Today, on leaving work, I got on the underground as usual. A man further up the carriage was asking me something. Due to a combination of his speaking style and my own auditory processing issues, I couldn't understand what he was saying, so I went to sit opposite him to be able to hear more clearly.
On about the 4th or 5th repetition, I heard him properly, asking me:
"Are you a paramedic?"
Well, that was certainly a new one on me! A few seconds of confusion later, I realised he may have thought that because of my fluorescent yellow jacket, so I replied:
"No, this is my cycling jacket." This didn't seem to quite be enough information, so I added: "it helps me be visible to cars when I'm on my bike."
The man then proceeded to tell me that he was having some lower back pain. I recommended an emergency section of one of the hospitals if he really needed to see someone about it.
A few more interactions later, I was seriously wondering if I'd just met a fellow aspie. He told me that he was 40 years old, and wasn't it good that he didn't have any grey hairs. He also leaned right towards me so the side of his face and his neck was quite near my face, which I wasn't expecting. I perceived a threat and jumped. But then, I figured out he wasn't threatening, and just asked him: "so, what am I looking at here?" and he asked me if I could smell his aftershave. So, I said, "yes, very nice".
He also told me that his back was sore because he had been beaten up by three men with an iron bar and he'd just spent the last 4 months in hospital. He then got off the underground train (we only travelled together for two stops) and I wished him good luck.
This is the second time in two months I've heard about aspies (or in this case, someone I suspect to be an aspie) being violently attacked and beaten up by strangers.
I cycled home thinking, "gee, it's already bad enough when I lose friends because of my communication style, but being beaten up is even worse".
This is supposed
to be a funny blog, but the serious message is could the public please
stop attacking people who are different? Hate crime is never acceptable.