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! And know these accounts are true … without exaggeration!]
Cousin Kenny sends me a list of 25 truths. While all are compelling, the 10th is most meaningful to me:
Bad decisions make good stories, reads Screen Three. No surprise there!
As readers have undoubtedly noticed across the months, an “ADHD Powered” life absolutely overflows with bad decisions.
Like the time you jump into a burning car? claps Four.
The year you coach women’s soccer? cheers Five.
That morn you help Brian Gilbert drop a massive tree between houses? whistles One.
“Why, yes … yes, those are a few of them, thank you very much. But I have not repeated those particular mistakes. There is, however, one bad decision I made that led to –”
Your cruise ship excursion leaving you in the jungle? interrupts Six, laughing.
“ – my being stranded. And worse, guys? I repeat that. The cruise, I mean.”
Yes, it is a different cruise, not the one that dropped me in jungle waters and took off. No, this time we – my beautiful brown-eyed bride and I – travel the Caribbean Sea side of Mexico, having disembarked at Belize and Costa Maya without incident.
Blackwells. Without incident, says Two, smiling. Don’t often see those words together.
But a cruise it is, indeed. Our next excursion is the one for which I’ve waited since college, when I stood penniless and broken-hearted on mainland sands, lustfully looking across at stunning –
Expensive! corrects One.
7:50am With a kiss impassioned by the adventures ahead, I leave my blushing bride and pace the pier to town, my youngest brother’s fins in hand, his quality diving gear proudly strapped in place.
And this time, exults Six, corrupt TSA agents don’t steal your knife!
“Divin’ treep ees no happen today, hombres,” says the young tour leader, nervously eying Barry’s unstolen and good-sized knife fastened ’round my thigh. “Ees water too choppy.”
I protest. But, applauds Two, only until you learn choppy waters bring sharks close to shore.
“Take off knife,” pleads the tour leader. I protest. But, commends One, only until you learn the huge Mexican police officer –
Federale, corrects Three. Meaner than regular cops because they go after drug cartels.
– has just told the tour guide you will visit their jail if you don’t comply. Now.
9:25am Disgusted, I return to the ship, create neat piles of Barry’s unused gear on the bed and race back into town. Strolling the many booths and displays, I am proudly immune to the constant patter of fast-talking peddlers parting me from my pesos.
12:40pm One open-air booth has a door next to it. Step through it, suggests Three. The way the Pevensie children do in The Chronicles of Narnia.
“Those kids enter Narnia through a wardrobe,” I reply, but follow Three’s suggestion, anyway, and enter another world. It is tough, gritty, full of closely packed homes that are not hovels but are not houses. A man rides up to me on a bicycle. “Tooo-reest?” he asks in surprise, as we both look at the gigantic boat docked in the distance alongside the tiny city. “You geeve me twenty dólars,” he says politely, firmly.
1:07pm I decline. His caramel-colored hand wraps my arm. “Thees man from sheep,” he shouts to the busy street, “don’t help my seeck boy.” People step from the darkness of their ant-sized abodes, blink in the sunlight. Bike Guy barks, “What ees twenty dólars to heem?” Villagers mutter. Loudly.
Carefully releasing the man’s strong grip, I quickly walk back the way I’ve just come.
Well, sighs Four, it was here a moment ago. “It” is the magic portal through which I strolled to enter this nightmare, the same portal I now cannot find.
Shouts increase. Two men join the cyclist following me. Just ahead, someone to my right shouts, “Thees way, gringo!” and I step that direction without flinching. “Through heere!” directs a second man as he holds open a door to a ramshackle building.
My indecisive heart thumps wildly. Relax, Black, says Six. What could possibly go wrong?
1:21pm Behind me, slammed door cuts off angry voices and swift escape; before me, desperately dim lighting hints at two pearly but incomplete smiles. Voices pierce the darkness, “Why you go there, gringo?” Light bathes me as new door opens and I step into the civilized visa checkpoint, shocking an armed female re-entry guard who asks, “Gringo go veellage?”
I speak Spanish, boasts Three, who really doesn’t. She asks if you went to the village.
Ignoring Three, I sigh, nod my head yes, and walk back among the tourists.
Oh, snipes Six, the Living Dead … those Real World tourists who stick to the chosen path and miss all the excitement. He fairly crows, Our “road less traveled” is mucho more interesting.
Postscript: In those eight Cozumelian hours, I speedwalk most of the city, dive the harbor (a trio of mid-size barracudas trailing me) –
Angry things always follow you in threes? wonders Screen Five.
– splash the coast, inhale wondrous scents, return to our cruise ship’s cabin.
3:55pm And to your incredible, incredulous wife, gushes Two, who hoists your unpunched ticket from the day’s canceled dive.
“Where have you been, babe?” says my love in anxious tones. “Here I only tour the city, imagining, even envying your endless fun. I come back to find dry gear and no note. Not a single word! I thought you’d been arrested!”
Tell her about the Federale, suggests Three. Counters Six, Choppy water sharks and curious ‘cudas!
But Two, noting tearful amber-honey eyes, whispers the day’s best idea. So hold my beauty tightly I do, admitting I’m a knucklehead at communicating with women.
5:02pm Then Miss Laura and I are off to a fabulous dinner and even better show.
11:17pm Such romantic gestures, Black! six screens cheer. Looks like smooth sailing for “The Love Boat” all night!
1:37am I just smile, because that’s what gentlemen do.
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