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alexhogan
20 September 2007 @ 17:02
She was gone.

He rang in the morning, he had waited as long as he could, not wanting to wake me. But still it was early. A lonely phone ringing in the blue of the early morning light. I knew what it must be. His voice sounded thin and windy - alone in the gloomy early dawn light.

"She died this morning."

"I'll come and see you."

"Thanks."

I put the phone back in its cradle and stared at it. The shrill whistle of a morning bird pierced the air, sneaking in with the thin streak of sunlight that came in through the tiny slit between the drawn curtains.

Now he was alone. No parents, no brothers, no sisters. Cousins who would cluck sympathetically but then continue on to the take their kids to school and themselves into city office blocks.

I felt such a fool. How could he respect me? Me with my petty little stupid concerns about what the others will think of me if I let them know the truth. What would they care? Why should I care what they care? If they did care then that just shows how petty and stupid they are. What I want to do when I'm in a bedroom with another person has nothing to do with anyone else but me, and he.

I walked over and spread the curtains wide. The golden morning sun flooded in to chase away the blue shadows. More birds joined the first one, giving me a symphony of adoration to the magic of the rising sun.

I grabbed my wallet and coat and left the house. He needed me.




Alex Hogan - 18.9.2007
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alexhogan
18 September 2007 @ 18:45
LONELY

By Alex Hogan

Words: 741

His mother was ill, lying in a hospital bed, being pushed and prodded
by impatient nurses and inconsiderate doctors. I watched as he held
her hand. She squeezed his, and whispered to him.

"Do you have a boyfriend?"

I sat still, holding my breath. I hadn't been sure if he was gay, and
wasn't sure if I wanted him to be. But now she had confirmed it.

He shook his head and smiled sadly.

"I do hope it happens, Anthony. I don't want you to be lonely."

I eased out of the room and sat in the waiting room.

He was gay. I had known him now for six months. Some looks shared,
some of the words thrown between us, the little smiles, made me think
he could be...but I wasn't game to ask. Over the time we had become
firm friends, that was because I hadn't been able keep myself away
from him, every little muscle he moved, every turn of his head, drove
me wild. Every night I'd try to exorcise him from my mind. I hadn't
been ready to face this in me. I wasn't ready to open out to anybody.
It was all still buried deep within me. And I didn't want to break
the magic we had. It was working as it was, I didn't want to take it
further.

But now I knew. I couldn't pretend, and he had known I was in the
room when his mother spoke.

He came out, his head hanging. He smiled wanly at me and sat in a
chair near me.

"I believe she's dying, Jacob."

No point in false cheerfulness. I simply nodded.

"My dad died five years ago, as you know. Now... without her,
there'll be no one. And she has no one else. Huh! Only me!"

"Did...did she have other children before you?"

He shook his head. "They had trouble having children, and when they
did, it was me!"

"You say it as if she regretted you. She seemed to love you."

"Yeah. Yeah. But...you know. Just me. No grandchildren with me."

He said it simply, as if I always knew, and he always knew I knew.

"You could still have children."

He looked up at me, stared directly into my eyes, into my inner self.
I wanted to turn away, but he had caught me.

He broke the gaze himself and laughed lightly. "I had always told
myself that I would marry at forty, or after forty."

"Marry?" Had I got all of this wrong?

"Yeah. I mean, of course, that I would look for someone to marry."

"A-- you mean-- a woman?"

He nodded. "She will be gone soon, my mother. If I didn't, couldn't,
find someone, and, when I reach forty, I'm still alone, I will marry."

Silence crept into the room. He stared at his hands, held together,
gripping each other tightly. I stared at them too, at the spidery
veins and the long slender fingers.

"I've always been alone," he continued. "As an only child, I've
always been alone. Jacob, I don't want to be alone all my life."

Alone?

I stared at him. His short brown hair lay whispering over his
forehead, covering the corner of his eye so it was lost to me, all I
saw was the profile of his nose and chin.

"That's the key word. Anthony!" My words reached out to him. "Of
course! Ever since…ever since high school started, since primary
school was over--"

"Ever since puberty," he said.

