July 2009

  Page Ten


I’m here in Turners for the 2nd day in a row, doing my haunting, and being haunted in return. I need to live here again, and can’t find any way of doing it right away because of wait lists in subsidized places. I need to go to sleep and wake up in the town where I did so with animals for nearly 22 years. And for 33 years before Turners, I always lived with animals. I can’t erase the pain and emptiness of having a life-long choice taken from me. I had to make my own world. For decades one of my own worlds was one I made in my head, and all my life animals were another one of my own worlds, and books and music made up another. The older I got, especially after 40, the more acutely I realized that I couldn’t deal with worlds other than my own, and I didn’t want to anymore. It has nothing to do with being delusional: I’ve never heard voices or seen things that aren’t there or simply dreamed things up. I think it has to do with Asperger’s that has gotten more severe as I’ve aged and been subjected to more and more psychological warfare.

I’ve called the tree a peace tree. That’s not what it’s called in the catalog, but rather my own name for this tree on this post. Peace is something the denizens of this town would never let me and my animals have.

(artificial tree at

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Page Eight

Wed 15 July 2009       Turners Fails

I’ve always been an extreme questioner, a wonderer. I question everything, and I wonder about everything. It’s one of the things people haven’t liked about me over the years: Why do you have to question everything? Why do have to try to figure everything out? It’s the way my brain is, a brain that always wants to know the answer, even if I don’t understand why the answer should be what it is. This leads to more questioning and wondering. My brain’s been this way forever. I suppose if I were a sensible person, I would have tried sometime in my adult years to take my brain in hand, to discipline it, to tell it to shut up when it wondered about too many things and too many people. But I didn’t, I always just let my brain go where it wanted to go. Another failure, it seems. Another abnormality. Just another oddball thing of mine to make me so unappealing.

this mask, and others, are available from one of the things I used to collect in my own life was masks, but I had nothing as elaborate or expensive as this one. I circled it in the catalog: a dream for a someday that never came.


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