posted on October 22, 2008 at 8:07 pm

i must admit
when i first met my nephew marlon
i thought he was a naughty little sod
he reminded me of myself as a kid in many ways
he didnt like saying hello or goodbye
he was difficult n hard to reach
he always seemed like he was up to something
he flouted authority
only he took it to the nth degree
while i was more easily “brought into line”
i must admit i got angry with his antics n his carry-on
just like all those old bastards got angry with me as a kid
then i guess he was diagnosed
with having aspergers syndrome
a type of mild autism
it gradually became apparent
to even me
that marlon was not merely a naughty little sod…
after accepting it
it was so much easier to hang out with marlon
and leave him alone if he wanted that
he came on a bush walk with us one day
saying nothing at all….he was about 5
but every now n then hed say something incredibly pithy
or he’d ask what “prosecuted” meant after reading a sign
russell n i were discussing a film
marlon was sitting there blank faced
you woulda thought that he was miles away
suddenly he says
“that film is actually available on dvd now
ive seen it at the video shop , filed under blah blah
and it costs blah blah to rent or blah blah to buy”
and hes suddenly silent again
he has the ability to get obsessed by an idea
ie being harry potter
and take it all the way
just like a genius
or a madman
or any mover n shaker
i dont understand it
i still think there are naughty little sods out there
and everyone gets a syndrome these days
and some ratbags are hiding away under their supposed label
but marlon is undeniably different
hes in his own place if he wants to be
this world seems a bit ordinary to him
he has a lively imagination
hes very handsome….handsome uncles on both sides will do that
and hes strange but obviously a bit of a genius too
and thinking about it
its possible that i myself
could be
(drum rolls n cynical laughter)
or could have been
very very mildly asbergers too:
the disdain for the mundane world
the rich inner life
the lack of social skills…i was a ‘orrible kid
(or was i?)
aspergers children cant read other children that well
or be read by them back
i was a little like that
i dunno
maybe i was just a naughty little sod
russell n amy
have turned it all around
taken this potentially tragic situation
digested it
taken it on
and turned it around
with 2 docos on aspergers
the second one was screened on telly last nite
a student of russells with asp. n 20% vision
this guy mark
he can tell you any chart position of any record
from the 1980s (especially)
so russell n amy have the great idea
of trying to get mark on rockwiz the aussie rock quiz show
i myself was on a few weeks back
the doco tells us some fascinating things about mark now nearly 40
he dreams a parallel world every night “a continuum”
in this world he has a wife
hes got his own label
hes a rockstar
an astronaut
a hero
a detailed parallel universe
his imagination is so incredibly developed
all illustrated and mapped by mark
i’m totally sucked in
i’m feeling like this universe aint so imaginary
mark tells of instances which sound just like astral travel
then the sad stuff
even the rottenest kid at lyneham wouldnt have hurt a guy like mark
where do they breed these monsters?
what kind of syndromes do they have to beat an almost blind kid?
i was starting to cry at this point
my family all stared goggle eyed at the screen
forgetting now we were watching russells doco
n just caught up in marks incredible story
yeah it was a fuckin’ tearjerker
and i was so on marks side now it wasnt funny
anyway russell n amy take him round to see glenn a baker
austs own rock brain of the universe
and a bit of an old mate of mine
we question each other on trivia
and last time i saw him at the divinyls last year
i outgunned him
(knowing the keyboard player from grand funks name!)
eventually mark tries out for rock wiz
and vindication!
he slays em
he gets on the show
he is selected
what happens next you’ll have to wait for saturday nite
when the actual episode is aired
but im hoping for a fairytale ending
eg marks side wins
an amazing doco
about the capability of the human brain
about what we used to call idiot savants
about redemption n justice
about russ n amys own struggle
about the determination n perseverance of one guy
against a stupid cruel world
i rang russ up to compliment him
lo n behold mark himself was round there
we talked for twenty minutes
i was pumping him for info on his private universe
jesus…what a guy
yes he deserves whatever comes now
maybe not much after all the hoo ha dies down
he loved music so much growing up
all those love songs
those songs he listened to at home quite friendless
“i just wanted a girlfriend to love n be loved
just like other kids” he said sadly on the phone
imagine his loneliness
that beautiful genius mind of his
sussing n grokking all that music
cataloging it in some strange way
just like tommy in the rock opera
his soul n ‘magination took flight…
i cant wait for saturdays show!!!

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