The crowd was pressing in on me, or at least that’s how it felt. They were everywhere. I could feel them on the floor above me, inside the businesses around me, seated and eating 50 feet away. Turns out the mall just isn’t the best place for a pseudo-agoraphobe with autism.
“What does that even do?” His question was barely discernible over ANKI’s Memories that was pumping through my headphones, but I did hear it. Unfortunately, his question jerked me back into reality.
“What do you mean?”
“That thing in your hand you’re swinging around. What is it?” He gestured to my begleri. Back then it was a monkeyfist set cored with ½” ball bearings. My slinging skills were in their infancy so I was certain he had seen nothing impressive, but he still seemed genuinely interested. Now’s my moment, I thought. I can tell him all about how helpful this has been and he’ll pick one up as well! But then I tried to explain…and I couldn’t get the words out. So I went with the simple approach…
“It’s a skill toy called a begleri.”
“That sounds weird. What does it do?” What a heavy question. He didn’t know I had been through every flow-art imaginable to settle on this. It does everything, I thought. There’s no part of my life this hasn’t improved! I still couldn’t get just the right words out though. So I spoke from the heart…
“It takes me places when I’m somewhere I don’t feel comfortable.” And there it was. I just spoke from the heart and the reality of begleri hit me. It takes me places…
In a crowded mall I take out my begleri. By the time the lead is passing through the second slip I’m away, not surrounded by the masses and their voices and issues. I’m elsewhere, perhaps in a field, accompanied by the soothing tones of O Mio Babbino Caro. Maybe I’m suddenly taken from the funeral I can’t handle to a nightscape in the desert, stars looming overhead while Snarky Puppy subtly pounds away in the dark. Possibly I’m adrift at sea where I can almost feel the physical spray of ocean mist on my face amidst the playful chording of Anomalie, or I’m aloft, traipsing through the atmosphere with an Around the World series and Clouds Race Across The Sky keeping time in my soul.
Regardless of the situation or the location or the destination or the complication or the hesitation or the frustration or the condemnation, like prayer, my begleri takes me away. I don’t have to fight it on my own. I can leave for a moment, taken far away, clear my mind, and return, ready for the next few moments, until I need to leave again…and then I can.
My world buffer, my transportation…my begleri.
“That’s what it does,” I try and explain to him. “It takes me places…”
He stares for a moment. He thinks about something. He turns and leaves. Oh well…I wished I could help him see, I wished I could make him see. I feel like I’ll never be able to express how amazing begleri is without running people off or sounding like a fanatic. The pressure begins to mount in my mind, the anxiety starts to stretch its wings for another flight across my visage…and I simply take out my begleri. Two finger wrap, Mid Mic Drop, Air Pump, Around the World V2, Downward Ladder, Piano Transfer, Piano Transfer, Piano Transfer…
…and I’m transported…6
Wow, this was an amazing read. I definetly know that experience as well