"No matter who I was with, or how many," I said. "I felt so distant
from them. All of 'them' out there, living their pretty little lives
with their girlfriends and wives and babies and-- bloody all of it.
They are so distant from me. The gulf between is massive, impossible
to cross, the more I try the further away I get."

We stared at each other. He just two foot from me. Air between us.
Two separate human beings who could stand up and walk away from each
other, back to their own little cubicles, untouched, alone.

"God, Anthony. I've always been so alone."

His hands separated for a moment, then clenched together again.
"Jacob." He took a deep breath, then reached his hand out, slowly,
and grasped my own. His flesh was warm and soft, his hand hard. I
squeezed my eyes tight to try to desperately stop the tears, and
closed my hand over his.
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alexhogan
27 March 2007 @ 16:27
JACOB AND THE TECHNICOLOUR TV*

By Alex Hogan



Jacob loved watching TV.

He was not supposed to, of course, he was supposed to climb trees.

*You need to get him out and engage his mind. Don't let him vegetate in front of the tube.*

So I did. I got out card games and board games, Lego and cars. He lined the cards up in numerical order. He was frightened of the snakes in the snakes and ladders. He couldn't put the Lego together and screamed when I tried to help him. He picked the cars up and spun the wheels, watching them closely as they twirled. He ignored me when I tried to play races with them.

I gave up and left the room to read a book. He went back to his TV.

When I came back he had placed a magnet on top of the TV - it changed the colours on the screen. I screamed, "don't do that" and whipped the magnet off. The colours didn't go back to normal. I yelled at him, he sat with his hands over his ears, rocking.

I rang a TV repairman. When I returned, Jacob had placed the magnet on the TV again.

"DON'T DO IT!" I yelled.

He screamed back, "BUT I WANT TO."

I switched the TV off. "You can't watch the TV anymore, go outside and play." He just stared at me. I opened the outside door. He didn't move. I tried to drag him outside. "No, no, no." he cried. So I left him there and went into the lounge room to try and calm my nerves.

The TV was switched on again. I huddled in the chair and cried.

Mr TV repairman came. He asked how it happened, why Jacob did what he did. I translated that to mean; why did you let him do it?

I shrugged. "He's autistic."

No one knows what to say after that.

Finally he said, "I'll have to take the TV away to be fixed."

Jacob cried on his special chair for two hours. I eventually got the portable TV out of the main bedroom. Immediately Jacob put the magnet on it. I went back to my chair and cried. Why hadn't I hidden the thing?

The next day was Saturday. Jacob did play outside, in the sunshine. David took the portable TV to the TV repairman. I went outside to find Jacob and try and tell him. He was holding a piece of coloured cellophane up to the trees. He took no notice of me.

Helen came to visit; she has an autistic son too. I told her the story and she nodded. "All you need to do is wave the magnet in front of the TV and it will go back to normal."

I could only laugh hysterically. "Thanks."

By evening the TV was back, the magnet on top.

"Perhaps he will be an artist?" David said. We tipped our wineglasses and toasted our brilliant son.



END
(c)Alex Hogan 2006


*Thanks to Marg Whitfield for beta work. And the title.
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Current Location: still 55 kms out of Melb
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alexhogan
27 March 2007 @ 16:14
OK - I'm going to use this blog to post some stories involving my son, Shannon, who is a high functioning autistic.

These stories will usually be written in a children's story way. I find it difficult to find stories that suit Shannon, that he can follow and understand. Stories about elves and fairies and kids going on adventures to countries far away just don't mean anything to him.

So - hopefully some of these stories might be helpful for others with similar kids.

What name to give him? Should I call him Shannon? But...when I become hugely famous...(g)... he won't like being the subject of all these stories, much like Christopher Robin Milne.

Originally I was calling him 'Liam' - but I've since come to know Marg and her teenage son Liam, who is far from autistic. So now I shall go for Jacob - even though I have another Jacob in others stories, who is also far from autistic.

Not to worry, as Marg knows, all the boys in my stories have names that start with either A or J.

