It is just a snowflake they tell me. But to me, he is everything. He is my start and my beginning, my alpha and omega, my exodus and my stage left standing ovation. No, I know it doesn’t make sense to you. If you’re like everyone else, you think I’m delusional. You think I am nuts, unwell, crazy, whatever word you use that you think won’t hurt my feelings, or will make me look at my feelings and change my behavior. I have heard them all.
Stop trying to fight the impulse to make that face. Yes, I know what face you people make when you hear about and look at people like me. That cringe of, ‘oh sweetheart’ face of pity. I may not know emotions on faces very well but I know that face. I know it better than most. That’s what they teach you in those special education courses at school after all.
Children like me, special education children; autistic children. Teachers try to calm us down by showing a picture of a person with a calm face, so that we will copy it, like a monkey. They don’t ask us what is wrong, they just want to shut us up. Forgetting, we see the other students in the other classes, free to make as much noise and emotion as they want, but not us. We have to be picture perfect.
I’m an adult now. I am a well adjusted autistic adult. The love of my life is this snowflake. He has a name. It’s Ferdinand. I preserved his essence on a microscope slide after I took several high res photos of him. One I keep in my pocket, the others I have framed in places all over my house. Yes, I have a house, a high paying job, and hobbies and friends. Others, similar to me, in that none of their romantic interests, are people.
My best friend Lila, who is deeply involved with a tractor named Charles, they moved out west all the way from Iowa together. They have been involved for over ten years now. There is Suder, who is in love with the concept of Wisdom, Sophia. Some would call her a goddess - Suder would not disagree with you. Then my other friend Vinny has hot and heavy relationships with spoons. He has a whole harem. Haha, he is suuuuch a player, so promiscuous and charming. He has never seen a spoon he didn’t want to treat to a good meal and suck all night and into the morning.
Ferdinand and I have a more sapioromantic relationship, not as heated if you’ll pardon the ironic pun. There are moments when I dream of him, and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. There are moments we fight and have arguments just like any other couple. It may be hard for you to understand. But there is a word for those who love like I do. They make sensationalized documentaries about it or have people on daytime talk shows and present us like freaks. It is an orientation called objectumsexuality, or objectumromantic - for those that are on the asexual spectrum. Often abbreviated OS for simplicity.
But in short, it is an orientation where people have sexual and romantic relationships with objects, concepts, items of an inanimate sentient designation according to common Human thought. To us though, they are animate, they are alive and real and we respect the object and concept realities as we do the flesh and bone one we are born into as humans. We cannot help being the way we are just as someone homosexual cannot help loving the same sex.
For me, Ferdinand is the one male-identified being that I have ever loved and ever want to love. I just cannot fathom being in a relationship with another human. They are not as attractive to me as objects or concepts. I am not interested in skin, scrunchy facial expressions, or any of that. It is bad enough that I am forced to be in this human shell.
I wish more than anything that I could become the perfect molecular structure and ice formation that is my sweet, Ferdinand. He assures me in my dreams, often, that one day we will be reunited - atom, by atom, bound covalently in crystalline bliss and harmony. I cannot wait for that day. I am doing my best to be patient. I shiver and smile when I look upon his image and press a kiss to the preserved slide of his being. I am overcome with joy and mirth being with him.
Some people spend their whole lives looking for the kind of love I have found.
Just because it is not as conventional as people expect, doesn’t make it any less profound.
His name is Ferdinand. My name is Mariah Goldstein. I am a twenty-eight-year-old autistic woman of Belgian, Bosnian, and Jewish descent living in the Pacific Northwest Region of the United States. I work in the field of Computer Science and enjoy watching reality television, especially cooking shows. I have a mild addiction to buying cute shoes and never brush my teeth. I use a mild homemade mouthwash, and a waterpik instead. I am as normal as anyone. As is anyone in the OS community. We walk among you every day, and you do not realize it.
Many may not realize it themselves that there is a word for how they feel when they look at objects that other people do not share. If that is you, then I welcome you to the OS community. You are not alone and you never were. Your love for your chosen item, object, or concept, is valid. I hope that my story helps some lost soul out there that feels out of place and confused. I hope that if this story finds you in a rough place in your life, that you will see brighter, more stable, and happier days soon.
It is an honor to meet you.