Dear Angry White Male in the stupid red car on Franklin this morning,

See, the reason the guy in front of you had stopped instead of turning right at the light was that three different women with strollers FILLED WITH BABIES were crossing. It is, as it turns out, illegal to mow down pedestrians in the crosswalk.

You know this, because I thoughtfully pulled up and told you. Perhaps I should not have added ‘chill out, dood,’ but someone had just squished my boobs within an inch of their lives and taken photographs of the whole experience. I was feeling free and easy and flapping.

Perhaps you were further enraged by the fact that I sailed past you as I said: “babies! Crossing! Chill out, dood!” because I, unlike you, was paying attention to the flow of traffic and therefore signaled and moved left of the car waiting to turn right behind whom you were stuck, impotently honking. I don’t know.

kissBut blowing you that kiss after you screamed past me, leaned on the horn, and flipped me off was one of my most joyous moments bicycling ever.

Goodbye Angry, Entitled, Impatient Sir. May the rest of your day be better. Please do not kill any babies because you have Important Things To Do In Other Places.

PS. I won. Well, me and the babies who did not die. xoxoxo

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PBS documentary on life on the spectrum

PLEASE let this be good or at least decent!

A new documentary set to premiere on PBS takes a look at life with autism from the perspective of those with the developmental disorder.

The film, “Neurotypical,” looks at individuals with autism at different stages of life. It focuses on Violet, 4, who is struggling to communicate, a teenager named Nicholas who is shy and has trouble relating to girls and Paula, a wife and mother who received a diagnosis as an adult after reading about the condition. Read more.

Love

Biking home in the gloaming, I stopped at Lake Street and 13th Avenue. A prostitute worked the corner across the road and her pimp lounged on a bench next to me, his baseball cap pulled down over his face.

An extremely inebriated man who was weaving vaguely across 13th Avenue saw me coasting to a stop at the light, stopped dead in his tracks, and performed his best imitation of a beeline for me.

I looked at him and waited. Drunks love me. I am their lighthouse, their safe harbor; their hope. Their succor.

He saw someone coming toward us over my shoulder, thought better of approaching me, and lurched away. The pimp retreated further under under his cap brim. Only the prostitute seemed unafraid, focused as she was on drumming up business, peering into a car that had slowed to turn the corner and smiling into it like she saw an old friend.

Uh oh, I thought. Only one category of people can scare off a drunk and make a pimp look nervously away (no category of person can intimidate a street prostitute).

‘Jesus loves you,’ said the woman who frightened everyone, and handed me a tract.

Like most agnostics, I have dealt with proselytizers in various ways over the years: invitations for the person to immediately engage in vigorous acts of onanism, a refusal to accept the tract combined with a stony silence, a tight-lipped dismissive smile as I took it, head turned away.

Each time I did any of these things, the proselytizer would take this as an invitation for further engagement.

This time, I looked her in the eye, smiled like she had given me money, and said brightly: ‘Thank you! Jesus loves you, too!’

In that moment, for whatever reason: the light, the foiled commerce across the street, the wandering alcoholic, the proselytizer’s heartbreakingly awful fanny pack– I meant it.

And she said: ‘You must be a believer! Give that to someone who needs it!’

‘I will,’ I said earnestly, folding the tract in half and tucking it into my bag.

AND SHE WALKED ON.

I felt like someone had given me a secret handshake. Everyone on the corner relaxed. The light changed. I stood on the pedals and moved on, the cool breeze of the evening rushing tenderly over my bare shoulders.

I loved everyone, like Jesus does.

Goblins and Elephants and Not Talking Down to Your Audience

Hey everybody! Please read this wonderful back-and-forth interview with my darlings and writing group mates David J. Schwartz: short story writer and author of the serial Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic (available at only $2.00 for only a few more days before it goes up) and the Nebula-award nominated novel Superpowers; and Will Alexander: short story writer and author of the National Book Award-winning book Goblin Secrets and its companion novel, Ghoulish Song. It talks about the nature of storytelling, acting, fantasy, and influences. Also there are elephants and goblins:

http://strangehorizons.com/2013/20130722/1schwartzalexander-a.shtml