The Spectrum



Parking Lot Image
“Contained Within” by K. Shawn Edgar

The Spectrum

I’m not a perfect circle man. Its aesthetics fail to please. I’m not a spiral shooter, either. I prefer straight lines and ninety degree angles. There’s a certain type grid most suited to me. It’s laid out in white and asphalt grey.

I sit in my car in parking lots for long periods of time; three four five hours, just thinking and writing. You start to feel the heaviness and beauty of the place, the spaces. I’ve always known I’m contained within the autism spectrum. Even if I’m an outlier, I help to define it more than it defines me. It is my category; it is my vessel. But as a rib helps make a ship, the ship isn’t the rib alone. The rib is itself, and it’s a part of the whole.

In a parking lot, it’s similar. The white lines contain me, comfort me. Here—within units paralleled—we each have our own slots and I fit into mine. In the slot on either side of me, there could be a genius or a professional bowler. Only it doesn’t really matter what they call themselves. We all help to make up, and define, the lot at any given moment. I enjoy watching it change around me.

Most people don’t seem to stay long in their cars. That’s part of the reason I do. A larger part, though, is I don’t seem to be able to help it. I pull in, perfectly parked, and can’t get myself to hop out immediately. Ass just won’t leave seat. Crude, I know. I can feel the rising pressure of the unassigned movement required once I leave my car. Walking across the lot. It’s so free-form. To me, I imagine, it’s a lot like walking in outer space is to astronauts. Except, moving through the lot, everyone else has better, more accurate thrusters on their space suits.

I bump, or nearly bump, or feel like I might nearly bump every other person I pass. Or who passes me. Like meteors. They zip. I weave. Or, does it just feel like I’m weaving? I can’t tell. I can’t know for sure once I get out of my car. The safety belt’s between the white lines. Slotted, I can gather my false selves, my wholly contrary voices, jabbering self-conscience fantasies about other’s impressions, into my one true safe harbor ship: My mind. The actual me. Between my lines. So I sit for hours in my car in parking lots.


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