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  • They throw my sense of order. I'm the only one who comes by it naturally, by birthrate, this compulsion to stack, sort and organize, but my family puts me to shame. I have to stop them three times from taking the (clean) bowls from the table.

    "I want oatmeal," I protest. "Wait, I want oatmeal. I still want oatmeal!"

    Yet they try to clear the plates. The bowls. The mug from which I'm still sipping. They want to clean the table we don't plan to leave for the next hour or so for no reason at all but the need for order in life.

    They make me feel chaotic.

    Maybe I am. Chaotic. Numbers and shapes swim through my head in a different configuration and the patterns I see, the relationships and links, seem to be on a different plane.

    I have trouble with facial recognition. It's not just that I don't recognize the vaguely familiar - I often don't - but that I recognize so many traits in others, similarities and patterns in facial shapes and sizes, in noses, mouths and eyes. Hair color. Eye color. Expressions. Against my will, my brain divides and categorizes and divides again and again until I fail to recognize anyone or anything.

    Fortunately, it only does that with the vaguely familiar and only with the objects I see (stories and names remain apart from the breakdown) but still I wonder if maybe I should seek treatment for that. Explain to people I've met before that I may not recognize them when I see them again. Not the first time, at least. Maybe not the second. But I don't.

    My head works in a different way from most others. I can see that. I feel it. I worry that maybe I have a definable issue, like autism or aspergers, and so I take tests from time to time.

    Apparently, I don't. I'm less autistic than the normal person and far less so than someone who tests positive on the autism spectrum, but then I start to worry that maybe the very act of taking the test is a sign of my differentness. The quest for logic, order and patterns.

    I am a Virgo, though, driven my observation and analysis, and I come from a family of stackers. For now, that will have to be explanation enough, For me, everything makes sense inside my head, if only to me, chaotic place that it is.
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