Let’s all stop judging people who talk to themselves. New research says that those who can’t seem to keep their inner monologues in — raving bus station denizens, for the most part, excluded — are actually more likely to stay on task, remain focused better and show improved perception capabilities. Not bad, really, for some extra jabbering.

Pfft, I could have told you that. I was a very quiet, withdrawn kid who would probably be placed on the shallow end of the autism spectrum these days, and the only time I felt comfortable talking above a murmur was in my own company. Sometimes it was in the course of playing with toys, inventing dialogues between my G.I. Joes, and sometimes it was just singing impromptu nonsense songs, but especially as I got older, I found that talking out loud, in more or less complete sentences, was invaluable for gathering my thoughts and streamlining them.

During the years in which I spent hours on the road between midnight and morning, it was a way of keeping my brain awake and active. I would talk my way through a subject that was preoccupying me, and the verbalization seemed to make it easier to keep my thoughts grounded and focused. Or I would compose poems (and later, posts) in my head and recite them over and over to see if they had what I considered a certain musicality.

I don’t mind being considered crazy for that; I probably didn’t want to talk to you anyway.