From the monthly archives:

November 2011

Me me me me

by Henk ter Heide on Sunday November 27, 2011

in Stories

I’m Henk.
I’m 50 years old.
I’m gay.
I have autism.
I’m half black, half white. (My father is white, my mother was black.)
But I never did anything with black culture.

My mother was one of the first black people in the Netherlands.
When I was born black culture didn’t exist.
More black people came to the Netherlands when I was in my teens.
But they where from a different part of the world.
They didn’t even speak my language.

I’m trying to be a writer.

I’ve been telling stories most of my live.
But I told those stories to myself.
The stories where about myself.

/begin cut
/end cut

I’m editing.
While I was thinking about this story I realized something.
While I feel the need to tell some stories over and over again.
Doesn’t mean that you feel the need to read those stories over and over again.

I’m single.
Not understanding the differences between NTs and people with autism I’ve been stuck for a few years.
But I’m getting there.
I don’t think I’m ready yet to say,
I’m in a relationship.
But I would like to be able to say,
I have friends.


Free writing

by Henk ter Heide on Saturday November 26, 2011

in Free writing

Maybe today I’ll get to a thousand words.

there are books in the book case. The stand there waiting to be read. Although I’ve already read a large part of those books. They could leave. Go on some treasure hunt of their own.
Just imagine what would happen if all those stories became the central figure in their own adventure.
What would happen if Verne’s Captain Nemo would meet Karl May’s Old Shatterhand. You would get a adventure that played out in a submarine with Indian on horseback riding round shooting at each other.

There. I’ve done it.
I’ve found an idea to write a story about.
Well actually this was it. I don’t know anything else to say about the story and I don’t think I’m going to write it. But it is fun to know that it is so easy to think up an idea.

Argh. Only 144 words. These not included.
This free writing does feel like pulling teeth.

On second thought. It is an idea. It might not be such a useful idea, but it is an idea.
Free writing isn’t about writing a thousand words. It’s about getting ideas.


Free writing

by Henk ter Heide on Friday November 25, 2011

in Free writing

I’m writing this while sitting behind my computer. Computers are machine you can use to play games and do other fun things. There are more then enough games you can play in your garden. In gardens you’ll find flowers and grass to play on. Not to say that you can play on flowers. You could of course but your mother probably wouldn’t like it.
When your mother becomes mad at you, you’ll wont be allowed to play out side. The out side of the car is red. The in side is brown. You can use a car to drive to your work. Or you can use it to go on holiday.
They’re coming to take me away.
Well no actually they are coming to take my phone away. It’s having some problems.
Only 850 more words to write for today.
If I don’t write a 1000 words when I’m free writing it’s not much of a challenge.
That is I don’t do it for the challenge but just to get some ideas. I am repeating my self.

The dirty fox run through a field of strawberries. I hope the fox likes strawberries. But if he doesn’t I’ll glad to help him finish them.

Is it allowed to walk away while I’m free writing and continue when I return. I think it is. It’s me who is doing the writing so I can decide for myself.

I must say. I love to write when I know what I want to say. But free writing feels like pulling teeth. It clearly is some kind of work.
I don’t get paid enough to do this free writing.
But then I don’t get paid to do anything on this blog. So either I teach myself to do something worthwhile or I could as well just stop what I’m doing.
I bet that when I just go on with this something worthwhile will come up.
After all I already got passed the feeling of having nothing to say apart from saying that I have nothing to say.
That’s progress.

It’s a lovely day here in the Netherlands. Not very cold and no rain. Which is perfect for this time of year.
Usually our falls are very wet. Today I even saw some sun through the clouds.
Last few days have been very foggy.

Luckily we don’t have the thick fogs they used to have in London. Where you couldn’t see 3 feed in front of you. But it was fairly thick.
Well actually you could see for a few dozen meters.
But everything gets so depressed when the view is grey.

The strangest thing.
Ever since the last update of WordPress most times when you click the save draft button you get a window asking whether you want to leave the page or stay on the page.
It took me for ever to figure out that you actually are supposed to push the leave button. If you click the stay button the reloading of the page will stall.

