Curiouser and Curiouser

Curiouser and Curiouser

I am like Christopher (the main character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) in these ways:

I like puzzles. I am always looking for things to do that have (or can have) a puzzle to solve. Designing a garden or a building or furnishing rooms is puzzle-solving. So is writing a story. And figuring out a TV reality show winner before the finale.
I like murder mysteries, because they are puzzles.
I like math. I do math problems to relax or to fall asleep, because math problems are puzzles and interesting and have straightforward answers. Sometimes I make them up.
I count things to make my mind stop racing. For example I play a game I made up to find the numerological values people’s names add to.
I like science and knowing science facts and relationships and things.
I am writing a book (but it is not a murder mystery).
Sometimes I am bewildered by too much information, like in a supermarket. This is why I like to shop at Aldi, the choices are fewer and every store is the same. I like Goodwill too because the clothes are arranged by type, and then by color. I do not like Macy’s, where everything is jumbled together.
I am not afraid of extinction, or outer space.
I have a very good memory. I especially remember inconsistencies, for as long as I need to, until I work out how they fit.
I can draw.
Things in a nice order make me feel comfortable and safe. I make systems and patterns out of everything. For example, when I do laundry and hang clothes up to dry I am particular about which article goes on which colored plastic hanger. I never put black clothes on the green hangers. and whether black goes on the yellow or red hangers depends on the next load. I arrange all the hanging clothes on the rod to avoid clashing and to maximize pleasing patterns of color pattern and texture.
I wanted to be an astronaut.
I don’t understand most ways people are competitive.
I have marked Good Days and Bad Days by random happenings, and used these demarcations to determine what I will do. Sometimes. Less so now that I am grown up.
I don’t believe in God or heaven or religion. But I know why people do, and I don’t mind.
I think in plan easily, and I like maps of all kinds.
I make schedules and lists, to relax and cope with unpredictability.
I don’t like being with a lot of other people, especially when I can’t escape. Like at a party or in a meeting or on a boat or in a seminar-type class. I always sit in quiet cars on trains. In Germany, all train cars are quiet; people there are very polite.
I hate using public bathrooms, especially bathrooms on trains and airplanes.
I like dogs. But not rats and mice.
I like thinking and seeing at the Large Scale.
I don’t make assumptions about aliens, or about what animals think and how they see the world.
I notice things. I am very observant. I see everything and this can be overwhelming.
My memory is like a film. I found this out at thirty-eight when the wife of a colleague recommended a book of exercises that was written to help artists. One action was to write down everything you thought upon awakening, first thing in the morning, before you even got out of bed. I couldn’t do it because I couldn’t keep up and then I realized it was because I thought in moving pictures, and they changed before I could even try to describe the one before. It was stupid so I threw the book away. Temple Grandin’s mind runs film too. I guess most neurotypical people think in words.
I like the idea of floating in space for a long time. Or beneath the ocean.
I don’t believe in ghosts. But I do believe there are lots of things unexplained by science.Yet.
I am comfortable with randomness in nature. But not people.
I like natural cycles and processes.
I like trains and timetables and many train stations, but subways are gross.
I’m not really interested in very many people.
I like a starry night, and I know that constellations are just projections onto an imagined flattened sky and don’t mean anything.
I can reduce a lot of situations to mathematical relations.
I can find my way to unknown places, even without a map. The night before I was supposed to take the SAT exam my household erupted in a family brouhaha and everyone hid. The next morning when no one was up I took my brother’s banana bike and rode to the test site, at a high school different from mine in a town miles away, without directions. So that my family sickness would not ruin my life.
I wish for a world in which everyone else was not typical too.

I am not like Christopher in these ways:

I like jokes (but only very clever ones, and especially those that play on words).
I am not exhausted by multiple meanings. On the contrary I revel in puzzles that are multidimensional – I mean that spatially and temporally, as well as in terms of variables and aspects. This is why I like Geology. It is a mystery and a story and a spatial puzzle that happens through time.
I am not often confused by people, unless they are lying. If they are lying or dissembling in any way I can be so distracted by inconsistencies I can’t respond. I lose the thread of the conversation, because I am trying to figure out why they are telling me nonsense.
I like metaphors a lot. But I do need most things to be concrete rather than abstract; otherwise what are senses for?
I liked to be hugged, by friends and family. But touching is only for people very very close to me. Children are always ok. Massage is out of the question.
I do not blackout from rage or fear.
I don’t like computers.
I can draw people.
Different foods can touch on my plate.
Yellow and brown are acceptable colors.
I am not nearly as literal: I understand rhetorical questions.
I am okay with change, as a principle of the universe, and in the everyday. I don’t like stasis.
I like machines, but not as companions. I do like cool crisp clean lines in design.
I am an artist.
I can imagine things besides what’s happening, or what happened, or what will happen according to a plan.
I understand emotions, in other people and myself.


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