Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.
Welcome to ADHD.
[You in the Real World, be sure to click on the red underlined hyperlinks!]
Flood warnings flash across my computer. My county – Wood – and the nine surrounding us, are going under.
Your county floats, observes One.
“Miss Laura and I bailed our basement for almost 12 hours on Christmas Day,” I remind my six screens. “I am not afraid of weather reports.”
Nobody is, replies One. Weather itself, however …
“I have dealt with floods before.”
Noah Blackwell! cheers Six.
“As mere waifs, my next-youngest brother (and fellow adventurer) Thor and I braved high waters numerous times and yet lived to tell the tale.”
Yes, agrees Four, well do we remember when your little town of New Providence went under, massive rains causing sewers everywhere to back up.
And yet you swam in that! says Five, a tad queasy.
“Better yet,” I add, “I fooled my twin. I called her name, then flailed madly and disappeared from sight. She thought I’d been sucked into a nearby sewer. I swam 10 yards underwater, surfaced quietly and watched Dianne panic.”
Excellent! claps Six. But if your mom knew you and Thor planned to raft through flooded underground tunnels later that day, you wouldn’t be here.
“We’d have drowned?”
She’d have killed you.
“The trick is to understand exactly what you’re dealing with, guys. Thor and I are excellent swimmers, taught long ago by a forward-thinking mother who drown-proofed her six babies.”
Four laughs. How many times did lifeguards dive into pools and rivers to save you “helpless” tots, only to have Ma Blackie bark at them for interrupting your underwater swims?
Any flood stories about cars, Black? asks Two.
“Near my apartment in California, where I once lived warm and free, a Ford Bronco approaches a four-way. The thundering rainstorm knocked out the traffic lights, so the driver stops, checks all directions, then nudges his Bronco into the gathering waters of the intersection.
What about your own car? inquires One. Tell us a personal story.
I’m delivering oversized chocolate-chip cookies to varying agencies in multiple counties. For several days, the skies have released their waters –
Sounds rude, somehow, worries Two.
– in pouring rains that never really end.
They just fizzle to drizzle, Three offers lyrically, ‘til they’re strong enough to storm and stuff!
How does she feel after the Get Perplexed Soon takes you 35 miles out of your way? seethes Five, smarting from my reliance on Erin’s electronics instead of Five’s knowledge of constellations.
Course corrections bring me fairly close to where I’ll drop off a cookie-on-steroids. According to the G.P.S. I’ve just re-oriented –
You slapped it! moans Two. And Garmin’s got … well, a woman’s voice.
– I need only cross this low-slung bridge five minutes ahead and I will be near Dessert Destination. Eagerly I put pedal to metal, zipping past farmers’ flooded fields.
As I round the last curve, six screens whistle in admiration. The tiny, gently bubbling baby creek now is Old Man River, fast-flowing, shape-changing and spilling over the county bridge I must cross if I’m ever to chuck the “chip.”
Back up! directs Six.
“Afraid of a little water?”
Afraid? laugh the screens. Ha! We just think you need to get a good run at this. Momentum should carry you through.
I do back up. Five says with irritation, Tell that stupid G.P.S. to stop saying “Re-calculating.” But I’m busy, breathlessly studying the river slowly covering the bridge.
Now or never, whispers Six.
Four projects an old Volkswagen ad, one in which an airtight “Beetle Bug” floats downriver.
I gun the tiny engine, white-knuckle grip my little car’s steering wheel and look across the stream to the Promised Land.
Right then a tree – not a wisp of a willow, a mighty oak – zips past, its massive crown catching on absolutely nothing.
Screens mumble nervously as Six mutters, We may have been off a bit. He coughs. Nobody’s perfect.
I plan to hold my breath until the screens pass out. I wonder how long it will take.
“Re-calculating,” says the G.P.S.
Postscript – I am never accused of being fashionable.
No danger there, Black, agrees Three.
But I top myself this week. Trying to dress warmly in the record snows and cold (“Woo hoo!” shout all the competitive guys as women shake their heads), I throw on brown pants and work boots, a long-sleeved orange undershirt and a short-sleeved brown polo. All day long, co-workers ask, “Diehard Cleveland Browns fan?” or “You the UPS guy?”
This triggers a memory. I’m dressed in gleaming whites, right down to my sneaks. My daughter, catching me just before I leave for work, stares wide-eyed. “Leah,” I ask impatiently, “do you need something?”
“Did have a question, Dad,” she replies. “Now I just wanna buy ice cream off you.”
* * * * *
Moose on the loose is bad noose – er, news
Boston College is “Happy“