I will post my first story after this post.
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Current Location: 55 kms out of Melbourne
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alexhogan
BRITISH children as young as four are being taught about same-sex relationships through fairytales and storybooks with gay and lesbian characters. But of course some Christian groups in the UK are outraged. "The whole project is nothing more than propaganda aimed at primary school children to make them sympathetic to homosexuality."

Well - yeah, I guess it is. But what is wrong with that??????


----- Original message -----
From: "thomas c jackson" <tcjackson2005@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 23:00:25 -0700
Yahoo group - GayYouthNews


Story from
Shanghai Daily, China .
http://www.shanghaidaily.com/sp/article/2007/200703/20070315/article_309107.htm


BRITISH children as young as four are being taught about same-sex relationships through fairytales and storybooks with gay and lesbian characters.

A pilot scheme to introduce children to gay issues is running in several schools across England with stories such as "King and King," about a gay prince, or "And Tango Makes Three," about gay penguins who fall in love and raise an adopted child.

The scheme, called the "No Outsiders" project, has the backing of the Department for Education and is designed to help schools adjust to new rules on promoting homosexuality as a lifestyle.

But it has sparked anger among some religious groups who say it is homosexual propaganda.

"This is tantamount to child abuse," said Stephen Green, director of the religious campaign group Christian Voice. "The whole project is nothing more than propaganda aimed at primary school children to make them sympathetic to homosexuality."

According to those heading the "No Outsiders" project, children in one participating school used the "King & King" fairytale - which tells of a prince who rejects the love of three princesses before falling in love with and "marrying" another prince - as a basis for writing "alternative Cinderella" stories.

In another participating school in London, children aged between four and 11 are rehearsing for a performance of an opera called "The Sissy Duckling" about a male duckling who loves cooking, cleaning and art.

The "No Outsiders" pilot is regarded as the first effort to make gay issues part of modern primary school life.

Those leading the project reject suggestions they are peddling propaganda and say that stories such as "King & King" are no more propaganda than is Cinderella or other traditional fairytales.

"These books are presenting one aspect of the spectrum of daily life," Elizabeth Atkinson, director of the project, told BBC radio. "What we are doing is representing reality ... Many, many children in this country have this as part of their everyday experience."
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alexhogan
14 March 2007 @ 19:12
I am sure that some of society's crime problems are due to unrecognised mental disorders - unrecognised because work in that area has only been progressing since the late 20th century. I think ADHD was only recognised in the 1980s or 90s, or at least to any large extent. I know high functioning autism and aspergers syndrome has only been recognised to a large degree in the 1990s, before that time only severe autism was diagnosed. The figures used to be 1 in 3,000, now it’s 1 in 300 or less. My son is a high functioning autistic, and if he had been born ten years earlier would not have been diagnosed, he would have been considered an unco-operative ‘dreamer’ and we would have had severe discipline problems with him, because we would have been parenting him inappropriately and expected behaviour out of him that he would not have been able to comply to, hence he would have ended up with behavioural problems at school and presumably in adulthood. (eg: it took us 2 years to toilet train him.)

Because of the widening of definition of autism and more detailed understanding of other develomental and behavioural disorders, there are far more people diagnosed with these disorders. Some people in society, who have no expereince with these disorders, seem to think the increased diagnoses is a problem. I guess on the surface it does sound like it - why suddenly are there so many diagnoses when there weren’t before? Is it because suddenly medicos have “invented” a lable to tag badly parented kids? No - these disorders have always existed, but were not recognised and understood, therefore a mildly autistic boy was seen as an unco-operative dreamer, and an ADHD child was seen as naughty and cheeky and disruptive. The increase in diagnoses has come about because now these people are finally getting the chance to have their behavioural disorder recognised, and helped. So the increase in diagnoses is good. I am grateful for it. My older brother is very similar to my son, but has no diagnosis of autism, because mild autism wasn’t recognised when he was a kid. His childhood, education and life has been very difficult, and my mother has searched all her life to find out why.

