Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Year Later A Year the Same

One of my favorite memories of last year was the process from going from the Streets of Lancaster race to the airport. Granted, the flights weren't that fun with a guy who thought playing his French horn in the middle of the night at LAX was a good thing to do (perhaps it would have been had he been good) and a flight cancellation in Texas which then had me sleep on the floor, but the drive from Lancaster to LAX was something I cherished.

This year I would not be returning to Saint Louis to start a massive tour, but the things I did last year I wanted to do again, but during the race weekend I was fretting because on Friday and Saturday I had not ran into the park ranger who filmed last year's video blog. This troubled me as I like sameness. Okay, I crave sameness and even though I often don't show it I miss those around me if they were to be there one time and not the next. It wasn't until Sunday that I saw him briefly at the pedestrian crossing past my start finish line and I wish you could have seen the smile on my face.

The feeling of seeing the park ranger made me feel as if all was right with the world. It's odd that I can have this, at times, lack of empathy and yet a person whom I spoke to off and on during a weekend last year, and I don't even know his name, can make such an impact.

After the races were done I was worried about what the drive back to LA would be like. Well, not in terms of the drive itself but rather if I would do the same things as I did last year. Last year I had my own rental, but this year I was riding with four others. Last year I had stopped at an In N Out burger place in Lancaster and I had been looking forward to doing this again, but it would be up to the group.

I haven't blogged about this as much as I did when I began, but sameness is a major part of my life. If I do something once one time I'm going to want it to be the same the next. I don't blog about this much because my life is constantly changing now. Since constant change remains that means, for me, change is the same. However, when I revisit a place, like Lancaster, I'm going to want it to be like last year.

Due to an incident the driver of our rental car was not in the best of shape to drive so as the race ended I became the driver which, when you are driving, you have a little bit more say in where the car stops. We pulled away from the track area and the conversation of dinner began and I suggested In N Out and there was a minor warm response, which was good enough for me and other suggestions were made but this car had a destination and there was no stopping it.

After dinner we headed back to the LAX area where our hotel was (no red-eye flight for me this year!) and I wondered if we would refill the gas tank at the same place as I did my rental last year. Yes, even something as small as a place to fill up for gas is on my list of needing things to be the same.

What's the feeling? What's this feeling of wanting things to be the same? I can try and describe it like this; imagine being anxious for something coming up. Perhaps it's a business meeting, or seeing someone you haven't seen in a long time, and leading up to that it's the only thing you are thinking of. For myself, this anxious feeling in advance is felt strongly in my legs. There is a physical feeling to this anxious waiting hoping for things to be the same because, when things stay the same, change stays away.

As a person in the backseat gave directions I knew, from memory, that we were going to be very close to the exit that I had got off last year to refill and YES! we got off at the same. However, the gas station I was directed to go to first was not the same. I'm very good at following directions so I, against every thing my body was telling me to do, pulled into the station adjacent to the one I stopped at last year. The person paying got out and tried to fill the car up but the station's card reader didn't like his card so he got back in and pointed to the other station and off we went and once again all was right with the world.

I'll try and write about this topic more often in the future as it is something a lot of people on the autism spectrum have. I have this but as I mentioned I'm so often in a state of constant change that it doesn't come up. Furthermore it is something I am so used to dealing with that it isn't something that is consciously thought of.

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