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!]
[Voiceover, but not Rod Serling’s voiceover, because that would mean this is a parody of Twilight Zone rather than Outer Limits: “There is nothing wrong with your monitor. Do not attempt to adjust the message. We now control the transmission. We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive. For the next 500 words, we will control all that you read. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to … ADHD. And to another teachable moment, explaining to Real Worlders why we do what we do.”]
“Sure, Blackie,” agrees Lynn. “I’ll stay and help you finish up.”
Don’t believe her, Boss! urges Six. She’s way flighty.
“Did you just warn me?” I ask in shock. “Since when do screens warn me?”
Hardly a warning, denies Four. Even a child can see your co-worker is not a woman of her word.
True to Four’s observation, Lynn packs her car just five minutes later. Caught in the act, she excuses herself by saying, “Cold, guy. It’s November! Not even sure the new low-temp caulking is going to work!”
And she is gone.
How inconvenient, spits Three.
Inconsiderate, repeats One, but not inconvenient. The ladder is all set up for you, Black. Let’s climb and finish prepping this house for tomorrow’s painting.
“Can’t do it, guys.”
Why? asks Two. Because of your terrible balance problems?
“Well, that’s a factor, yes. But company policy prohibits working alone.”
You need the hours, calculates Four. Better “bank” time now to compensate for your upcoming trip.
Besides, adds Six, what could possibly go wrong?
The roof is but 15 feet up, Six indicates. You are not going over Niagara Falls.
Eyeing my midroof destination, I note its steep pitch. With that angle, my lack of balance, and the super-slick shingles, I’ll never stay put.
Sure you will, counters Five. Hike the extension ladder even farther, stretch it out several more feet, tilt it along the roof line and place its rubber gripper “feet” on the cement sidewalk.
The wet cement sidewalk.
Clambering onto the spacious midroof, I wrap one foot around a cold ladder rung to steady myself, plant right foot on shingles and lean forward to scrape weathered windows. This works so well –
See? Three asks rhetorically.
– that I’ve soon caulked all seal points of the first big window. I smile. Smile then slips as something under me does the same.
The grippers? guesses Four.
Ladder bottom kicks out violently, pulling feet from beneath me. My unprotected face kisses shingles. Everything explodes – buckets, wiping rags, scraper blades, caulk tubes, paintbrushes – and together we slide swiftly toward roof’s edge, as if some great creature awaits below, mouth wide, its hideous but irresistible inhalation drawing us to our doom.
Hands clawing! shouts Four, but 9.5 fingers find nothing to penetrate. Push and jump! yells Six, but I have no dry surface to set such a leap. Spin ’round! begs Five, but friction is absent for such an about-face.
Enjoy the ride! laughs Three.
No stopping us now. Sliding backwards on my belly, one leg ensnared by the “security” of the ladder and the other trying to perform inhuman splits, I picture hitting my head once again. That will shred the remnants of my memory.
Good, murmurs Two cheerfully. Then you probably won’t remember this.
So are we just giving up? asks Six in disgust.
“Oooooph!” I shout.
That’s no answer, says Six.
Motion ceases. The Fall of Man is not relived! Why? And for how long?
Caulk gun! exclaims Three. Bucking ladder knocked gun from grip – but dropped gun caught between gutter and ladder, stopping you. No worries.
Moving s-l-o-w-l-y, I use talented tootsies to re-set the ladder, swing shaky legs onto it, pull the gun to me and climb down. The new gun is partly bent.
No matter. I’m having that baby bronzed.
Might as well set the mood with a fabulous seasonal opener …