Thursday, July 29, 2010

Speech at the Richmond office

A few weeks ago, Lita had indicated after my speech at the Hayward office that I was invited to give a speech at the CIWP office in Richmond -- the CIWP to which I went.

Today we were taking Ken home early, so when I brought up the meeting, La Netta said she didn't think I was coming. She then called the office, just to make sure, and the office asked whether I was prepared. La Netta said yes, so the office said I would indeed give my speech today.

La Netta dropped Snodgrass and Ken home early, then nobody was at Robin's house, so the office said to just take Robin along to the meeting. We then got a call saying Eula was there. We agreed one of the coaches would drop home Robin while the other would stay at the meeting with me.

When the meeting began, both La Netta and Rosa were present. La Netta went into the restroom, and I went in as well, as we prepared for the meeting to begin.

While I was waiting for La Netta to come out, I heard a knock on the door. "La Netta?", I asked.

"Lita", said Lita.

I opened it, and Lita was standing there. "La Netta's going to come out soon, but I need to know, do I need to get ried of the froks?"

"Yes, although I'm probably going to look down", I said.

Lita walked away and I locked the door again. I porged off the word "froks". would later learn that it was Tiffany was brought up the point that the plastic silverware would bother me. Then La Netta knocked. "Ready?", she asked.

I walked out into the main office.

"We're ready for James", said Lita.

I opened my speech: "Imagine if you could taste chocolate, onions or manicotti just by listening to a conversation or reading an article . . ."

I described how words had tastes, and that some words I needed to get out of my system. I mentioned how "mxss" tasted like oatmeal, how "ice xxxxx" tasted like ice xxxxx, how "scxxt" tasted like carrots, and how "whxxps" tasted like whipped cream.

Then I mentioned purging, and described what went on when I purged. I described how "drxp" made me purge 90 times.

"90 times?", said Tiffany.

"Yes", I said. "And the short form of 'bicycle' makes me pick my navel."

"What does 'pajamdras' make you do?", asked Tiffany.

"Well, when people say it with a 'jahm', to rhyme with 'llamas', it's just a simple purge down there and one up here. When people say it with a 'jaam', to rhyme with 'Alabama's', I have to purge down there and up here chanting the 'pajaamdras' pronunciation, then I have to purge down there and up here again chanting the 'pajahmdras' pronunciation."

I introduced the word "logaesthesia". Then I went into the objects in my life, how they had tastes (sunglasses tasted like lemon drops, black electronics tasted like chocolate), and how some of them made me purge.

I went into the effects of logaesthesia on my life. I started with TV, movies, chatrooms and radio, then added something I hadn't mentioned in my Hayward speech. I delved into the way I avoided coming out of my room because the television was usually on or someone would be playing rap. I'll come out if I need to go to the bathroom, or microwave dinner, or take food wrappers out, or leave for program, or wash my hands, but I avoided leaving the comfort of my white sound machine as much as possible.

I then got into closing my eyes, then asking other people what they said.

Next, I added another topic I hadn't addressed in my first speech: spitting. I couldn't swallow until I had purged off all my purge words, so I had learned to turn off the automatic swallowing most humans are used to. That way, I wouldn't swallow before I had finished purging. Without the periodic swallowing most people do without thinking, I accumulated a lot of saliva. And I needed to spit it out. "I'm sure most people here know that I have to spit, right?", I asked.

"Right", the audience said.

I then covered getting a job, driving and people like Emanuel saying the words deliberately. That summed up that topic.

I announced that the next major topic of my speech would be something I hadn't discussed at the Hayward office: social conventions. When I was growing up, adults would tell me that my purging was "inappropriate" or "socially unacceptable", or that "we don't know that in our society". They referred to it as "putting [my] hands in [my] pants", a name for it I didn't like, probably because it was exonymous. When I was 11, my mother once said to me, "Look around and see if you see anyone over the age of 3 putting his hands in his pants!" I was 11 then, and I still remember it at 30. Back then I would do it in public, but eventually, the purging evolved so that it got so deep down I needed to unbutton my pants to do it (lest the button pop up), and therefore I couldn't do it in public anymore. Being on the wrong side of the norm against purging left me with a lifelong hatred for social conventions.

I related an incident that happened in 2005, shortly after I joined CIWP. I was in the Internet room alone and had unbuttoned my pants to purge off something I saw online and had finished purging. Someone came in the room. I had my shirt over my pants so nobody would see they were unbuttoned. I tried to button my pants with my hands over my shirt. A staff asked, "Do you have a problem with my pants?", and I lied and said no. The staff then said, "Remember the rules of social behavior".

"And I was all, 'I was buttoning my pants, you moron!'," I said.

The audience gasped.

Just then, Lita announced that she would be passing around a list of purge words I had made, in xx form, with example sentences.

As she passed them out, I mentioned how I had become a Berkeley type with long hair and a beard -- I first grew my beard when I was 17, I stated.

"Tell us about your band!", said Tiffany.

"Oh yes," I said. "In high school, I formed a band called Red Cilantro. We put together such songs as 'Vague Resonations'. We played alternative. I also wrote a rock musical called Angst: A Camera Into the Life of the Bittersweet Generation, about a school year in the life of six teens. I wrote the lyrics and libretto, while my friend John Hensle, who is 17 and lives in Indiana, is setting my songs to music."

Someone asked what the word "libretto" meant. I explained that it meant the dialogue in a musical.

I then got into the five common misconceptions that I had addressed at the Hayward speech: that I was masturbating, that loud noise or bright lights bothered me, that the words that made me purge were curse words, that I wanted to purge, and that I was nosy. While I was discussing how I didn't mind loudness, I related the incident in which we were in Target and Jolene suddenly started screaming, "I'M HUNGRY!". The coach took Jolene out, and asked me if I was embarrassed by Jolene, and I said I wasn't embarrassed by her screaming. Tiffany said my Jolene anecdote was cute.

"How much longer are you going to be?", Lita asked me.

"About five minutes", I said.

"OK."

I then got into ways to accommodate logaesthesia: fitting radio stations, small groups, restrooms that would allow a person to stay in there as long as he (or she!) needs.

I closed by discussing the importance of getting a coach who will get to know a client and his or her words and objects. I mentioned the way La Netta has been my coach since April 11, 2005, and the things she does for me.

"Thank you for your speech", Lita said.

The whole audience clapped.

La Netta took me into the Internet room for the rest of the meeting.

