Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Leaving Las Vegas with Nicholas Cage

I had the opportunity to watch the movie, "Leaving Las Vegas" again, the other night. I am very intrigued by this movie and it's varied philosophical constructs. At first glance, the premise seems morbid; a man decides to drink himself to death in Las Vegas, alone in a cheap motel. But there is so much more to it.

 Here in bold color, is a man who takes his life, his destiny, in his own hands. We never find out the root cause of his alcoholism. I've always believed that every addiction from smoking, drinking, heroin, prescription drug abuse, overeating, stems from an unmet need, usually in the childhood years. I often think it it from not being loved and cared for enough on some level.

 The central character, Ben, Nicholas Cage, starts the movie heavily inebriated, loses his job and apparantly has already lost his wife and child to divorce. Ben gathers all his belongings into garbage bags, taking personal mementos and setting those ablaze in a bonfire. He drives to Vegas, finds a motel, and starts drinking 250-300$ dollars worth of alcohol every day. He estimates it will take him four weeks to die. He is well-versed on all the downwarding spiral, unpleasant side effects that will lead to his demise.
  Accidentally, Ben meets a prostitute, Sera, who he pays 500$ for one hour. Here's the thing, Ben doesn't want sex....he just wants someone to talk to and sit with him. How profound the loneliness! I fully comprehend this. If I had the a multitude of times in my life...yeah, I would have paid to have someone listen to me. Wait, I actually do that. It's called therapy. But just mull over the desperation for a moment. I get it.
 Sera is a face beautiful prostitute and again, we don't know the tragic circumstances that led her into prostitution. Like Ben, we meet Sera mid-stream, without any background information. Sera has a brutal pimp and subjects herself to beatings and cruelty with ease.
  When she gets together with Ben, they are like yin and yang...two tragic lives joining together, grasping onto the other for strength and respecting eaches decision on how they want to live their lives.
  It's a symbiotic relationship. One feeds off the other. They cling to each other amongst the glittering lights. Each has no one but the other.
 The ending is...climatic (tongue in cheek) and rather surprising. Nicholas Cage won a best actor Oscar for his role. He was That Good.
 Watching this movie makes me think a lot about life, the struggles we all go through, the baggage and bridges we carry or burn. One persons breaking point is another's stepping stone. Each individual has different values and definitions of "losing it all."
 I read that the movie was based on a semi-biographical novel by John O'Brien. Mr. O'Brien committed suicide two weeks after learning his novel, "Leaving Las Vegas" was to be made into a movie. Sometimes the backstory is just as important as the final production.
  The theme of this movie can be applied to many thousands of addicts....except they don't boldly and brazenly proclaim to themselves and the world, that they hurt so bad they are willing to end their life.

If only we realized or were more aware of the aloneness, pain and desperation others endure. If only we knew how much we need someone to talk to, share with and listen. So many crying to be heard. Substance abuse dulls the pain. I find it sad and tragic, that people can hurt so deeply, so silently and so very alone.

 We blame and scorn the addict, yet they are just trying to deal with the pain.
  We are here to help each other. Movies like Las Vegas help me appreciate my life.

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