Thank you to everyone who shared their stop sign photos over the past week. We have a couple dozen so far. I’m going to post them next week so there’s still time to share yours! Don’t be shy.
From the Unfiltered Aspie File
Last Friday The Scientist and I went to buy dog food. We couldn’t find the usual brand so we were walking around the store browsing when I spotted an employee standing in a doorway near the back. I asked him about the brand I was looking for. He said it had been recalled and we talked about alternative brands. He seemed a little skittish as he said he would show me the brands he’d mentioned but I dismissed it as the usual sort of effect I have on strangers.
When we got out in the parking lot, The Scientist said, “Did you realize that the guy you asked about the dog food was standing in the doorway to the employee bathroom?”
“Uh . . . no?”
“He was drying his hands.”
All I saw was a doorway and a few cartons stacked against the wall, which led me to assume it was a storeroom. No wonder the guy looked so nervous.
For the past few months I’ve been living across from a train station. It’s a small historic depot that still has freight and light rail commuter trains coming through all day and night. When we looked at the apartment, the salesperson cautioned us that the trains are required to blow their whistles as they come through the intersection at the corner. She warned they’d be louder in the front of the building.
We ended up at the back of the complex–for reasons that have nothing to do with the trains–but I still hear the whistles plenty loud. I can’t say I mind much. They give a rhythm to the day. And if it’s a freight train and it’s moving fast enough, I can hear the rumble of the engines–two or three usually–and the long line of cars they’re pulling.
Predictably, stereotypically, I’ve always been drawn to trains. The model train set I had as a kid. The big empty echoy boxcars that used to park behind my dad’s workplace. Trains I spied from the backseat, passing in front of our parked car and alongside highways. My first real train ride, through the countryside of a place as foreign and unreal as the new life I’d suddenly stepped into. Then, years later, living in the Southwest, where you can see an entire train at once, a hundred or more cars long, racing beside you on the highway, stretched out across a mesa, end-to-end, small against the infinite sky.
But it wasn’t until recently, standing beside the tracks, that I figured out the attraction for me: patterns and sounds. The resonance of the freight trains. Standing next to the tracks, feeling the rumble resonating in my chest is one of my new favorite sensory treats. That and watching the cars pass. Tankers. Box cars. Flatbeds. Grain cars. If you just stare at one point, you get car-space-car-space-car-space, over and over and over, at regular intervals,six of this kind, ten of that, almost never just one of anything.