Tiffany came in. "James, you were wonderful!", said Tiffany.

"Thank you, Tiffany!", I said. I opened my arms out.

"You deserve a hug", she said. "See you tomorrow night!"

Tiffany ane I hugged. Then she left the room.

La Netta came in. She asked if I needed my headphones, because there was going to be talking at the rest of the meeting. I said yes.

La Netta brought my headphones in a little while later. I listened to them as the meeting went on. But did I hear some "pxke around"s outside?

At the end of the meeting, La Netta came back in. "The meeting's over?", I asked.

"Yes, it is", she said.

"Did anyone say the P & A words?"

"No, they didn't."

"Great."

La Netta then took Emanuel and me to the van so Rosa could drive us home. "Emanuel's got his bxke with him", said La Netta.

I decided I would pick my navel once Rosa dropped us home.

Eventually, Rosa got us home. As we stepped outside, Rosa asked, "Whose bxkes are those, James?"

"Whose books are those?"

"Bxkes. Sorry! Bicycles."

I looked and saw a red bicycle and a pink bicycle. "I don't know who has a pink bicycle", I said. "Dunno."

I got in the house and picked my navel several times.

Staying on 3/4

This morning I was dropped off at the Richmond Mental Health Clinic at 9:20 because Stan called in. As we stepped out of the van, my coach and I walked towards Stan's van and saw Stan come out.

I spent some time in the waiting room with Stan before I was called in by Dr. Luburic.

The last time, Dr. Luburic had allowed me to have a one-milligram pill of Risperdal as a sort of "SWAT team" for the specific times I was attacking myself. I told him that I was doing better because now when I get angry I can just get a pill out.

Dr. Luburic then asked Stan how he saw me as doing. Stan said I seemed to still be biting and hitting myself.

Dr. Luburic asked me how often I take the pill. I said I've taken it about eight times since we picked up the first pills at the beginning of this month.

"So about once a week?", Dr. Luburic asked.

"About twice a week", I said.

"Are you finding that the pills take the edge off your anger?"

"I am."

I asked whether we could take four milligrams in the a.m. as well as four in the p.m. now. Dr. Luburic then said that we could stay at three milligrams in the a.m., four milligrams in the p.m. "If you were asking for the one-milligram, say, five times a week, then I'd consider changing to four and four", he said.

Dr. Luburic also asked me whether I had taken the Benadryl. I explained to her that I was only given it once, by a staff who didn't understand that it was only for the times I had side effects.

Dr. Luburic, Stan and I said our good-byes, and we headed out the door and back to CIWP.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Will I ever take my pill?

La Netta was not at program today. Instead, I was picked up by Rosa and Darnell.

The two of them discussed moving, when Rosa said, "Did you hear that James wants to move to Berkeley?"

"Really?", said Darnell.

The conversation soon turned to Berkeley's recent legalization of marijuana, in defiance of state and federal law. I joined in the conversation.

It turned out Oakland had legalized marijuana too. "Oakland was the first city to legalize marijuana", said Darnell.

"I thought Denver was the first", I said.

"Well, besides Denver. The first on this side of the country."

We discussed the sales of marijuana and its taxation. "They shxp it to your door", said Darnell.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

The conversation soon turned to a niece (or other relative?) of Rosa, Jaelene. Jaelene was a girl, who wanted to wear tank tops and wear very boy-like clothes. Jaelene was apparently transgendered, as she once told her mother she didn't feel like a little girl, she felt like a little boy. Rosa said that if it were her daughter, she'd make her wear girl clothes, while Darnell said he'd be fine with whatever gender identity his daughter had.

The conversation lasted so long that Darnell and Rosa ate into their Target time. By the time they realized what time it was, they were almost through with what would have been our trip to Target.

We went straight to Grocery Outlet. I picked out two Langer's juices at the juice aisle. I was carrying them both, when Rosa spotted Tampico.

The Tampico was $1.49 for a gallon -- even cheaper than the $2.99 Langer's. I picked a Tampico up and put one of my Langer's down.

I carried them to the check-out. After I paid, I heard the cashier address a fellow employee as "sweetxe".

"Eeeeeewwwww", I said.

We carried our bags over to the van. As we drove off, Darnell discussed a fellow and his car. "He had a little bxtty car", said Darnell.

"Rrrrrrr!", I growled.

"It was a big guy in a little bxtty car."

"Rrrrrrrr!"

"Did someone say a word?"

"You said the B-word."

"I said 'big'."

"No, I mean when you said, 'little B-word car'."

"I said 'little car'."

When we got to Miller's Knots, I went in the restroom. I purged off "sweetxe". I picked my navel for "shxp": "shadolip, shadolip". And I got the two "bxtty"s.

Just after I got back into the car, Darnell was discussing Emonte, another client at CIWP. Before I could ask for my pill, Darnell said, "And he's got the ketchup, drxpping it down his shirt . . ."

"Eeeeewwwwwww!", I said.

"What's wrong?", asked Darnell.

"You said the D-word!"

"Down?"

"No! The word that rhymes with 'slipping'!"

"Oh. Well, go on back to the restroom."

I went to the restroom again and had to chant "dradolipping" 90 times, all the while tasting ketchup. It could have been worse -- ketchup isn't that bad a taste.

Finally, I came back out and sat down in my seat with my sleep mask on. Everything was fine . . . until it came time to change Snodgrass. The idea was that while they were changing him, they were going to sweep out the van. "You shouldn't have made a mxss", said Rosa.

"Eeeewwwwwww!", I said.

"Go to the restroom", said Rosa. "I'll go in after you."

I went in and purged one last time for that day. Then Rosa changed Snodgrass.

At 1:30, we left. We dropped Snodgrass off. Upon reaching Ken's house, I got out to spit. With my mouth clear and no words to purge off, I asked for my pill.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The blechiest juice

On Tuesday, we were in Berkeley, parked in front of Grocery Outlet, when we got a page saying Ken was at the office to be picked up by us.

La Netta asked me whether I wanted to go in Grocery Outlet "real quick", and I replied in the affirmative.

La Netta took me in. She had me hold onto the cart. La Netta asked whether I wanted to buy some fruit, and I said, "I'll pass on the fruit".

"You want to look at some lunch meat?", she asked.

"I'll pass on the lunch meat", I replied.

"You're really saving your money for those piroskis [sic]", she said.

"And the juice", I said.

"Juice too?"

"Yes."

