Like nerds everywhere, I was obsessed with the Cure when I was a teenager. It was out-of-control, poster-plastered walls, concert-footage-on-repeat unhealthy. Looking for a great way to separate yourself from your teen peers? Fall in love with five make-up wearing goth rockers who reached popularity in the decade prior. It’s a surefire bet.
I was mortified by this ruse, which would’ve been charming when I was 13. He then insisted on smoking pot in such plain sight, I was embarrassed, and then we pushed on to another bar. I lagged behind as he wheeled his fixed gear bike to the closest bar, where he had a water and tipped with his last dollar.
Growing up with an autistic sibling really makes your teenage years abnormal in the way that your only goal is to fly under the radar by doing super-well in school, saying no to all drugs, and abstaining from sex. All of this in an effort to avoid causing your already stressed-out parents any undue pain. I remember myself as an obedient, unselfish teen, but in retrospect, I selfishly used my disabled brother as leverage to get into school.