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!]
This week’s postscript explains the key step taken by proud Mr. Baez …
You have said this before, of course, counsels Screen Five.
“Understood,” I reply, sighing as I do so. “Still worth repeating.”
Worth repeating because – Five pauses – you cannot remember the lesson?
“Partly,” I admit with chagrin. “The Accident’s secondary gift of TBI doesn’t lend itself to memory strengthening.”
Do not feel bad, comforts Five. We of ADHD do not live and learn, we crash and burn.
We are, boasts Six, the Indy 500 of humans!
This, then, is how I find myself tucked inside a smothering one-piece costume on a sweltering Fourth of July.
Whoa, Boss! demands Three. You told this story in a postscript a while back. I do not think readers will endure hearing you again tell how you “pranced as a potato” until the severe heat – well, mashed you.
“Different Independence Day. Different costume. But that’s precisely the point I’m making. Despite my having passed out in the same conditions during that earlier parade, I agree to fill in for my friend, Toby.”
You vowed never to repeat that stunt, recalls Four, no matter who asks you. Yet here you are.
The parade for tiny Ridgefield is a big deal, rescues Two. Little kids know and love the Psalty character – clean-shaven, wisdom-spouting, “singing songbook” father of three little booklets – that your church presents each Fourth. Even the older folks enjoy Psalty’s antics.
As do the veterans, whistles Six. They are deeply touched when this energetic figure – a blue man tucked within in a big blue “book” – walks up to them, takes their hands and thanks them for providing freedom of every kind, including that of worship.
So I dance, sing, toss treats and capture the fervent attention of every young face in the crowd. Moving quickly back and forth across the main street leading into town –
Wow, this is a much shorter parade route than the one you danced as a “Spudder” mascot for the high school! exclaims grateful Two.
– I have the chance to exchange pleasantries with many children.
Best of the day? asks Three, helping me set the scene.
“Psalty,” beckons a young lad of five. “Psalty, come back!”
Slowly I spin my giant costume around –
Like the Titanic changing course, notes One.
– and walk my huge book-looking box in the direction of the young caller. Packed onlookers part, a human wave rolling back to create a clear path to the child.
“Yes?” I ask, carefully leaning down to a questioning face.
“Psalty,” he repeats in small gasps of disbelief, “it’s … it’s really you. You’ve finally come.” Exploring hand reaches out, touches my face, pulls back to examine the dripping, slipping, deep-blue greasepaint that steams and streams Psalty’s cheeks.
I, trying to practice parade propriety despite six screens begging me to python-wrap this sweet tyke, ask, “May I hug you?”
Behind him, a mom nods yes. Son simply settles in against the lifeless cardboard and whispers, “This is nice, Psalty.” My gloved hands secure him and I wonder whether a father is not at the parade or misses a youngster’s meaningful moments altogether. Holding him for what seems a proper time, I release his small frame and prepare to stand, an unenviable task in the blocky, bulky box.
Even as I rise, a tiny hand again darts to my face, drawing me near once more to those illuminated eyes. I smile, my teeth all the whiter against my blue lips, and query, “Something else, son?”
“Yes, Psalty,” he says in wonder-filled voice, both hands now grasping my face for undivided attention. “When did you grow a mustache?”
Postscript: You’ve met Luis Alberto Baez Morales before. I reintroduce him because he is a living, breathing reminder of what this week’s July Fourth celebration really is about.
Mr. Baez left Mexico and came to this country because of the promise America represents: a better life. A safer way. A brighter hope. He came with little – money, connections, English. But this legal immigrant labors madly and complains mildly about his struggles, rejections, discouragements.
Today this man holds sway in his position as a Chrysler Motors foreman known for caring deeply about those he directs. In English he daily works to improve, Luis declares this country the “greatest in the world” and then excitedly asks of me the many questions he answered as part of his legal entry and ensuing citizenship efforts.
Embarrassed, I cannot answer his queries, my history strengths having departed long ago. But I listen intently as Luis recounts our country’s defining moments in its bid for independence. I stand thankful for the chance to see America anew, this time through the shining eyes of her proud new citizen.
* * * * *
An important announcement from another citizen
My baby is American-made
Neil Diamond loves America