We stopped at the frozen foods, and I picked out five piroshkis, four for me and one for Jolene.

Soon we were at the juices.

I surveyed over the many juices they had avaolable. I was looking for cheap gallons of juice. I couldn't find large Hawaiian ponches, nor Tampicos, nor Langer's gallons of strawberry passionfruit.

Then I checked out the price tag on some two-quart bottles of fruit juice. These came from Apple and Eve, and mixed banana, strawberry and apple juices. Nice!

"Let me check the expiration dates on these", said La Netta. "Ooh, this one says July 19. That was yesterday. When are you going to drink it?"

"This week", I said.

"Oh, that should work."

"Could you read the back of the bottle to make sure it doesn't have the T-word?"

"Sure." La Netta read the back, then the front. "I don't see it", she said.

"OK, let me read", I said. Just to make sure.

I read the first paragraph about their juices on the back of the bottle. No "txsty".

I then proceeded to read the second paragraph. Two "taste"s, but still no "txsty".

Just one paragraph left. And a short one: ". . . the txstiest juices . . ."

"Blechhh!", I said.

"What's wrong?", asked La Netta.

I pointed to it.

"Oh," she said. "I can take the wrapper off if you want, so you won't see it."

"I can't drink it if it has the T-word on it", I told her.

"I can take it off for you so it won't have it on it anymore."

"Don't bother", I told La Netta. "It's already contaminated."

"Oh."

"La Netta, you told me it didn't have the T-word on it."

"I'm sorry", she said. "I overlooked it."

I then continued hunting. I saw the word "juice" several times. I found a gallon of Langer's apple juice and a gallon of Langer's pomegranate tea, each for $3.99. I put them each in the cart and was ready to go.

My purchase came out to over $13. Then La Netta paid for all her things.

We then drove back to the CIWP office to pick up Ken. As we parked there, La Netta asked, "You want to go to the restroom here?"

"Yes, I do", I replied.

"I'm going to go in and see if they have any froks here", said Rosa. "I need a frok."

I walked in and purged off all the "ice"s in the "juice"s, all the "I see"s and "I said"s, all the "nice"s. Then I purged off "txstiest".

Next, I did the two "frok"s and I was out of there.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The three "ice xxxxx"s

This morning I left the house without Stan having dropped by to hand me my money. La Netta suggested I go back into my group home and dial the number to ask Stan for money. I ran back in, tried to remember the number, finally remembered it, eialed it, and got Stan's answering machine. I left a message there.

But we were going to Alameda today. We would not be able to go back to the office to pick up money if we were in Alameda.

As La Netta drove to the office, ioping Stan had dropped something off, the van received a call from the office. The office said that Pia was at home to give Emanuel and me our money.

We drove back home and picked it up, then La Netta went to the bank. Finally we were in Alameda.

Even though it wasn't formally on our schedule, we decided to program at Trader Joe's. Just Rosa and I went in.

Rosa stood in line to buy some coffee. Then she took me to the frozen foods. "To your left is the I-word", she said.

I looked at the frozen foods, and not finding anything I wanted, started looking at the chocolate nearby. I heard a mother saying "ice xxxxx" to her children.

"Blechhh!", I said.

"What?", asked Rosa.

"Did you hear the mother saying the I-word to her children?"

"I didn't."

I looked at chocolates. I saw the pralines, and decided that I would buy them if I didn't find anything better to their left. I surveyed everything to the left of the pralines, then went back to the pralines themselves. Then, below the pralines, was a Trader Joe's advertisement reading: "Pecan pralines -- just like in ice xxxxx!"

"Blechhh!", I said.

I settled for some chocolate-covered edamame, then went with Rosa back to the coffee section so she could get some coffee for La Netta. While I was there, I heard a third person saying "ice xxxxx".

"Blechhh!", I said.

"What's wrong?", asked Rosa.

"Did you ihear that I-word?"

"No, I didn't."

I thought I might use the restroom before I left. But first, we were going to pay for our goodies.

I placed my edamame on the counter. It came out to $3.something. "How are you?", the guy at the counter asked.

"It's gotten off on a bad start today", I replied. "I heard the I-word three times today."

"What's the I-word?", he asked.

"I can't repeat it", I said.

"But it's there. Ha, sounds like something out of Monty Python. Have you ever seen that movie?"

"What movie?", asked Rosa.

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

"My brother watches that one", I said. "The one with the killer rabbit?"

"That's the movie!"

"Sir?"

"Yes?"

"Could you put this in a plastic bag?"

"Sure."

Rosa and I left, me with my plastic bag in my hand. All I had on my mind was getting out of the store.

Soon we were back at the van. We drove over to Old Navy. "Is there a restroom in Old Navy?", asked Rosa.

"They don't have one", replied La Netta.

"TJ Maxx has one. I'll just go over to TJ Maxx."

"I'd like to go to the bathroom", I said.

"I'm going to be in there for like three minutes", said Rosa. "I don't want to be waiting outside while you're spending fifteen minutes in there."

"Oh-h-h!", I whined.

So Rosa went in while I was left in the van.

"What's wrong?", asked La Netta.

"I heard two I-words and I saw an I-word in Trader Joe's."

"Oh", said La Netta sympathetically.

Soon Rosa came back out and our group headed into Old Navy.

I held onto La Netta's arm with my eyes closed so I didn't see pajamdras.

"I can't hold it in!", I told La Netta.

"Why didn't you go at Trader Joe's?", asked La Netta.

"I don't think Rosa would have let me." The real reason, of course, was that I had other things on my mind and forgot to ask.

A few minutes later . . . "I can't hold it in!"

Finally, La Netta asked for a restroom for Emanuel, and the employee at Old Navy told us their restroom was in the back. La Netta and I walked over with Emanuel.

I purged off some "scream"s, a "cream", some "price"s, a "nice", an "I said", some spellings-out of I-C-E-C-R . . . I had thought to myself . . . and finally the I-word!

I washed my hands and came out at last.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Three lesser-known words

On Thursday, we passed a motorcycle on our way to Pinole Valley Park, and Snodgrass said, "Bxke! Bxke! My bxke!"

Once we got to the park, I went inside the outhouse and picked my navel.

I came out. Rosa and La Netta did a lot of talking while we sat there, some of us eating lunches. Rosa said -- was it "shxpped" or "siaped"?

"Did you say 'shaped', Rosa?", I asked.

"Shxpped", said Rosa.

