UNMASKED: Snippets & notes from a lifetime collection of journals  (pre-diagnosis).
Advocating for autistic acceptance.




August 8, 1994


It is now afternoon. I am listening to Enya. I love how incredibly soothing beautiful this music is.


Earlier, as I “napped”, I floated on the waves of The Cure. Today I made an important discovery: the intense creative impact of cool jazz and hard be-bop. I want to do this so badly! Musical passages – solos, melodies – flow through my mind. This is what I want!


I am happy. I have images of myself with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of my mouth, dark sunglasses shading my eyes, fingers magically improvising on the keys.


For weeks I’ve been thinking about learning the sitar now instead of in a few years, and incorporating it in my music (piano, voice, etc). Now I know how – go to the Indian Society Functions. Where there is a will there is a way.


I want to do it all … I will!


It is uncanny (not really) how music is able to fluctuate with me. Romantic, Victorian – classical; dreaming – big band; sexual and fun – Dixieland; sad – blues; entertaining – ragtime; antiestablishment, antisocial – bebop (intellectual).


It always amuses me when I try to categorize things … when will I learn that I only succeed in narrowing it all down? I hadn’t even moved from my playing to my listening!


Kalpita Pathak

Age 19


The key sentence in this journal entry is: I am *happy*. Special interests bring peace and comfort and joy in a world that too often denies us all of those things.


Also, how many of you find pleasure in categorizing things? I do it all day long – as I load the dishwasher (all the plates then all the bowls the all the knives), work on my writing (poetry day, short story day), bathe (shampoo, conditioner, face, body, comb, rinse), enjoy mixed nuts (I unmix them and eat each type separately!).


I know it can seem reductive but at the same time, it is quite soothing. I can know how complex things are while managing that complexity with some kind of order.


In what ways do you categorize things in your life?