by James Christie
The true story of the Rain Man who came in from the cold
Every morning James Christie puts on a blue rugby shirt and jeans. His wardrobe is full of identical outfits. Every day he eats the same meal and drinks from the same mug. These are not ingrained habits, but survival strategies. For James, coping with new experiences feels like smashing his head through a plate glass window. The only relief comes from belting the heavy bag at the boxing club or watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He?s an autistic man lost in a neuro-typical world. Differently wired. Alien.
Despite a high IQ, it seems he?ll spend the next 20 years cleaning toilets. But then his life takes an amazing turn ? from a Glasgow tenement to a rendezvous with a Hollywood star on Sunset Boulevard.
On that road trip across America, the man who feels he lacks a soul will find it. Eight time zones and 5,000 miles away, he has a date with the actress who played Drusilla, the kooky vampire who changed his life when he saw her in a Buffy episode. Drusilla has no soul either. And maybe that?s the attraction. But Drusilla is fictional. The lady he?ll see on Sunset is Juliet Landau. She?s real, and that?s a very different proposition?
James Christie, born in 1964, has a degree in creative writing and a postgraduate diploma in library and information studies. He catalogued the private library of a stately home and worked as a law librarian for some years in Glasgow. In 2002 he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and shortly thereafter began to take a focused interest in Drusilla the vampire, a character in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He wrote a trilogy of fan-fiction stories (Drusilla's Roses, Drusilla's Redemption and Drusilla Revenant) which further developed the character of Drusilla.
In 2010, James took a Buffy-themed Greyhound bus trip across America with the support of the National Autistic Society Scotland, the story, which includes descriptions of his difficulties living as an autistic adult in a neuro-typical world, has been published by Chaplin Books under the title Dear Miss Landau in 2012.
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