I growled. I wanted to go to the restroom, but after what happened Wednesday, I was afraid La Netta was going to grill me on why I was going. So I stayed put.

Then Rosa drove around to another part of the park. The topic of conversation changed.

La Netta was talking about a dog. "Keep it snxg", she said. She said the word "snxg" again shortly afterwards.

Soon I got restless. Now I had not one but two words to purge off.

I took my sleep mask off and undid my seatbelt. La Netta could see me starting to climb out of the van. "What's up, James?", asked La Netta.

"I'm going to the restroom", I said.

"Why?", she asked.

"I heard the SH-word."

"Snxg?", asked La Netta.

"No, that's the SN-word. I said the SH-word."

"Wait a minute. Is 'snxg' a word?"

"Yes."

"Snxg?"

"Yes."

"What does that word make you do?"

"Well, it gives me a sort of fuzzy sensation."

"What's the other word? Getting back to that"

"The SH-word."

"What word is that?"

"Rhymes with 'slipping'."

"Who said that word?"

"Rosa said it, and I growled. Did you hear me growl?"

"Did I? Really?", asked Rosa.

"Yes. I asked you if you said 'shaped', and you said no, you said the SH-word."

"I didn't even hear you asking Rosa that question", said La Netta. "Well, we're not near a restroom now."

I asked if Snodgrass would be changed today, eager to erive near the restrooms. Snodgrass didn't seem to want it.

We drove off without stopping by another restroom, and as we drove home Snodgrass said, "Look! My bxke!" as another motorcycle passed by.

"That bicycle is not yours, Shawn!", I retorted.

"Bxke! Bxke! My bxke! Looooooooooook! Bxke!" Shawn wouldn't stop.

We dropped Baby Shawn home. We dropped Ken home. Then at last I was home.

I did the "snxg"s first, then the two "shxpped"s, then finally all the "bxke"s.

The TW-word

On Wednesday, Rosa stopped by the Hostess bakery after our visit to Grocery Outlet. She went in, while the rest of us stayed in the van.

When Rosa came out, she said it was a choice between a raspberry Zinger and some other flavor Zinger. "It's sort of like a fried Twxnkxe", she said.

"Echh", I gagged.

Shortly we were at Davis Park. I stepped out of the van and into the restroom. I had already gone to the bathroom at Grocery Outlet. Almost as soon as I stepped into the restroom, La Netta called my name.

I stepped right back out and answered, "Yes?"

"What's wrong?", asked La Netta.

"I heard the TW-word."

"From who?"

"From Rosa. She said it was sort of like a fried TW-word."

"Twxnkxe?"

"Yes."

"Is 'Twxnkxe' a word?"

"Yes. You didn't know that?"

"I didn't know just the word bothered you."

I went into the restroom and began to gag.

"Hey, James?", said La Netta.

"Yes, La Netta?", I asked.

"What does that word make you do?"

"It's just a regular purge", I said.

"What does 'regular' mean?"

"At my groin."

"So you don't make any sounds?"

"All the purge words include sounds."

"What did you say?"

"All the purge words include sounds."

"That man who stepped out of the bathroom looked very offended."

"I haven't even started yet. He must have heard me gagging."

"What?"

"I said he must have heard me gagging."

As I gagged, I chanted, "Twadolinkadolie, adolye, adolee. Wadolink, twadolinkadolee, adolye, adolee."

It went on and on.

Finally I finished purging and stopped gagging.

"La Netta", I said, "Do you remember the first time we went to Hostess?

"The first time we went to Hostess?", she asked. "When was that?"

"It was less than a month ago. I asked, 'But what if I see the TW-words in the store?', and you told said, 'I'll keep you away form that shelf to make sure you don't see any'."

"We never went in."

"Don't you remember saying that?"

"I never said that."

"You asked me", said Rosa. "And you said the word."

"You said the word? Really? I didn't hear you. Must have missed it."

"No, you said the word."

"I referred to it as the TW-word."

"Really? I remembered you saying the word."

"Well, that word gives me a big gag reflex. It's like the C-word; it gets me gagging. That must have been why the man in the restroom had an offended look on his face."

"Oh", said La Netta.

Evil Emanuel

Tuesday morning, we picked up Emanuel. He was already in the van at the time they got to my house.

When we got to the office, I urinated then came back out. Once I was back in the van, La Netta got out to use the restroom and Rosa stayed. Rosa was trying to climb into the middle row of the van.

"Emanuel, move your seat up. Please!", said Rosa. "I need to sit down."

"You can get in", said Emanuel.

"No, I can't", said Rosa.

They continued like this for a few more turns until Rosa said, "Scxxt it back."

"Rrrrrr!", I growled.

I purged inside the office. When I came out, we went to Trader Joe's.

Rosa went inside Trader Joe's with me. I told her I was looking for frozen food. When I didn't find anything good in the frozen food section, I said we could look eor dates.

Rosa didn't find anything in the fruit section until she turned to the left and saw some dates. Rosa handed them to me. Medjool dates, the box read.

I bought it, then we climbed back into the van and drove around to Barnes & Noble.

Emanuel didn't want to get out of the van once we got there. Rosa and La Netta explained to him that someone was going to have to be with him. Finally we got him ot go in with us.

La Netta looked at some magazines, while Emanuel was offered a chair to sit down in by the Barnes & Noble employees.

"What section would you like to look at?", asked La Netta.

"I want to go to the new age section", I said.

"OK", said La Netta. As she took me there, she saw Emanuel.

Rosa told Emanuel his chair was blocking the patrons' way. Emanuel said they had given him a chair to sit down in.

"You're in the way", said Rosa.

"But they told me I could sit here", said Emanuel.

"You're in the way."

"They told me I could sit here."

La Netta got me to new age. I looked at a book about reincarnation. I delved into the chapter on whether people choose whom they will be reincarnated as.

"James, are you ready?", asked La Netta. "We're only halfway through our time, but we have to leave. Emanuel's acting up."

"I'm not ready", I said.

"I know, but with Emanuel, I don't want them to tell us we can't come back."

"What's Emanuel doing?"

"He's walking around with his shoes off."

"I'm not ready to go."

"We may be able to come back in, but first we have to get Emanuel out and see if he'll sign himself out."

"Really, La Netta?"

"I said 'may be'."

"Oh."

"Do you want them to tell you you can't come back?"

"No."

"Then let's leave."

We rounded up Emanuel and took him outside before he finally signed out of CIWP. Then La Netta saw drool on Emanuel.

