Being courteous can sometimes be fatal

Some two weeks ago, I was sitting and writing at a cafe. A guy I know came to me and invited me over to his table, he was sitting together with his son.

I declined politely, I was in no particular mood for conversation being absorbed in my ideas.

So he stood by my table a little while and we changed a few words though. He told me about his son. The young man, I found out, was autistic. Very special. He could play the piano well, and had an incredible memory. It was enough for him to hear whatever tune, and he would just play it right away.

“You know”, he went on, ” he has also this amazing capacity – he feels people instantly. If he detects any negativity, he refuses to talk, he just walks away.” I admit, he sparked my interest. I was curious to see how the guy would react to my presence. As I felt how my inspiration had faded, and as they also were about to leave, I told him I could just come over to their table and greet his son.

The son was anxiously sitting waiting for his father. “This is Julien Matei, a friend of mine, he is also a pianist, I just wanted you to say hello.” Out of the blue, the young man raised brusquely from his chair, looking angry and conspicuously disturbed. His attitude was anything but equivocal:

“No, I don´t want to talk to you, go to hell, leave me alone!” he shouted.
“Yes…but Julien is a friend, he is nice…” tried the father…
“God damn it, don´t you hear, I want to go home!”

At first I was taken aback by his vehement response. It was fiercely unfriendly and
ill-mannered. But…

I LOVED IT!

Really…I had never witnessed a more atrociously true demeanor. Uncouth yes,
but unambiguously frank…Rarely did someone move me the way this autistic boy did. What a lesson of dignity and integrity…

My parents – especially my mother – brought me up to be nice and amiable with everybody. But this undifferentiated courtesy of mine has throughout my life been perversely inappropriate – a jinx really.

This inadequate politeness has been really disastrous. It has made that I allowed different bastards to use and take advantage of my friendliness and benevolence. I should have walked away instantly many times. But being taught to be courteous, I have wasted precious time with different people who just deserve a healthy, liberating and prompting FUCK OFF or GO TO HELL.

It would have been much more dignified, fair and emotionally correct.

But finally… – this autistic boy has taught me the right lesson.

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