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!]
“I’m telling you,” says the teen girl to others toward whom I walk, “that guy never changes his shirt. Ewwww!”
Nip this misunderstanding, Black, suggests Screen Four.
I reach the gossiping group. “Do you say that because I’ve worn orange every day at camp?”
Lolita Loudmouth blushes. “You heard me? Thought a scuba accident left you kinda deaf.”
“Hard of hearing. Not deaf. And I love orange. Bright orange, actually. So I packed 12 shirts, all screaming orange but cut differently, which should nicely cover this five-day camp.”
As I force a grin and walk away, Lolita whispers too loudly, “Orange sleeping bag, swimsuit, soccer shorts, hoodie. Creepy.”
Why is your neon-orange affection so unsettling? asks Five. This isn’t the new Blackie, either. It’s been that way since your childhood.
“Doctor,” pleads my distraught mother, “do something. Every time I ask my 8-year-old what he wants to wear, it’s always something orange!”
“Relax, Mrs. Blackwell,” soothes the physician. “Your son is fine. It’s not unusual for all youngsters, boys especially, to be drawn to bright colors.”
“His older brothers aren’t. Even his twin sister isn’t. And this fascination is for lots more than just clothing.”
“What do you mean?”
“Still think it’s OK.”
“No, it’s not. Now he’s even growing little orange trees of his own.”
“He won’t succeed,” laughs the all-knowing doctor. “I don’t care who you are, nobody can grow orange trees in New Jersey.”
You sure can, Black, affirms Six. Great idea you had, bringing the delicate little trees indoors every fall and winter.
Sighs Two, Shame on tiny Richard Connell for pushing them all off the back porch stairs that fourth summer.
New Jersey oranges, murmurs One, would have set science on its ear.
No worries, boasts Six. We do that.
Years pass. My interest in orange grows, as does the intensity of the orange I wear. Helpful folks kindly buy me “burnt” orange items.
Call “burnt” orange exactly what it is, decries Three. Brick. Orange wannabe. Thank the giver, then re-gift.
Dr. Michael Bankey, good friend and colleague, understands the tonal distinctions. Though his community college favors red and white as its color scheme, “Doc” inexplicably asks clothes manufacturers for merchandise test runs in orange. The wildest, brightest, most mesmerizing orange ever. After being judged, those brilliant beauties make their way to me.
You glow, guy, laughs Four. As if you sip radioactive cocktails.
Dynamite? questions Five.
– such unbridled passion for a single color is the equally hyperactive tendency to overwhelm everything else.
Fortunately, comments One, your beautiful brown-eyed bride is as insightful as she is loving. Seeing your collection of orange objects quickly spill over into many rooms of the home you share upon marriage, she suggests setting up an office “just for you.”
Three chimes in, Filling it with orange curtains and furniture and blankets and clocks and such, Miss Laura then coyly says, “Why don’t we just keep the orange to your office, where it all comes together so nicely in such a grand effect?”
I laugh. “You’re right, guys. My sweet wife is clever, I’ve learned that much.”
And we have learned this about you, volunteers Five. We alone know the real reason you wear the neon orange all the time, everywhere you go.
“Really?” I ask, intrigued. “Do tell.”
Secretly, you hope someone, someday, will use the words “bright” and “Blackie” in the same sentence.
Post-postscript: The snow gained vengeance on me for last week’s column decrying its arrival. I stepped out of my home early Wednesday and took a snowflake right in the pupil.
“In your eye!” quotes Screen Three and laughs. Clear message sent AND received!
Post-post-postscript: Yes, Halloween is kaput –
Only dental bills remain, smirks Three.
– but I have a suggestion for next year, men. When Fiscal Females (your wives) bring home the mixed candy, cut these humongous bags open ASAP. One day before the trick-or-treating, sort through the goodies, setting aside those you most enjoy.
Ohh, laughs Two. If not enough children ring the doorbell, all that’s left is the great candy!
Wait! interjects One. What if too many kids swing by, Boss? Pull out the special hidden reserves?
“No. Ask your wife to make an emergency run.”
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I See (Through) You!