Soon we were in the van, not to return to Barnes & Noble for the rest of the day.

"You know what, La Netta?", I asked.

"What?", asked La Netta.

"I think Emanuel's sole mission in life is to screw people over."

"Well, that sounds right, because Emanuel gets a real kick out of watching other people's reactions to him."

I think I've diagnosed the real problem with Emanuel. Unlike me, who get severely hurt when someone criticizes my behavior, Emanuel will laugh.

The flap of a butterfly's wings

On Monday morning, I put my headphones on after I got into the van because the rap station was playing.

I made out enough words to tell that the DJ's were now talking. I took them off to make sure it wasn't traffic. Instead they were interviewing some guy with a really long tongue.

"I found it out when I was licking an ice xxxxx cone . . .", he started.

"Blechhh!", I said.

La Netta was the only one driving. I learned from her dialogue that Rosa's name had been Wite-outed when she looked at the who-picks-up-whom sheets that morning, and an office staff had lied to her, saying it was on the sheet that Darnell was supposed to go to her. La Netta saw with her own eyes that she was the only one listed to drive her group and pick up her five clients.

When I got to the office, I purged off the word "ice xxxxx" in the office, then came back out.

Darnell joined our van, and referred to the situation as a "mxss".

"Eeeewww!", I said.

"Sorry, James", said Darnell. I had to go back into the office restroom.

We stopped at the Dollar Tree, where I purchased three Stars & Stripes sodas and one cranberry-apple juice.

After everyone had shopped for his or her needs, we headed towards the check-out line.

While we were in line, I heard someone with a voice like Urdell's say something that sounded like "ice xxxxx".

"Did I hear the I-word?", I asked La Netta.

"I think you did", she replied.

Shortly afterwards, I heard a "gxtcha" and growled.

Shortly we left, and packed all our goodies in the trunk.

We then got to Miller's Knots. I purged off "ice xxxxx", then did "gxtcha".

When I came out, La Netta was alone at a table, watching several clients.

"Don't you just hate liars?", asked La Netta.

"Yeah", I said. "Did you hear someone at the park telling a lie?"

"No, it was just the staff at the office."

"Oh, with the mix-up thing?"

"Yes. If you mix it up, that's fine, but just tell me sorry. You don't have to lie about it and say Darnell's name was there if his name wasn't there."

She chatted with some other disabled clients from other day programs. When she finished I turned her attention back to me.

"Did you see that butterfly, La Netta?", I asked.

"There was a butterfly?", she said.

"Yes. Right . . . here." I pointed.

"I missed it."

"It was blue!"

"Oh . . . Sierra found a butterfly that couldn't fly."

"Did somebody touch the scales on its wings?"

"A butterfly has scales? Really?"

"Yes. Butterflies and moths belong to the order Lepidoptera, which comes from the Greek roots for 'scale' and 'wings'. A butterfly's wings are covered with scales, and if you touch them, scales rub off of their wings. And then a butterfly can't fly."

"I'll have to tell that to Sierra."

"End-of-the-week hug?", I asked.

"Sure", said La Netta. She had been in too much pain to hug me on Friday, so she hugged me then and there.

I spent the rest of the day without hearing any more purge words. It was nice to spend such a time with La Netta. I had happy memories of my chat with my favorite coach as I drank my Stars & Stripes that day.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A double trip

This morning, the television was doing news when I came out. It was on the weather, so I decided to leave as fast as I could before they did traffic.

Plugging my ears, I ran into the van when gospel music was playing. I set my bag down in the back seat and got my seatbelt on.

"Good morning, James!", La Netta said.

"Good morning, La Netta!", I replied.

Shawn saw a motorcycle on the way to the office. "Looooook!", he said. "My bxke! My bxke!"

Once we got to the office, La Netta asked me, "Do you need to go to the restroom?"

"I do", I replied. "Were there any purge words in the gospel songs?"

"There were none. I thought you needed to go because of the things . . . uh, um . . ."

"Snodgrass said?"

"Yeah."

"I do."

So I went into tie restroom, picked my navel, emptied my bladder and came out. Just as I was getting back into the van and had climbed over Robin and Snodgrass, Kay said, "Ken left a mxss back here!"

"Eeee-ewwww!", I said. I was just getting ready to sit down and rest!

"Oh! Sorry, James!"

It was back to the restroom for me.

I felt the oatmeal coming out as I purged off "mxss". It came out like an avalanche of oats pouring out of a door. Eventually it was all out, and I could wash my hands.

When I came back out, I could rest for real.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A clean outhouse

When I got into the van this morning, the radio was on. La Netta turned it off and said good morning to me.

"Good morning, La Netta", I said. "What was on the radio?"

"Nothing that you don't like", La Netta replied.

Soon La Netta told me she was about to turn the radio back on. I got my CD player out, turned it on, stuck the headphones over my ears and turned the volume all the way up. I put my sunglasses in my red bag.

Did I hear Rosa saying "pajxmxs" while I had my headphones on. I lowered them and asked, "Did Rosa say the P-word?"

"No, I didn't", said Rosa. "I thought you had your headphones on."

"I do, but --" The van stopped. "Ohhhhhh, stupid stoplight!"

When the van moved again, I said, "I have my headphones on, but I can still hear the contours of your words even with the volume all the way up."

"You need a better pair of headphones", said La Netta. "We're not speaking really loud."

All the way to the office, I kept my sleep mask and heaephones on. Then, when we stopped, I lowered my headphones and asked, "Is the radio still on?"

"It's on, but it's down low", said La Netta. She turned it up. "See?" Then she turned it off altogether. "But now ot's off."

We spent some time in the office, where I lay on the couch.

Our next stop was Macy's or some other clothing store. As we parked in front of it and wheeled Snodgrass out in his wheelchair, I heard him say, "Bxxxxxxxke!"

"You don't even see one!", said La Netta.

"There is one, over there", said Rosa. "A motorcycle."

"Oh," said La Netta.

La Netta and I walked together all the way through.

"Do they have any pajamdras in this store?", I asked La Netta.

"Not on this floor", she said. "They have them upstairs."

After about an hour, we came out and Snodgrass squealed, "Bxke!" again. "Bxke! Bxke! Bxke!"

We were parked in a drive-through when La Netta asked me, "What are you thinking about, James? What's wrong?"

"What's wrong?", I asked.

"Yeah", said La Netta.

I was just about to answer when I noticed she was carrying a dollar bill, back side facing me.