When you get such a diagnosis for your child, a parent is victim to many thoughts, one of them being guilt, “is it my fault?”. It isn’t helped by strangers who see you with your child in the street and assume they know more about parenting him than you, who have been with them 24/7 since the day he was born.

I know that attempting to “discipline” an autistic child according to techniques suitable for neurotypical (“normal”) children will not work, but will only make their behaviour worse, and from the little I know of ADHD, I suspect it would be much the same. ADHD kids are full of restless energy, too much to dispel in a normal child’s life. Attempts to “discipline” them according to practises for normal kids, i.e. restrict their disruptive behaviour, I would imagine would just make things worse. These kids, like autistic kids, need to be managed (“disciplined”) according to what suits them, and that at times is quite different to what suits other kids.

Problems occur when you take these kids out into the public with other people who know nothing of your child, you, or your parenting needs. I’ve had looks from strangers that definitly say “why don’t you control that child!” My son will run about, talking to himself, he walks in the way of people, walks too close to them, touches people barely known to him, will not sit still in a cafe - general unsociable behaviour like that, and of course the temper tantrums in the middle of the shops. Nothing to what some autistic kids do and to what ADHD kids would do, but enough to make these strangers think I know nothing about parenting (even though my 14 year old daughter is perfect ). One particularly bad day I had someone tell me my son should be taken away from me, I was such a bad parent. At the time I would have been quite happy for them to have done so.

As for the medication issue. I have heard stories about how it seems to be more prevelant in the US. I wonder if this is so, or is it because the dioagnosing and treatment started there, and there are more people there, so there are more stories of it, or because Americans, being generally more outgoing people, are simply more likely to talk about it.

I think it’s very easy for others who have nothing to do with it to say “too much medication! you should simply discipline them better”. There is far more to parenting than “discipline”. Sure, there are people with bad parenting skills, and some of them may have a ADHD kid. And, as I indicated before, once you get a diagnosis for you child of some behavioural disorder, many people react in many different ways. The worst I think is those who refuse to recognise it and go on as if their child has no such disorder.

I have heard of people who have been very grateful for the medication they were able to have to control their ADHD. Before having it their attention was all over the place and they were acting like a stressed out mum, doing a hundred things at once and not being able to focus on any. With the medication they could calm down and concentrate on things. I imagine parenting a ADHD kid would be a great challenge, and much of what you would do would not “work”. It is a condition in them and no amount of ‘discipline’ will take it away, all you can do is manage the behaviour to suit the child and the degree of his disability. The same with autism, you manage them to help them function as much as they can and so they can fit into society as much as possible, but you can’t take the autism away.

The decision to medicate I imagine would be a hard one. It’s probablay not the best solution, but until something better comes along... After all, we use long term medication to control physical problems like asthma, and diabetes and blood pressure.

On the other hand, I have heard stories of kids who seem so drugged out that they just sit and watch TV. Those stories would support what Liz said she had heard about adults who have lived through this. There are similar reports for autism. There is no medication for autism but there is a behavioural program called ABA - which is meant to train autistic people to behave like ‘normal’ people. I’ve heard parents say it’s great, but I’ve heard of adult autistics who have been through it who have absolutely hated it. To me I feel its aim is to try and mould these people into being someone they are not. Change them through a Pavlovian type of conditioning into acting in a way foreign to their natural thinking. Not allow them to *be* autistic. (bit like those who try and change homosexuals into heterosexuals through behaviour. Behaving heterosexually doesn’t make you heterosexual, just makes you miserable).

But there are probabaly stories from adult autistics who liked ABA - I don’t know - since I rejected it as a therapy, then I haven’t pursued the matter.

There is no medication for autism, so I’m not faced with that dilemma. If I were told there was medication to take away my son’s autism, would I do it? I would be very tempted, for me yes, but mainly for him - so he could function better and live a more fulfilling life. Yes, I know I just said he should be allowed to *be* autistic. But the behavioural therapy doesn’t make him not autistic, just conditions him to behave in a socially acceptable way, to non-autistics, not to themselves. But if medication could genuinely take away the autism, that would be a different issue. If your child were blind, and you were told there were medication he could take which would allow him to see, but he would have to take it all his life, would you give it to him?

