January 24, 2021

When I look around a room, I see lines – or at least, I feel them.

What I mean is, the edges of furniture and frames don’t stop at the corners. They continue across the room, like straight spiderwebs, intersecting other lines and piercing various objects.

This makes it very easy to notice when things are lined up, and when they aren’t.

In my own space, you may see me adjusting a chair’s position, or pushing a book’s spine until it’s flush with the others. This clears cobwebs of connection, reducing my visual clutter.

In someone else’s space, I can easily resist, because such adjustments aren’t compulsive – only calming. One exception is to stabilize an object that’s precariously balanced, since I can visually measure the distance from its center of gravity to the edge where it may fall.

If I miss sarcasm, or forget to make a face, or run out of energy to make a decision, I’m not saying the lines in the room are to blame – but they do contribute. Spatial awareness, like sensory and social awareness, takes up space in my brain.

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.