"Oh my God! Is that a pyramid on that dollar bill?"

La Netta folded the dollar bill lengthwise. "Yes, it is."

I passed on buying lunch and soon found myself at Pinole Valley Park.

"Are that cobvebs in that outhouse?", I asked.

"I don't think so", said La Netta.

I walked up to the outhouse. I tried opening the door with my sleeve a few times. Finally, I held onto the hole in the metal piece and it opened.

When I was in there, I looked around for cobwxbs. None! No dipsers! It even had liquid soap.

I rubble-cleared some /ai/ sounds. Next, I did the exe on the pyramid: "adolye, adolye, adolye". I kept picking at my groin and getting that one-eyed pyramid to come up. When I was done, I was bleeding. Then I picked my navel several times.

"Is the outhouse clean?", La Netta asked me.

"Yes, it is", I said.

"Does . . . oh!" La Netta laughed. "I was about to ask you, 'Does it smell'?" But then La Netta remembered I was anosmic.

As we drove home, we discussed what we had dreamt last night. "I dreamt that I was eating dinner with my mother and sister", I said. "And one of them asked me when I was going to have children. I said, 'That's something for straight people to do'. And then there was an awkward silence. Then my father came in and asked why there was silence. My mother or sister told him that something awkward was said. And then I woke up."

Rosa dreamt that her husband was a DJ. They were living in an artist's loft. Her husband had been invited to appear in Li'l Wayne's concert. And her kids were dancing along. Rosa herself was a dancer in his show, but couldn't recall what she was wearing.

And La Netta couldn't remember her dream.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Working against myself

While I was riding to Davis Park with Rosa and Kay today, the two coaches were discussing cooking.

"Not at all txsty", said Kay.

"Blechhh!", I said.

"Txsty?", asked Kay.

"Blechhh! That's a word!"

"Oh-h-h! You're going to have to make a list of all the words for me."

Caught your txsty exe, I thought, to the tune of "Superman High".

Soon thereafter, we landed at Davis Park.

Mr. Txstee, I thought to myself.

As I got out of the van a whole herd of kids passed by, all talking. Did one of them say "txsty"?

"Did those kids say the T-word?", I asked, and the response was no.

Since I had thought the word to myself as I heard them say it, I had to do a "tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, adolice cradoleam" ritual.

Txsty ice xxxxx, I thought to myself, and had to purge those two words off.

Did I hear "ice xxxxx cone" outside? I buttoned up and came outside to ask, and got a negative response. I walked back in and unbuttoned my pants again. I thought mearc cie to myself and did one thrust, chanting, "adolice cradoleam", for thinking the word to myself as I had thought I heard it.

Then I embarked on the other two "txsty"s I had thought to myself. As I was purging, I thought Mr. Txstee, Mr. Txstee, Mr. Txstee, Mr. Txstee, Heeeeey, Mr. Txstee!, to the tune of the Macarena. I had to do each of those five words.

While I was purging them off, I thought four "Mr. Txstees" to myself in Macarena style again. Would this ever end?

Finally, I got all the "txsty"s except the two I had actually heard out loud. Then I did some "adolice, adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam" rubble-clearing to get rid of all the "ice"s. I heard Rosa and Kay talking about sour cream so I did a few "cradoleam, adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam"s too.

Then I did the first "txsty": "tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty". Then I repeated for the second one.

Then, with the first "txsty", I did "tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty; tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty, tadolasty". I repeated with the second "txsty".

Finally, a "tadolasty" down there and a "tadolasty" coming up. A "tadolasty" down there and a "tadolasty" coming up. An "adolice cradoleam" down there and an "adolice cradoleam" coming up. An "adolice cradoleam" down there and an "adolice cradoleam" coming up.

I was done!

Sushi's my favorite, n-n-napnin!

As I stepped out of the house Tuesday morning, I heard Santina say, "I've got half a mxss in this house."

"Eeewwwwww!", I said.

I stepped into the van and greeted La Netta after my three-day week-end.

La Netta chatted with Rosa on our drive. ". . . Where the children can ride their bxkes around", said La Netta.

They talked in front of their site until I got an opening to speak. "Will we be going to a restroom here?", I asked.

"Why do you need to go?", La Netta asked.

"Two things. The second thing . . . you talked about the children riding their bicycles around."

"I don't remember saying that."

"And the first thing . . . did you hear me saying, 'Eeewwwwww' as I stepped out of the house?"

"No, I didn't hear that."

"Santina said she had half an M-word in her house, and I went, 'Eeewwwwww!'"

"Well, we're at Miller's Knots, so there's a bathroom right here."

"Really? I thought we were in front of Rosa's house."

I took off my sleep mask and walked to the restroom. There I purged off "mxss", and then picked my navel.

I came out, and La Netta gave me hand sanitizer. I then went into Trader Joe's and bought citrus-flavored spice drops and quiche.

"James, do you want to go in with me?", La Netta asked after she pulled around.

"Where are we?", I asked.

"We're in front of Watergate Market."

"OK, I'll go in."

As we walked towards the store, I saw people eating at a table outside. One of them was holding up something white.

"Have they got plastic silverware?", I asked.

"Yes", said La Netta. "Did you see it?"

"I did. Is that a spoon, or is it the F-word?"

"It's the F-word."

La Netta looked at the salads and showed me the sushi as she was picking a salad out. A box of sushi with abalone and many other types of seafood looked particularly appetizing.

"Do you want to get that?", La Netta asked.

"It's awfully expensive", I said. "$7.06."

"I think that's just the date. See?"

La Netta looked, but she couldn't find the price on the sushi I wanted. I selected the sushi with orange rice, eight pieces. It cost $4.something.

We took the highway, then we drove to the office.

After a while, I realized we were at the office and I told La Netta I needed to use the bathroom, to which she gave me permission.

I spent a long time getting that frok out of me. La Netta knocked and asked if I was almost done.

"Not quite", I said.

"What happened?", she asked.

"Remember? In front of Watergate Market?"

"Oh."

I finally finished and used the toilet. Then I washed my hands and came out to join La Netta.

When I got home I finally ate that sushi. I had eaten it all before I knew it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

La Netta does my hair

Thursday morning, Emanuel requested to have his favorite radio station on. I got into the van to hear a song on KMEL. As soon as it was over, the DJ's started talking about summer and one of them said "chocolate ice xxxxx".

"Blechhh!", I said.

La Netta turned the radio off.

