There is a severely autistic man singing in my shower. There are no words. Alan* is a man of 28 years and 300 pounds, with a mental capacity comparable to a two and a half year old. He is incapable of behaving gently. He marginally approaches this only when Rojer is there to remind him. "Sit down CAREFULLY!" Hi voice is sometimes that of a tiny child, high and weak, but sometimes like a man's. He warbles in between these two noises at times, and has trouble with sentences. All the candles, matches and knives in the house are hidden in my room, which is "off limits". High shelves don't work, he is 6'4". He wails and runs through the tiny apartment, and the doorframes shake. He follows the rules when he remembers them, and when he wants to, and my roommate Roj* is usually able to calm him down, divert his energy.

I am afraid.

Roj casually informed us a couple weeks ago that Alan would be staying with us on Thanksgiving and the day after. Having interacted with Alan before, I decided it would be best for all involved if I arranged to stay with at my parents' house for those two days. I don't see my family as much as they'd like, and I knew they'd welcome my sleeping over. I am also afraid of sleeping, alone in the house with Alan, as I would be on thursday and friday night, since my boyfriend works nights and holidays, and Alan is sleeping in the room next to me, while Rojer sleeps all the way out in the living room. No, there is no historical reason for me to be this afraid of Alan. He has never caused that kind of trouble before.

As I was walking out the door to my car on Thursday morning, my boyfriend informed that plans had changed, and that now Alan was staying with us Saturday through til Monday morning.

I was eating lunch in a diner with my boyfriend this morning and he asked me what I think about Alan. I told him I wasn't interested. He laughed and told me about how Rojer was angling to have Alan move into our apartment. So I told him about how afraid I am. He said "You should be. Alan hasn't had much contact with women. His mother beat him as a child. His attendants at the home are all male, and strong enough to move him if necessary." This did wonders for my sense of security in what is supposed to be my home.

Even at a third of his weight and nearly a foot and a half shy in height, I keep trying to convince myself that my fear is unfounded, because I cannot sleep. I do not think he is genuinely dangerous

Alan is leaving this afternoon to go back to his father's house, and to the assisted residence on Monday. Telling Roj about my concern was enough to cut the visit short. It really isn't Roger's fault, his other brothers and sisters refused to care for Alan while the home was closed over Thanksgiving weekend. Someone had to take him, and he loves his brother. He is the oldest, and really did raise them all, taking the beatings to spare his younger siblings. So I am the bad man, the outrageous roommate who will not compromise. But I was not born or married into this family, and they have been watching Alice in Wonderland for 6 hours. I am cracking up.

* Names changed.