Sunday, October 07, 2007

Constitutionally Incapable of Tidiness

I seem to be constitutionally incapable of tidiness. I get papers out, focus on them for a time and then, perhaps distracted by some other more interesting task, I move on. The little detail of putting them away gets forgotten.

This need not be a problem because, like many dyslexics, I have a well developed spatial memory. Six months later when I realise I need those papers again, I can usually go back to the spot where I left them and pull them right out of the pile.

All is well, you might think. The problem comes when someone else tidies up. Six minutes, six days or six months later, I go back to look for my papers on that corner of the desk where I left them. But they are not there. They are there in my memory, but my hand finds only an empty space. I walk away to look somewhere else. But the memory of putting them on that corner of the desk is so tangible that I find myself going back to look in the same spot again. And, although I know it is illogical, again and again.

I have heard that many dyslexics tend towards untidiness. Whether this comes from being easily distracted, or from trusting our spatial memories, or from some other facet of the condition, I do not know.

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