This happened this morning, one of the little moments that almost convince me that I’m actually autistic, because I think a neurotypical person would have reacted in a different way. Anyway, this is what happened:
It was a cold night and a cold morning, and everybody was scraping away at their windscreens. My car, however, had hardly any ice on it. I had parked it next to a big house with a big front garden and a row of trees slightly overhanging the pavement. They didn’t stretch as far as to hang over my car, but the protection they give is enough to keep my windscreen from icing over. Great, I thought, thank you trees! I’ve obviously chosen the best spot to park in!
While I was scraping at the bit of ice that was there, and thinking happy thoughts about the trees, a man in work clothes came out of the driveway of the house and asked me:
“Are you going to be moving?”
Immediately my brain started to buzz.
“What does he mean by ‘moving’? Does he mean, are you going to drive off? Does he mean, are you going to park the car somewhere else in the future? Is he talking about moving house? Does he think I live in the house and am about to sell it?” (At this point I was actually looking around for a “For Sale” sign.) All kinds of interpretations of the word “moving” swirled round my mind.
Eventually, after staring blankly for 10 seconds, I asked him:
“What do you mean, ‘moving’?”
Well, it turned out he only wanted to know if I was going to drive off in the next few minutes, because they were going to chop down the trees.