Car 7

Ms Lisa Sindersly

Outward appearance

Chunky young woman in loose ethnic trousers, bulky sweater, AIDS ribbon.

Inside information

Contract data processor for USB's Technopark, working on a project measuring differences in male and female brains. Last night, the patterns came together.

What she is doing or thinking

Lisa is remembering her father, a big slow kindly man obsessed with order. He trainspotted, recording engine numbers. He would travel overnight to Clapham via Carlisle. His travel bag always held a campstove for boiling water.

Lisa remembers her autistic cousin Annie. Annie loves bank interest and counts it obsessively. She plots the stars. She has a system for recording her own learning process using fruit gums, paste-on architectural symbols, and electrical wiring.

Autism is produced by damage to the cerebellum, which controls movement and mimicry of movement. Mimicry of movement allows us to recreate other people's feelings, to understand them. For Annie, people move too quickly to be read. She is subject to rages especially when someone disrupts her systems of order.

Lisa's data has proved that men are born with a differently functioning cerebellum. Men are mildly autistic. Their elborate systems of logic, their narrow focus, the lack of emotional understanding are symptoms.

What happens when science proves that a group of people are limited? Do we love them more, like Annie who has learned at 35 to say sorry and mean it? Lisa likes fast cars and raunchy bars. She likes men. She loved her obsessive father.

A young man bows, offering to dance with an old lady out of kindness. Lisa has her answer.

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