A Certain Type of Invisibility

When I was young I sometimes felt like I was invisible. This lasted ‘til I was about 13 when, no longer did I feel invisible, as suddenly girls were not just other people, but girls. I mean, pretty things that talked to you, made me nervous, and scared me to endless sleepless nights. Not much has changed since then mind you… but the moment that I realised was on the spectrum was an overheard conversation whilst being invisible in a classroom during an English lesson.

The teacher put us into different seats so that we weren’t sitting next to our mates. Seeing as my mates in the class totalled 4, at most, it was the luck of the draw that I was going to get one of “them”. I mean the trouble ones. As previously mentioned, a state school gives you three things when graduating that you use in the real life – awareness of the nutter-eyes that will save your skin in pubs, homophobic insults that will give you a thick skin, and the ability to bluff your way through any exchange, be it with a teacher or a pupil.

I was sitting next to three girls who colluded together to gossip even when they were from different social circles. Overhearing this whilst studiously pretending to be reading some bullshit poetry my eyes were opened.

“You fancy Craig?”
“Yeah”
“He’s a pure dick mind?”
“Aye, but he’s funny though”
“Nah, you should fancy someone hot or good a football or something”
“No, that’s not what I fancy. Someone like… Mark or that, who’s funny but quiet.”
Pause.
“Hoi, did you hear that Shieldsy?
“…SPLUTTER AHEM COUGH…”
“Hahahaha”

At this point I’d like to use this: :( Anyway, it was a watershed moment. The girls knew who I was and suddenly I realised that anyone notices you to an extent and even if you have no hope of a good opinion, people having any type of opinion is better than none. Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I had a few “girlfriends” at high school, where dates amounted to little more than hanging out and maybe once or twice going to the cinema. Oh how times have changed… ahem.

But this fear of invisibility returns in older age, not about girls, but about managers. I am certain that one of my “bosses” doesn’t even know what colour my skin is, never mind how ginger my beard has become. Nor did I think that anyone knew what I wanted to do, but it would appear that some people do know who I am. In the office invisibility breeds in my job, as we rarely talk to many other disciplines in good circumstance – probably when they’re using our lack of delivery as an excuse for their lack of delivery, even if it’s true or not. Those bastards.

Sometimes, in my quieter moments, I wonder why sometimes people can’t see what lies directly in front of them, in plain sight. It’s frustrating to say the least that, no matter how often you think that maybe it’s bleedingly obvious, they keep ignoring the facts presented to them or laid out in front of them. I wonder why people have this blindside to the answer or the brain signal that allows them to just turn away from the correct path.

A certain type of invisibility I suppose.