Next, La Netta and Emanuel had a conversation about bicycles and motorcycles.

"I can see you on one of those little bxkes", said La Netta.

"I want a dirt bxke", said Emanuel.

They said "bxke" a total of . . . six times?

When we got to the office, I purged off "ice xxxxx" in the restroom. I had to let Emanuel in twice. There were "nice"s and "my son"s so I had to do a lot of rubble-clearing. I also spelled the word out to myself in my head.

La Netta knocked and asked if I wanted my hair done, and whether I was going to finish purging soon.

"It will be a while", I said.

"Why is it taking so long?", asked La Netta.

"There have been a lot of words since the I-word."

"What words did you hear?"

"I'll explain to you when I'm done purging."

"OK."

I finally finished with the chocolate ice xxxxx. The "bxke"s were a snap compared to that.

La Netta then came in and jambed the door open. I put my sunglasses on the toilet paper dispenser, then La Netta took my towel out of my red bag and hung my red bag on the door handle. I took off my shirt, and La Netta hung that on the handle too.

La Netta did my hair with Herbal Essence shampoo. Then she washed it all out, and dried my hair.

Emanuel saw and he was envious. I spent some time hanging outside while La Netta washed Emanuel's hair and cleaned his nails out. Then she gave me my shampoo back.

La Netta commented afterwards on how my hair looked great. She said it didn't usually shine because it was usually dirty.

La Netta paid for two burritos for lunch for me, aeter that great speech I had deliovered Wednesday.

Then the two of us hugged for my clean hair at the end of the day, followed by another hug for my Tuesday shower and an end-of-the-week hug.

My big day

Wednesday, June 30, the end of the month, was the day I would go over to the Hayward CIWP office and speak to an audience. I was excited, just itching to see what kind of reception I would get.

The radio was on and Emanuel was yelling while La Netta was speaking. Finally La Netta cornered Emanuel over his meaningless rant, and Emanuel said, "I'm the Devil on an ice xxxxx cone!"

"Blechhh!", I said.

"I'm the Devil on an ice xxxxx cone!"

"Blechhh!"

"Emanuel!", said La Netta. "You knew James didn't like that word!"

"What? I'm not the Devil?", said Emanuel. "Fine. I'm NOT the Devil. I can get out here and . . ." Emanuel signed himself out.

"James", said La Netta, "I think you should give them your email address, so they can email you their questions. If you let them ask the questions one of them is going to say a word."

We went to the office where I purged off Emanuel's "ice xxxxx"s. Then we went about our day, skipping the library and going to Grocery Outlet.

I saw three boxes next to each other labeled ICE XXXXX CONES. "Blechhh!", I said.

I picked out Butterball turkey ham and two piroshkis. Then I told La Netta I needed juice. "Look for Tampico or Hawaiian punch", I told her. I couldn't look at the word "juice" now that I had seen "ice xxxxx cones", so I needed somebody else to be my eyes.

La Netta didn't see either. Then, covering up my eyes, I found some cranberry juice, one gallon full, so I wouldn't go thirsty.

"How are you feeling about the meeting today?", La Netta asked me.

"It's going to be great!", I said. But I could tell from La Netta's voice that she did not feel the same way about it.

After I paid for my purchases, we drove back to the office. "Are we going to Davis Park now?", I asked.

"Davis Park?", said La Netta. "I'm driving you to the Hayward office now!" The group split, with Rosa taking Snodgrass, Ken and Robin and La Netta keeping me.

"Is this going to be my last chance to spit in a long while?", I asked.

"Yep", said La Netta.

I got out and released a full stream of saliva.

"James, do you want to relieve your bladder?", asked La Netta.

"I do", I said.

"Let's go in together."

The radio was set to KBLX when La Netta turned the van off. "Will they be doing traffic when you turn it back on?", I asked.

"They shouldn't be", said La Netta.

La Netta went into the women's room and I went into the men's. I purged off all the "ice xxxxx", and the ice xxxxx pictures, then I urinated. Finally, I washed my hands.

La Netta knocked on the door, and I turned off the fan and came out.

We entered our van and La Netta turned on the engine. KBLX was in the middle of a song.

Finally, we reached the Hayward office after a long erive. The area was filled with doughnut shops and other food stores. They didn't have a Frosty Freeze, though. Thank God!

La Netta and I introduced ourselves to a lady who worked at CIWP and said she knew Wanda. She told us that there were 97 clients at this CIWP! (Richmond's only has about thirty.)

We ran across the director of Hayward CIWP, Stan Schmidt. "You must be James", Mr. Schmidt told me.

"Yes," I said. "James Landau."

"And you're La Netta?"

"Yes," La Netta said.

While I was in the office, Stan Schmidt called La Netta into a room. I plugged my ears so I wouldn't hear Stan Schmidt and La Netta's conversation. Apparently they would talk about the purge words.

While I sat without La Netta around, the Hayward office employees around me chatted with each other. Did they say "keep an exe on"? One of them mentioned traffic. Did she say "this mxss" afterwards?

La Netta finally came back out. "Did they say the K & E words?", I asked her. "Did they say the M-word?"

La Netta answered no to both questions. She took me outside.

"Stan said they're going to be eating, and there's going to be plastic silverware", she said. "But I told him you're probably going to give the speech with your eyes closed."

"I am", I said.

We walked back in. Stan Schmidt began the meeting. As he presided over it, he went over dress code and the importance of wearing the right kind of earrings. He discussed two recent incidents in which a client attacked a coach.

Then he went on to announce the Client of the Month. Their Client of the Month was Andy, who at first only came intermittently, being absent on Mondays. In fact, Andy had been kicked out of his previous program due to attendance problems. But now, Andy was coming every day. And so, with this "improvement in behavior", Andy was Client of the Month. Next came Coach of the Month.

Then Stan Schmidt introduced me. It was my turn to give my speech.

"Is there a podium there eor me to stand behind?", I asked.

"Just take this chair", he said.

I stood up, faced the audience with my notes in hand, and closed my eyes.

I started the speech the same way I started my blog entry on logaesthesia: "Imagine if you could taste onions, chocolate or manicotti just by listening to a conversation or reading." I then explained how I tasted words and got the sensation of swallowing the words I heard or read. I gave some examples of tastes: "city" tasted like peanut butter, "doodle" tasted like macaroni, "destiny" tasted like Crystal Geyser Juice Squeeze.

