Dear Mary Daisy Dinkle,
There is something I have to tell you which will explain why I have not written. Each time I received one of your letters, I had a severe anxiety attack. This is because recently, while I was in a mental institution, they diagnosed that I have a new thing called Asperger's syndrome, which is a neurobiological, pervasive, developmental disability. I prefer "Aspie" for short. I will now list some of the traits of an Aspie.
1 - I find the world very confusing and chaotic because my mind is very literal and logical.
2 - I have trouble understanding the expressions on people's faces. When I was younger, I made a book to help me when I was confused. I still have trouble with some people. Ivy was hard to understand because of her wrinkles and because her eyebrows weren't real.
3 - I have bad handwriting, am hypersensitive... ..clumsy and can get very concerned.
4 - I like solving problems. Ivy said this is a good thing.
And finally No.5 - I have trouble expressing my emotions.
Dr Bernard Hazelhof says my brain is defective but one day there will be a cure for my disability. I do not like it when he says this. I do not feel disabled, defective or I need to be cured. I like being an Aspie. It would be like trying to change the colour of my eyes. There is one thing I wish I could change, however. I wish I could cry properly. I squeeze and squeeze but nothing...comes out. I cry when I cut onions but this does not count.
Anyway, do you like the word "cumquat"? It is a type of fruit. Do you have a favourite-sounding word? My top 5 are ointment, bumblebee, Vladivostok, banana and testicle. I have also invented some new words "confuzzled", which is being confused and puzzled at the same time, "snirt", which is a cross between snow and dirt, and "smushables"... ..which are squashed groceries you find at the bottom of the bag. I have sent a letter to the Oxford Dictionary people asking them to include my words but I have not heard back.
It is now time for me to go to my Overeaters Anonymous meeting. There is a woman there called Marjorie Buttersworth who confuzzles me. She kisses me without my permission so tonight I have decided to rub onions under my armpits to repel her.
Your friend in America,
Max Jerry Horowitz
PS. Please find enclosed some chocolate-covered ants I found at the deli.
PPS. Not much has happened since I last wrote except for my manslaughter charges, lotto win and lvy's death.