I don’t think I’ll reach a 1000 words today. This are only 515 words including this one. But I do believe this is a learning experience. I will become better at this.
So tomorrow I will try again.


musical intermission

by Henk ter Heide on Monday November 21, 2011

in music

Madonna – Evita – You Must Love Me
Jesus Christ Superstar – Could We Start Again Please


writing vs drawing

by Henk ter Heide on Sunday November 20, 2011

in Personal

A few days ago I said that I don’t like the kind of stories I tell now days. And in one sense I don’t.
Twenty years ago, for a short while, I wrote very happy stories. Stories about the things I saw. Like a game two little children thought up while waiting in a butcher’s shop.
These stories where fun.
But at the same time they where a little childish.

I started this blog because I thought that I could use drawings to tell my story.
I had just discovered that I have a photographic memory. And I thought that if I would show the pictures in my mind people would understand who I am.
Picture tell a 1000 words, don’t they?

Turns out they don’t.
A 1000 words are about 2 pages of text. Which take me about five minutes to type.
(Provided I know before hand what I want to tell.)
A picture on the other hand take hours to draw. And they takes a lot of skill. And there is no way you can work on your drawing except when your sitting at your desk.
But mostly drawing bores me.

Having thought a few day about why I mostly write about myself. I conclude that is because that’s what I’m thinking about.
Writing about funny things children do might be fun. But writing about the things that affect me is way more interesting.


Free writing

by Henk ter Heide on Saturday November 19, 2011

in Free writing

Yesterday the free writing exercise really worked. After thinking up some ideas I really got at something I could write about.
So now the pressure is on. I should be able to think of something today.
Probably I won’t.

Anyway. I could write about the birds and the bees. I won’t because I don’t know very much about making children. Seeing as I don’t have any.
Just kidding. I have been told in school how people make children. But being gay I don’t have much experience with girls.
Non at all actually.

I could write about the plants and the grass. Or the cars and the buses. Or the houses and the apartment buildings.
Or how it is with the weather.
Apparently we’re in for a heavy winter this year.
Last month I read in the papers that it will get to minus 23 degrees C. But not in the Netherlands but in England.
Which is a good thing.

I don’t think that I’ve ever have experienced something like that.
Or actually I am sure. I never have.
I would expect that the trains would come to a stand still. What would mean that I couldn’t go to my work.
What’s worse is that the shopping mall would probably run into problems stocking the place up. Which in turn would get problematic for me since I only have a few days of food in my house.

I’ve written about half a page of text. Which means that I should go on and write some more.
But for the moment I’m happy that I’ve gotten rid of the blank page that was staring at me a few minutes ago.



by Henk ter Heide on Friday November 18, 2011

in Free writing

I ran out of story ideas.
Well actually not, but I just get bored from only writing about me.
There should be so many more, more interesting stories to tell.

This afternoon I realized that I’ve become so used to thinking about problems that I can’t think about anything else.
But it stands to reason to expect that if I just stop thinking about problems something else will come up.

I could write about the sun shining through the clouds.
Or I could right about write and left.

I could tell a story about a trek I ones made through the snow to the local shopping mall to buy food and sweets to enjoy during the Christmas days.

Everything was white. About 10 cm of snow had fallen. What is unusual for the Netherlands.
(Funny to think that if you cross the Pacific in a straight line you’ll get to Canada where they have 2 meter of snow every year.)
Anyway. Usually I go by bike. But because of the snow that was impossible. So I walk and it was lovely.
There where a lot of people walking about. Some to do their shopping. Others where enjoying the snow and the ice and the silence.

That was what struck me most.
The silence.
It was as though the city had come to a stand and surrendered to nature. There were hardly any cars and motorbikes on the road. There where a few cyclist but most of them walk with their bikes on there hand.

At the parking lot of the mall a bulldozer was busy clearing the snow.
I’ve never even seen that in the Netherlands.

The super market was filled with people doing their last Christmas shopping.
Usually shopping takes about 10 minutes. This time it took me more then half an hour to find that most of the stuff I wanted was sold out.

The way back was again very peaceful.
I ran into some neighbors who had some difficulty getting through the snow.
But even they loved it.


Goofy animals by HumanDescent (13 pict)

by Henk ter Heide on Thursday November 17, 2011

in Paintings & photos

For more manipulated pictures visit HumanDescent


Frederick the Fruck

Fird or Bish

Feeeeeeed me


Eye eye eye dunno





Sweet demon


Ready to eat

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Unnatural nature by 00AngelicDevil00 (11 pict)

by Henk ter Heide on Wednesday November 16, 2011

in Paintings & photos

More digital paintings by 00AngelicDevil00

Another Hidden Civilization


Deep in the forest

Dreaming of paradise

Asian dreams

Spring excursion

The scent of spring

Maple magic


The magic swamp

Coral reef


Leading to friendship

by Henk ter Heide on Tuesday November 15, 2011

in Personal

Sometimes you have to marry two unrelated problems to solve them

First problem

I have no friends. At all.
I used to have them.

