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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 truewithout exaggeration!]

Oscar the Grouch       Yes, actually, I have been mistaken for this trash-can character …

“Excuse me, sir ….”

Female voice, wafting through air, sharply strikes my eardrums.

Her words may be polite, sighs Screen Five, but she does not sound happy.

Five doesn’t need to tell me about the tone in the woman’s voice. Clearly, she is irritated and, being so, is about to question my behavior.

Nothing new about that, eh? laughs Two, knowingly.

“Ma’am?” I reply, slowly lifting my head and turning ’round to face her as she stands distantly upon a porch.

“I said, sir, ‘May I help you?’”

Growls Six, She has no intention of helping you with anything but vagrancy charges.

“I’m on my morning walk,” I cheerily reply. Trashercising. Y’know, picking up trash while I’m exercising.”

“And you are doing exactly what in my garbage can?”

Whipping up omelets, retorts Three.

“Throwing away all the garbage I’ve already picked up in your neighborhood.”

“Why throw it in my can if it’s not mine?”

Sanitation engineersScreen One calmly directs, Tell her the “sanitation engineers” are emptying containers right behind us. The cans of our porch princess will not refuse her refuse this coming week.

But the woman is directing me to move. Promptly. Since she is unyielding in stance and attitude, I collect the bags, grunting from the exertion.

Why is this decomposing garbage bag – the one tangled deeply in the brush – so full? queries Four.

The hoisted weathered bag itself swiftly answers Four’s question as degraded bottom gives way, coating my knees, ankles and sneakers with Puppy Poop. Dog do. Canine crud. Shepherd –

Point made! interrupts Two.

Door slams behind me, whether in riled gasps or wild laughs I cannot tell. Twisting wildly, I mimic wet dogs shaking off moisture.

But wet dogs become clean and dry, notes One, whereas you remain

“Spare me,” I beg, and start the long walk back to the hotel in which I will hide while my beautiful, brown-eyed bride attends conference meetings on dialysis.

Genes and jeans thoroughly showered and scrubbed prior to Laura’s return, I regain dignity in time to invite my better half to dinner out. Discussion during our exquisite meal does not include my mishap with “mutt mines” despite a lovely lady’s polite queries about her gentleman’s use of the day.

Bedtime! whispers Three, and yet your wife is none the wiser. We actually pulled it off, Black!

I close eyes and imagine the ardor of sweet lips rather than the horror of Hefty™ heaps.

Safe beside your bride, hums Three in arrhythmic lullabies, know the world can do nothing more to you. Slip to peaceful slumber.

arms aflameTwo hours later, arms of burning embers bid me awaken. I scratch madly at painfully puffed skin and flail about in Marriott murkiness. Exiting my “safe sleep sanctuary,” I prepare to climb into the hotel shower.

Following a face slap administered by my hanging, semi-washed jeans –

Bet those Lees … are upset about the “cheese” … you dumped upon the knees! rhymes Three in less-than-heroic meter.

– I melt beneath the stinging heat of a power shower, untold relief arriving hard on the heels of the initial burn. Fifteen full minutes of thermal onslaught render me sleepy once more and send me back to the longing arms of a woman unaware of my night’s woes.

Not sure what all that was about, Boss, murmurs Five. We will know more by the dawn’s early light.

Screen Six salutes.

And know more by dawn we do, indeed. Lovely Laura leaves the bed and commandeers the shower. I peel back remaining covers, step onto plush carpet, quietly pad to the window, draw back curtains …

And see both arms openly weeping with wicked welts granted by poison ivy, then blistered by inhumanly hot water.

“Noooo!” I silently wail. “Not again! How can this be?”

Remember those bushes into which you reached? asks One.

To retrieve the big bag of beagle bombs, adds Three, unnecessarily.

“Nothing worse than poop and poison ivy!” I moan.

Actually, there is, Six says confidently. Laura learning all this for the first time when she edits your column.


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Postscript: And a second surprise for Editor Laura: my razor-sharp, long-term memory has dulled. I claimed high school classmate Pam Ruggiero “shot” me in the southern cheeksMiss Pamela and friend years ago during my pre-surgery visit to Overlook Hospital.

Miss Pam: Although I do hold nurses in the highly-respected category of “amazing people,” it was never my thing. I am very picky about whose buns I get to squeeze.

Blackie: If you tell me my long-term memory (the only post-Accident thing left to this shattered boy) is incorrect in identifying YOU as the female sticker of my unprotected buns, I shall consume Kraft caramels until I burst.

Miss Pam: Start eating.

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