I’m sitting for a horribly behaved dog who won’t stop barking. It echoes loudly inside and out–I can hear him all the way down the block. Being autistic, my hearing is much more sensitive than most people. I have a headache and am almost afraid I’ll get so mad I’ll hurt the dog if I don’t leave. I definitely can’t get to sleep. I’ve tried everything I can think of to quiet him down. So I go out for a bar or restaurant. But nothing is open except a couple bars (I don’t drink, so I can’t really socialize) which are outrageously loud too. Because somehow America thinks nighttime has to mean extreme noise. And fun has to mean noise, alcohol, and superficial small talk. So I can’t go in any of those places. Not for a drink, not for food, not to socialize. No coffeeshops or bookstores or game venues are open at night. Nothing else is within walking distance since Seattle clings to sprawl, treating density as a devil, while giving lip service to environmentalism, walkability, and transit. Our culture is totally dominated by extroverts who couldn’t care less about introverts, let alone people with autism. Like majorities in every demographic category, they can’t even see the oppression and suffering they inflict on others. Nor are you allowed to seek fairness for it in any venue or manner. You’re just supposed to shut up and go away–they’d rather you just die. Like our social safety sieve. This country has no place for me. I don’t fit in here or belong here. I give my community so much, and I have more to offer the world than the vast majority of people, but it has absolutely nothing to offer me but ridicule and suffering. Masturbation confers few of the health benefits of partner sex, but we stigmatize anyone who “admits” their inability to find love or sex rather than make the slightest effort to help them. Or points out that this afflicts men a lot more than women, since we make women the supply and men the demand. Loneliness is as lethal as smoking, and fully 1/4 of adult men in this country have no close friends. No wonder we die sooner. But alas, prostitution is both illegal and puritanically stigmatized. And increasingly, relationships as well as sex come from hookups and one night stands that people with autism have no access to. There’s a reason why 40% of Aspies have never had a romantic relationship. Our social system is as broken and biased as our economic one. Both exclude millions of deserving people in need. Both give more to those who already have, while blocking those without from getting any of what they need. Both are sexist, capitalist, and dishonest. Both depend not on your choices, actions, or behaviors; but rather your luck. Both inflict gratuitous suffering on the have-nots so the haves can keep partying. No one cares or will listen, so there’s virtually nothing you can do about it. Moving to a better country takes money we poor don’t have. All you’re left with is drugs, booze, and death. We have no choice over if, when, where, or by whom we are created, yet we don’t allow people any choice over the circumstances of their death. We don’t even allow wrongful birth lawsuits like France does. We ignorantly pretend that all lives are worth living, because we want that to be true while refusing to admit that it’s clearly false. Again, we’d much rather make lots of people suffer indefinitely than give them any relief, all in service to a nonsensical, ancient, random moral belief from a religion I’ve never belonged to that says quality of life is irrelevant; only quantity matters. It’s time we prioritized quality of life at the expense of quantity. Valuing life means making it good and worthwhile; not maximizing human suffering. But I’m just some crazy 25th century socialist… I very obviously don’t matter to anyone or anything. Except to exploit and abuse me. Like Meg on Family Guy.