It took me a while to figure out that one of the more unusual characters, Bob, has Asperger Syndrome. Bob is more noticeably impaired than I am, but he's also a quirkily brilliant bacteriologist and biochemist. He has what might be called a savant gift. He has a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of his field, and he has a knack, not necessarily for finding the answer to a puzzle, but where to look next. Some days it seems like I have a similar knack.
But of course, he's a bit more impaired than I am.
It struck me this evening, though, that there may be a pattern there. I have been, I suppose, lucky to not be impaired in the way that character, Bob, is. But I'm also not gifted the way he is. And I wonder if those of us who have been less impaired, are generally also less gifted. Part of the definition of Asperger as part of the Autistic spectrum is that we are of normal to high intelligence. I just happen to be fairly normal. Well, maybe a little bit high.
Bob's gift is understanding bacteriology. My gift, perhaps sadly, is sounding good on a microphone. I may know absolutely nothing about any given topic, but I can sound like I do. I am, in fact, an unemployed telemarketer who spends way too much time tapping away on a computer keyboard. But I'd listened to a fair number of podcasts about PR, thiinking I might learn enough to help promote my podcast.
The other day, I called into a podcast on Public Relations called "For Immediate Release." They were talking about software for creating PR metrics for Social Media. I am not in PR. I am not a programmer. But I have my gift.
I stopped in the chatroom for the live stream, and asked a question that turned out to be exactly the right question. Then I called in on their call-in line and asked another exactly right question, and another that I didn't explain well, but it sounded intelligent enough they were able to answer intelligently what they thought I was asking. I actually sounded like I knew what I was talking about, because I very nearly did.
And I'm still an unemployed telemarketer. My particular gift helps on that job, perhaps understandably.
I wish I had a gift that'd get me a better job, though.