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piano teacher

The correct way to say “I don’t know” in piano

“Labels are for cans,” my friend says.

But I’m still curious whether I’m autistic.

The first doctor’s office said I needed a referral from another doctor. The second doctor’s office said I needed to pay around two thousand dollars to sit with him three times, so he could potentially tell if I had autism by asking questions.

I am not good with questions.

At my eye exam a few days ago, the optometrist said, “Grace, we need to work on your answers.”

We had gone back and forth with different lens options because I couldn’t decide which lens I preferred. I declared that I was getting headaches from my outdated glasses.

“You have to be sure,” he said. “Your answers dictate the prescription. If there’s no difference, you can say so.”

A lot of my answers started turning into “there is no difference.”

It ended up being that my current thick blue-framed glasses don’t need changing. I’m probably getting headaches from stress or not eating properly or looking at the screen too long. But not from using the wrong glasses. Which is a bummer, since I wanted it to be a problem I could pinpoint and fix.

When I used to take music lessons, my teacher would ask, “Are you going to the masterclass on Saturday?”

I didn’t know how to answer.

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Being a pianist that people want to be around?

I analyze each social context when I am the only one confused, which causes a lot of embarrassment, partly because I am now aware that I am the only one who doesn’t understand a situation that I should be able to understand by now.

What did that look mean? What did that wink mean?

People expect me to understand, or else they wouldn’t be including me in them.

It’s like a secret language where I intercepted a few signals. Like catching the Enigma Code in the Imitation Game. I’m only more aware that I don’t understand, and each time I think about it, I’m more dismayed. So maybe I have Asperger’s.

The possibility of having Asperger’s just means that I won’t be able to understand, even if I tried very very hard to pay attention and memorize how you’re supposed to act during certain situations.

I haven’t gone through a doctor yet. Asperger’s in women is misdiagnosed so often that I could cycle through doctors until I found one who would slap the label on me. I could very well have social anxiety instead.

I baked a blueberry loaf the other day and thought I would leave a slice outside my neighbour’s door, since he wasn’t “in the mood to hang out”. It’s the neighbour who was ignoring my texts because he was having family issues.

“He might get the wrong idea,” Pan says.


“A pretty girl wants to see you all the time and feed you. What are you supposed to think?”

“Oh,” I say. “It never occurred to me.”

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