Penny had taken shifts at the cafe to help pay off her bills. She wasn’t that interested in the work but the people who came to her tables kept her going.
She would hear all kinds of stories as she served food and drinks. There was gossip about neighbours, family members and friends, reviews of books, music and movies, discussions of sports and memories of the past.
Penny loved seeing love bloom as couples dated, the growth of families, the harmony and discord of life. It was all here to see in the cafe.
During the summer, the school’s headmaster would go away. Worn down and stressed, he found escaping to the hills and spending time in complete isolation and nature the best to recover.
He pitched a tent, created a fire, built extra shelter from fallen branches and ferns around his camp site. During the daytime, he walked the hills, fished, set rabbit traps and collect edible fruits, plants and fungi. Later, he cooked what he’d caught and had supper.
At night he fell sleep, lulled by rain, wind and animals’ calls, knowing when he woke there was nothing to worry over.
It was Monday morning again. She lay in bed, having slept badly due to all the troubling thoughts. The alarm went and she turned it off. No work again today, she was too tried to face the world. She wondered if there was anything worth living for now.
Alexithymia; An inability to describe emotions in a verbal manner.
I had the results of the test back today and at the age of thirty-one, I can finally put a name to my many issues; I’m autistic.
I feel pretty torn over it because on one hand, I’m like yeah that explains why I am like I am, my brain works differently from other peoples’ but that’s okay because you’ve survived this long and you can now have help if you need it.
On the other hand, I’m like oh my God. What I’m going to do now? I’ve got this label over me and it’s not good. How can I explain it to people, will people’s opinions change of me? My whole world just got thrown out of the window and how can I now carry on living with this news?
So, yeah. I’ve all this stuff in my head now but of course I’m struggling to express it or understand it. It’s like I’m not bothered, it’s a fact I have autism, can’t change that so no point freaking about it. It’ll take me awhile to accept but I will.
The specialist said learning more about it could help and also figuring out what kind of support the university and work could give me.
Am I going to let this stop me getting my computer games design degree? No! I just have another thing as well as being a woman in a male dominated industry to deal with but that makes me more determined then ever to prove I can make something I love and dream about a reality.
The cotton mills of Manchester, England, had once been a chaos of noise, sights and smells. The machines had roared, drowning everything else out and making the workers deaf. Dust and chemicals had rose thickly, settling into workers lungs and slowly suffocating them. Accidents and deaths were a daily occurrence. Thus, was the price the poor paid to try and survive.
Now, the great mills that had been the body of Manchester were silent. They stood rotting or demolished, an empty tomb in memory of those poor souls who had worked themselves to death.
Back to the office today and Rose was all ready feeling unwell. Pausing in her work, she listened to the background sounds of people coughing, sneezing and sniffling. Rose signed and sipped her coffee.
From somewhere behind her, a woman’s voice said, ‘Do you want a throat soother?’
‘Go on then,’ a man responded.
Rose cast a look behind her and saw the exchange happen. Turning back to the PC screen she looked at the report but couldn’t focus as her eyes were too tired. Instead, she looked down into her coffee mug and wonder if this was her third or fourth cup.
‘Post is here!’ someone called.
There was a mutter of voices and some people got up too eager to wait for things to be delivered to their desks.
Pretending to get back to work, it wasn’t until things landed in her in the in-tray, that Rose looked up again. She shuffled through the few letters and found a late Christmas card from a client in America.
Not wanting to be reminded that Christmas was over, Rose shoved it into her desk draw. She finished her coffee and trying to fight off the coming illness got back to the report.