When I was six, I had a fourteen-year-old babysitter. She told me a secret. Stay away from the man next door. He’s touchy, she said, but she didn’t want me to tell anyone, especially my mother. Mom was a child psychologist. I’m not sure if that was the babysitter’s reason for not wanting her to know, but I nodded in response, and then she tickled me. I told her she was the best tickler in the world. She was the only person allowed to tickle me. She wiped her eyes and said, I love you. I nodded. When I was eighteen, my grandmother told me that the babysitter had killed herself. She left several notes. One was for me. It said, you were my most favorite person in the world. You made me laugh when I wanted to cry. You have a funny brain. Don’t ever let them give you medicine for it. My mother had me tested as a child; according to all the specialists, I am on the spectrum. I think my mother was in denial about that diagnosis. So she gave me protocols for my quirks. If someone hugs you, she said, use the three-second car distance rule. One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, then let go. Learn as many foreign languages as possible, she said; it helps with speech impediments. I’m up to six. I’m tackling the Asian languages now. They’re confusing. All the pictures creating a story, but I can’t see the end. Instead of screaming, hum, Mom said; it doesn’t matter what as long as it sounds musical. People think a six-year-old running around humming all the time is cute. When you’re older, they just think it’s part of what makes you, you. Instead of hitting the back of your head with your hand, Mom said, use your first finger to tap your cheek, like The Thinker. When life gets overwhelming, sit in the corner and be quiet, she said. When I was eighteen, I took up yoga so I could sit in meditation. Now when I am in a corner by myself, people think I’m meditating. Not coping strategies, Mom said; it’s called working with your quirks. I have many. When I was twenty-five, I found out that the babysitter had a daughter. Her dad was the man nextdoor. I wrote the daughter a message. All it said was, I knew your mom, she was my most favorite person in the world. She made me laugh. I folded my fingers in a fist so that I wouldn’t write anything else. Mom called that containment. It prevented unexpected things from coming out, just like biting your lip, smiling, and keeping still. It was what the babysitter did whenever she saw the man next door. Working on your quirks made you quiet.