The New Terminology And Diagnostic Criteria

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I suppose I began with autism. I 'm not sure if that 's what the DSM would call it now; the new terminology and diagnostic criteria might exclude me. It would once have been Asperger 's Syndrome if I had been born five years later to a wealthier family. Where and when I was raised, the nicest name for it was eccentric. I spent a lot of years on the outside of groups of friends, even nominally my own friends. Some people might have grown sullen, and I admit I had those moments, when I understood the least and hurt the most. I was fortunate to catch the eye of a much more outgoing young woman who nonetheless thrilled at the idea of a brooding anti-hero for a boyfriend. We were both sixteen, and I 'm told everyone is a little ridiculous around that age. It mattered, though, because everyone is still developing their individual identities around that age, so I was supple and plastic. It mattered because it was a normal age for first romance, so I began to feel normalized by the rite of passage. It mattered because she soothed my loneliness enough for my natural curiosity to reassert itself. Why did she desire the same behaviors, the same presentation of self, that usually collected something between bewilderment and rejection? What was different about her? What were other people drawn to, if this was her ideal? And if one archetype fit me, how many more were in use, letting people communicate their essential truths quickly enough to socialize, if not with all
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