I then got into the words I didn't like. "There's the M-word, for instance", I said. "It rhymes with 'dress', and it means something that needs to be cleaned up, as in, 'Your room is a ____' . . ."

"Mxss", I heard a voice say.

"Mxss", I heard another voice say.

"Did I hear someone say the M-word?", I asked.

"Yes", someone in the audience told me.

"Please don't say it. Then there's the I-word. It rhymes with 'nice dream', and it's a frozen dessert made of milk and sugar that you can get at Baskin-Robbins or Cold Stone. There's the SC-word. It rhymes with 'boot'. And You tell people to do in when they're sitting in the wrong seat. It's followed by 'over'. And then there's the WH-word. It rhymes with 'oops', and it means the same thing as 'oops'. It tastes like whipped cream. The M-word tastes like oatmeal. And the I-word tastes like that dessert."

I got into purging. No mincing words here -- I discussed how my nails moved around on my groin, and then went up over my abdomen, chest, neck . . . and out my mouth.

Then I introduced my audience to the word "logaesthesia", from "logos" and "aesthein", as in "synaesthesia". I explained "synaesthesia", too, for the members of the audience who didn't know what that was.

I got into the different reactions to words: how the M-word made me go "Eeeewwwww!", the I-word made me go "Blechhhh!", the SC-word made me go "Rrrrrrrrrrr!", and the WH-word made me imitate Homer Simpson. I also mentioned how the purging itself differed: when I heard "drxp" (the D-word), I had to purge 90 times. When I heard the short form of "bicycle", I picked my navel.

Then I got into the objects: plastic silverware, dipsers, cobwxbs, Dipser-man, Winnxe the Pooh, the one-eyed pyramid on a dollar bill. Plenty of examples.

Then I got into something I borrowed from my blog entry on logaesthesia: the effects of my condition. I stayed away from movies, television and chatrooms. I didn't like getting into vans because I'd hear someone tell someone to scxxt over, and there would be many conversations going on at once. I walked around with my eyes closed, bumping into things and being unable to find my way. I asked other people what they said, which caused a lot of conflict. I couldn't get a job because I'd hear purge words and see stuff, including dollar bills. With all that time spent purging and washing my hands afterwards, I wouldn't get much time to work. Driving was impossible with my eyes closed -- "I might as well be blind", I said. And people said the words deliberately. "There's this one boy at my program who likes to set people off," I said, "And he'll yell out the SC-word on purpose just to push my buttons."

"Now", I said. "I'd like to address some common misunderstandings and misconceptions about my condition."

The first one I addressed was the belief that I was masturbating -- as I mentioned, people had called the cops because they thought I was masturbating in public. As a matter of fact, I do not touch my genitalia, only the groin. And purging doesn't give me pleasure, it puts me through pain. I likened it to the sensation of vomiting up something bad one had swallowed.

The second misconception I addressed was that I had sensory integration disorder -- that loud noise and bright lights bothered me. Many people who are used to working with clients with autism are confused by my logaesthesia. Autistics are bothered by generic brightness or loudness, rather than specific words. "I like my Nirvana loud, and I get a thrill when I hear someone scream", I said. I also said that turning a radio or television down was the worst thing you could do, because then I'd hear the contours of the words without hearing the words clearly enough to tell whether it was a purge word or not.

The third misconception, from people who didn't know me too well, was that the words that make me purge are "curse words".

The fourth misconception was from people who heard me asking others what they said, and thought I wanted to purge. I explained that I couldn't always make out what was said clearly, and if I couldn't find out whether a purge words was used or not, I would have to purge anyway just to be on the safe side. When it turned out the purge word was not used, I was relieved that I would not have to purge.

The fifth misconception was that I was nosy. I mentioned Ayyoon, referring to him as "one man -- a Mien immigrant", and said that he thought I was nosy because I asked people what they said when they were talking to other people. I explained that I didn't care about the content of other people's conversations, I just needed to figure out whether a specific word was said.

The next topic I got into was ways to accommodate clients with OCD. Put them in small groups so we don't hear three people talking at once. Fit them in groups where people will listen to radio stations they can stand -- I referenced that dreaded KBLX with its day-long traffic as an example. Accommodate them with restrooms, unlike the Richmond CIWP office with its gender-discriminatory restrooms (the men's can only hold one man at a time, while the women's can hold multiple women).

"Finally", I said, "Find them a coach who stays with them and will get to know them. La Netta over here has been with me for over 5 years, and she knows all the words not to say. She had super hearing, so she can listen out for me and tell me whether I heard a word or not, and when we're walking through a store, she'll say, 'James, I see something Dipser-man, close your eyes'."

La Netta smiled and everyone was charmed to see my coach La Netta.

Then I explained to them something they were possibly wondering -- why I wore sunglasses. I explained that when I was talking to someone, I didn't want them to know my eyes were closed, so I covered them up with shades so they couldn't tell.

I closed off my giving them my email, and telling them that if they emailed me my word filter would censor out all the purge words and replace them with X's.

The audience cheered. Stan Schmidt said, "James has a blog called Paralyzed Into Dance, and if you google for Paralyzed Into Dance, you can find it and read his entries".

Stan Schmidt then invited La Netta up to speak for the group about having a client like me.

"James is very intelligent", La Netta started. She discussed how it was a blessing to have me in your group. She discussed how at first I couldn't go into any stores, and now we go into stores all of the time. She emphasized the importance of getting to know your clients, their likes and dislikes.

"Now I was reading one of James' blog entries", said Stan Schmidt, "And La Netta is like an angel. I was really impressed by what La Netta did that day."

A woman thanked me for talking about it. "You're welcome", I told her.

They all said good-bye to us, and I said, "Adios".

As we left, Stan Schmidt started in on the next item on his agenda, a timeline of the history of autism and Asperger's.

"You were great!", La Netta told me as we got back into her van. "It felt so good to see you stand up there and just go on and on."

"Thanks, La Netta!", I said.

"I'm going to have to treat you to a $2 deal at Taco Bell."

"Aren't you glad we came?"

"I am."

La Netta and I talked for the rest of our drive home. When we finally made it to my group iome, it was after 3:30.

La Netta and I hugged for my speech, then I entered my house.

After two and a half years, all my blogging is finally starting to pay off. Soon I could be speaking with high-profile psychologists about logaesthesia and getting logaesthesia entered in the DSM-IV. I couldn't even sleep for the rest of the day, my adrenaline was so spiked by that meeting. I just wonder what will be up for me next.