Quickly, I was in shock! It had been so long since I made it a point to look at the face, and
As the meeting progressed I noticed just how much people look at each other. What I mean by that was that anytime a joke was made, or a funny line said, there was laughter and then, almost like it's programmed into people, everyone looks at each other. This confused me. Was this look some sort of code that I didn't know? An inside joke that I had no way of knowing? Those probably aren't the answers, but then I thought, is this looking at each other the way people do a way to share the experience?
A shared experience is something I don't understand. I know how I feel but I never have understood making the emotion of the event a shared experience. Is that what those looks at each other were in the meeting? But yeah, that shared experience has puzzled me forever. This is one of the things that confuses me at sporting events. Yes, it's good when the home team wins, but when I've been to a sporting event and the home team scores it is beyond my comprehension how strangers high-five each other and sing the praises of the player together with complete strangers.
The biggest example in my life that confused me the most, as to why people had this shared experience, was at the opening day of the movie "Cast Away". Late in the movie when the main character returns to Nashville after several years his former girlfriend informs him about the changes in the world and that Nashville now has an NFL team and they missed out winning the Super Bowl by "that much" which was just a few inches. The game referenced was the game the Saint Louis Rams won and when that was said on the screen an enormous roar came from the audience. I've never seen anything like it since, but there were high-fives, people stood up to shake the hand of their cheering neighbors and the whole thing lasted a good minute. I actually had to rent the movie to hear that minute of dialogue because of this. But, was all this under that same concept of life, for people not on the autism spectrum, being a shared experience?
I don't think I could ever partake in those examples as I don't know how people do it. I truly have no idea how people so naturally and effortlessly share in the experience of a joke at a meeting, or cheer with strangers at a sporting event. With all of these examples it was as if I were a phantom in an environment I don't and couldn't understand. I do everything I can to avoid contact, to avoid looking at another person, and yet everyone else seems to do it without thinking about. My automatic tendency, meaning I don't think about it, is to look away while everyone else, it seems, does it without thought.
Right now I'm wondering if I'm missing out on something. Is life a shared experience? And if it is does this sharing of the moment increase the joys of life? I do everything I can to remain as flat as possible in public; I don't look at others and I don't share how I feel. However, are the joys magnified when experienced with others? Would the reaction at the movie Cast Away have occurred the same way if each person had watched it alone, or did the group amplify the elation of that line? And if all this is true, does this mean that I am truly missing out on something?