You’re like an object to me. And that’s a compliment.


I just had a friend visit for a few days. I hadn’t seen her in a couple years. We’ve known each other since childhood. And one quality she has that nobody else I know does, is registering to me as almost like an object.

When she’s in the room with me, I do not feel intruded upon, even the tiny slight amount that most human contact entails. She is so familiar and has been through so much with me that nothing I can do will particularly shock her. Touch from her (usually in the form of getting my head scritched) is not uncomfortable or patronizing or awkward or any of the other things it usually is. She can read over my shoulder while I type things, which normally drives me nuts when other people do it. And she does not exhaust me to anywhere near the extent anyone else does.

I’ve told her a few times that it’s like being in a room with a rock. And in this context that’s a compliment. It means I’m as close to absolutely comfortable with her presence as I can be with another person. And that’s cool. Interestingly, we both find it easier to relate to each other offline than online.

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

6 responses »

  1. I think I know what you mean. My husband is the only person apart from my children who can stand or sit next to me without me feeling uncomfortable. I normally have a personal space radius of about three feet, but with him I feel very comfortable.

  2. It is great to feel so comfortable with someone and that you can just pick-up where you left off after years of not seeing each other in person. I wonder what it is about a certain person that makes her seem like an object to you. LOL. (I understand that it is a good thing.) A friendship like this is one of life’s treasures.

  3. Hmmmm…………I’ll have to think about this…….if anyone has made me feel that way that I can remember…………I know that someone has made my altie feel that way for sure………….

    I would love to have my head scritched……….reading that made me crave it even more……

    Thanks for giving me yet another interesting thing to think about.


  4. There have always been a handful of people in my life who have approached this sort of status in a few ways, but there were always other ways or circumstances in which their continued presence would soon become horribly burdensome to me. It took a very long time for me to understand enough about myself that I could stop blaming either them or myself for this variable incompatibility. There are still those few whose presence I can tolerate far more than most, but in recent years there has been one surprising change. There is now one person in whose presence I could easily spend (almost) all of my time, and with whom I feel (almost) none of the otherwise ubiquitous social tensions that invariably send me searching desperately for a rock to crawl under.

    That person is my mother.

    Most people, I’m sure, would consider this to be too unremarkable and/or commonplace to mention, but I think this acknowledgment would surprise her even more than it does me. Our relationship and shared past has hardly been idyllic. It is only by finally learning about “the spectrum,” and how it defines my relationship with society-at-large, that I have discovered a level of trust in her that is not “merely intellectual” (at the risk of courting an illusory distinction) but deeply emotional as well.

    Frankly, it’s so unfamiliar that it seems strange to consider, even now.

  5. Heh, a good friend and roommate of mine used to say that she didn’t like people, or was uncomfortable around people. The highest compliment she could pay someone was that they weren’t a person.

    She didn’t even have autism–but I knew what she meant, and I know what you mean. And it’s cool to have a friend like that. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s