I remember from my childhood that I had 3 friends. Three boys that lived on the
same block, whom I called friend. But I don’t remember if I spend much time
doing things with them.
When I was almost 12 we moved house and I lost my friends.

In my late twenties early thirties I got a few friends again. Again three friend
but now in succession. Every one of those friendships lasted for about 2 years.
And every one of those friendships felt like a lot of work.

The first two guy visited me ones every 6 to 8 weeks. But only if I invited them.
In between visits we never talked to each other. It seemed as though it was up to
me to contact them and make the arrangements.
The third came every week. Although I liked it, it seemed a little too much.
I would have liked it better if he had come every two or three weeks.
After about 2 years he stopped visiting me and I was relieved.

It was only when I found out that I’m autistic that I learned that there is a
difference between the needs of people with autism and NT‘s.
I’ve been told that the relationships of people with autism is more shallow as
compared to NT’s.
Maybe that’s true. It’s not something I can check.
What I do know though is that I’m not interested in about 90% of what NT’s talk
about. And that I need far more “me” time then NT’s.

Two autistic friend of mine moved in together a few years ago.
To do so they bought a house containing a living room plus three bed rooms. Of
which they converted two to personal rooms.
They agreed that if one of them withdrew into his/her personal room. The other
would leave him/her alone.

In a relation I too need that amount of personal space. Which makes it difficult
to be in a relationship with an NT.
The only way I could ever get in a relationship is when I find a gay autistic guy
I like.
But what are the odds of that happening?

Second problem

In one of the episodes of Star Trek Generation Wesley Crusher is tasked with
learning to lead men. He isn’t very successful at it and the men go off and do
their own thing.
Trying to figure out how to command men he asks Commander Riker “What gives me
the right to tell people (twice my age) what they should do?”
And Riker answers “If you figure that out you’ll be able to lead men.”

I always found this kind of a strange episode because I have almost the
opposite problem.
I’ve been leading people for the last 15 years.
First in my volunteers work later in my job.
Most of the time I lead by example but some times I ask people to do something
and usually they do.

But I too don’t know the answer to the question “what gives me the right?”.
So it would seem that Riker (or the person who wrote the story) is wrong.
It is possible to lead people without knowing the answer to that question.
Or at least that’s what I’ve been thinking for years. But recently I’ve
found that isn’t entirely true.

I’ve always used my ability to lead people to reach goals that where clearly
in the best interest of everybody. Improving the way the work was organized.
Teaching people how to do their work more easily. Improving the mood at the
department. Etc.
I never used it for personal gain. Although it’s clear to me that you can
improve your own life by the way you lead people I’ve never done that.
I’ve never dared.

The marriage

A few weeks ago a colleague mentioned Paul and told a story about something
stupid he had done.
Paul is a colleague who visited me ones a few years ago. I liked the guy
and was dreaming about getting friends. But it didn’t happen.
Most of my colleagues have problems. But I was surprised and shocked by the
number of problems that he had. And the kind of problems. Stupid problems
that he should be able to fix himself. But apparently he wasn’t.
For a year I thought of inviting him for a second time. But I never did.

After hearing his name I found myself doubting my decision never to invite
him again.
He is a nice guy. Even if he needs a lot a care.

Around the same time I took a few days sick leave. My department was
planning a move. We had to leave the space we where in, but it wasn’t
clear were we where going.
I can’t deal with that kind of uncertainty. And, so I found, neither
can some of my colleagues.
One of them told me that he resented me leaving them in such a stressful

And so I found myself thinking about friendship and about leadership at
the same time. And a few things became clear.
The answer to the question “what gives me the right?” is responsibility.
People follow me because I improve their lives. I take care of them.
Which means that it is possible to lead people in a way that will improve
my life, but only if it also improves their lives.

The second thing I realized is that it is possible to get friends that
are not autistic. The only thing is that it’s up to me to make sure that
they behave in a way that I feel comfortable.
Which means that I will have to lead them and take responsibility for them.

So now I’m thinking about inviting Paul again. What kind of care does he
need. Something I can give him?
I think so.

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