January 29, 2019

Someone who knows me very well says that he imagines the inside of my brain like the interior of a castle.

Stained glass windows stretch all the way up the walls of its grandest room, spilling colorful light onto rows of desks where scribes sit typing. What they write gets sent up pneumatic tubes, to be archived in the lofty towers.

This part-medieval, part-steampunk scene really resonates with my internal experience of processing information.

Sometimes it gets backed up, with a flurry of paperwork spilling all over the floor, and the sound of typewriters clattering furiously. Other times it’s neat and orderly, with everything properly recorded and sent to a perfect place for future retrieval.

Information can be sensory or social, verbal or visual, absorbing the present moment or assessing the possible future. All of it has to go through some sort of processing before I’m able to act on it.

But with enough external calm, my internal processing feels like a very pleasant space.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.