That’s all folks
Alex
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alexhogan
31 August 2006 @ 11:35
HAY

"Where is that boy? He should be mucking out the stables. He's probably asleep behind the hay, like little boy blue. Beth, go find him and send him here."

What? How could mum ask me to do that? The boy was one of our farm boys, and he could well be asleep by now, since he arrived here every morning at dawn, I wondered at what time in the morning he had to leave his own home?

'The boy' was Jack. He had been working here for three years. When he first started I did not take much notice of him – he was just a boy. But now, I thought he looked very nice. Trouble was, I had spent two years ignoring him, while he and my brother played stupid boy games, throwing cats down wells and such things, that now he took no notice of me.

I left mum by the clothes tub in the laundry and went out toward the stables. Behind the stables was the hay-shed, and behind that the pile of newly cut hay, that could not fit into the hay-shed. Between the pile and the hay-shed was a nice space one could easily hide. I had done so myself many-a time, when I wanted to escape from mum's rules and chores. I had not realised she knew about it.

I did not think Jack would be there, as he had never come there on the occasions when I was there. I wish he had. I would have gladly given a maidenly blush and then allowed him to sneak a kiss. But those sojourns I spent between the hay and the shed were always alone.

I trudgeds on, vainly holding my skirts above the mud and duck shit that lay along the way. As I came closer to the haystack behind the shed I heard a human sound, a whimpering perhaps, or a groan. I could not recognise the type of sound. The voice at times did sound like Jack. Was he injured? I quickened my pace. Maybe I could help him, save him, tend to his wounds, surely then he would love me.

As I reached the back of the shed I heard the voice of Teddy, my brother. Had he already found Jack? But he was a mere boy; he could not help someone who was injured the way a girl could. He gave a groan just as Jack had. What had happened to these two boys? Mother would be so pleased that I had saved my dear brother.

I turned the corner, about to race over and offer my assistance. In front of me I saw the two boys, they were lying down against the hay, next to each other. Each had one arm around the other's waist, and their heads lying against each other's shoulders. Their other hands were slipped into the front of each other's pants and seemed to be moving around inside. Both were moaning and whimpering. I couldn't help but wonder what it was they were doing in each other's pants. I knew what things were in there, as I had seen my brother open his pants to relieve himself out in the paddocks.

Jack lifted his head off Teddy's shoulder, then leant in and kissed him upon the lips.

I slipped away from the haystack and made my way back toward the house. I felt like I was walking along in some sort of balloon, looking at the world in a new and strange way.

"Well, was the lazy sod of a boy there?"

"No mum. Nothing there." I had not understood what I had seen, but did not think the boys would want me to tell, since they had hidden in the secret spot to do it. "Maybe he's out in a paddock somewhere." I slipped off to do my chores in the house, alone.

-----

Alex Hogan
All rights reserved
2006

words: 640
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alexhogan
31 August 2006 @ 11:33
Oh wow - the romance of it. Yes. Come and roll in the hay, he said. Ok. I went to meet him there. the sun was shining, birds singing. Yep. Perfect. but where was he? I waited...waited. Should I jump into the hay? Yes. Ok. So I did. Err...yuck. I jumped out again. Scratchy and itchy and hard.

I waited some more, but the clouds were coming and he wasn't coming. How can I come if he wasn't there?

I left.

The next day he rang me. He had a massive allergic reaction to the hay. I had to laugh.

We'll try my bedroom next time. I could tell he smiled from the way he said, "I'll be sure to come."

Alex Hogan
all rights reserved
2006
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alexhogan
31 August 2006 @ 11:15
Hi,

I like to write stories - pure and simple.

Below I will list some of my stories.

They tend to revolve around gay relationships, but not always. If you find that a problem I suggest you look deep inside yourself and ask why - maybe you should give my stories a try - you might learn something, but if you still don't like them - just quietly leave.

If you do like them, please let me know, and if you like them so much that you want more, try here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alexm2mstories/

Alex Hogan