Modern Art and Taco Bell

Aaron had a doctor appointment this afternoon, so we had some time together – which is always an adventure in one way or another.  The adventure is usually wrapped around Aaron’s conversations, either to me personally or what he intends to share with me personally but is spoken in his loud, monotone voice in a very public setting.  This makes his words anything but personal, and no amount of sshhhhing on my part deters him.  He may lower his voice a minuscule amount but not enough, and as he talks the level goes up again quickly, so I just give up and try to redirect the conversation if it’s something way off the wall. 

Such was the case in Great Clips.  I decided to leave early for his appointment so we could stop to get his hair cut.  I always hope that no one else will be in there when we arrive so that Aaron doesn’t have to wait.  I ‘ve learned that waiting rooms can be areas of great embarrassment for me because Aaron takes that time when I am his captive audience to, of course, talk – about whatever comes to his mind.  We get enough looks as it is when he marches in to Great Clips and loudly asks, “Do we have to wait?!”  So I tell him to hush and let’s see what the stylist says and wait our turn, etc.  But the interest level among the other patrons has already hit the ceiling as they quickly look up to see who has blustered in and demanded to know if he has to wait.  Oh great!  Aaron asks that question so abruptly because I’ve told him before we enter that if there’s a long wait then we will have to leave.  No one knows or understands that background, of course, so everyone looks and I smile to set them at ease and Aaron and I eventually sit down and he begins talking.

About DNA.  Yes, today Aaron wanted to talk about DNA.  And not just  any old DNA, but crime scene DNA.  My shushing and redirection didn’t work, really, so we talked about DNA and how similar relatives’ DNA is to each other, and what “forensics people” have to know to be a “forensics person” and how Aaron would like to be a “forensics person” to solve crimes and how he’d have to know science and how that might stop him for becoming a “forensics person”……………..and I was very happy when the stylist called the name “Aaron.”  Why DNA today?  I don’t know………………I don’t usually know…………..and I’m sure the other patrons wanted to ask that same question, among many others.

Hair cut and goatee trimmed, we drove to Taco Bell for his favorite part of any day out and that’s eating out.  Eating out and talking to a captive crowd are two of his very most favorite things.  Today was turning into a winner for Aaron!  He decided he wanted a number four as long as it was something big, and of course he had to start asking questions about how the Mexican Pizza was put together while I was trying to pay, so I moved him on and settled our bill.  He was busy getting about 53 napkins and several sets of plastic silverware for us, but at least it kept him quiet. 

As we ate, he was observing the pictures hung on the walls around us.  Finally he said, “Mom, I don’t like those pictures that are on the walls.  They don’t make sense.” 


I told him these pictures were modern art and he replied, “Well, not to me!  They’re nasty paintings!”  Then he pointed to a Taco Bell picture of a taco and said, “Now, that’s a real picture!”  Well, of course he loves the taco picture – it’s food, and he can certainly relate to that! 

So I asked him what kind of pictures he would like hung in his bedroom and he declared, “NORMAL pictures!”  As I studied the picture hanging above our table, I could see why Aaron didn’t like it.  The jumbled designs and colors would really drive him to distraction, as they were doing there as we ate.  His mind isn’t geared to jumbled anything, even when he seems random to us.  He’s connecting dots that make sense to him and modern art certainly doesn’t fit that bill. 

This doctor visit is one we make only once a year now, for the Asperger’s, and Aaron had a good time sitting on the couch telling the doctor all about his ER visit for the “Cellulite”  and how he had a couple seizures the other morning and maybe it was because he stayed up too late the night before and how his Aunt Sandra came for Christmas and on and on. 

On the drive home he asked me if I like Red Lobster and then informed me that he does NOT like Red Lobster because, as he puts it, “I don’t like to eat fish food!”  I don’t remember seeing fish food on the menu but decided not to go down that path.  We talked about bright digital signs and parking garages, and then he excitedly pointed to Lawrence Dumont Stadium to inform me, “Mom, that’s the baseball playing area!” 

Yes, Aaron, the stadium.  “Yeah, where they play baseball!”  Which to him makes it a baseball playing area…………….which makes sense, really. 

The day ended perfectly with a stop for his weekend Mike and Ikes, an attempt to grab a coffee bean from the grinder so he could sniff it, and the kind act he performed of rolling a loose kid’s cart back to the store without being asked. 

Never a dull or quiet moment with Aaron.  I’d worry if there was!

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