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!]
[Editor’s note: We thoughtfully present the second, and final, portion of “Hooked on a Feeling.” We do this for all you Real World whiners who lamented the cliff-hanger with which we left you last week, even you though knew Thor, my next-youngest brother, had survived the terrible crash off a West Virginia interstate bridge.]
Safely back at my Beckley home, two Blackwells (ages 25 and 23, respectively, but not respectably) set numerous clock alarms, timing them to go off every two hours during the night.
Wearily we lay our heads down (Thor does so a bit more gingerly than do I) and immediately launch into comedy routines –
Blackie, says Screen Five warily, Dr. Yang asked that you “observe” your brother to assess his post-accident condition. I do not think this behavior constitutes true observation.
– mimicking the voices of Yogi Bear, his sidekick Boo-Boo, and dozens of other cartoon characters. We sing snippets of silly songs, quote killer movie lines, and do just about everything shy of illegal that might establish proof my brother’s knocked noggin is fully functional.
“Fully functional,” repeats Three, laughing even as he says the words, may not be an accurate medical basis from which to start.
Each time a “Mind Minder” rings and shatters the dark silence, I call out to Thor, “You’re not dying on me, are you?”
And each time a different character answers back. This round it’s Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties, vehemently insisting to a would-be girlfriend, “But Nell, I love my horse!”
We laugh until it hurts –
That pain point comes sooner for Ted than for you, notes One.
– and fall back to sleep in head-healing anticipation of our next improv session.
Trouble really doesn’t start until late the following afternoon.
“Is, in a way. Well, it’s two years old, but it’s been kept in the dealer’s crate until now.”
“Let’s take it out for a spin!”
I actually listen to this half-baked idea, and my screens rejoice. Do this, do this! coaxes Six. Does sound fun, agrees Two. What could possibly go wrong? comforts Three.
But what comes out of my mouth makes all my screens gasp in disbelief: “Thor, you’re all banged up. Your ‘split’ head is raw, stitches are fresh, body is sore. This really isn’t a good idea. Remember, I’m still on ‘Brother Watch.’ You should not be driving yet.”
“I won’t. You will.”
Gee, ponders Five, that seems OK.
We struggle to outfit Thor’s head with a helmet. My own super-safe, screaming orange model is too snug and presses against the massive sore spot. Get that dusty, old, black helmet from the garage, suggests Four. We blow as much of the dirt and oil out of it as we can, then tear away the protective padding to keep it from catching the stitches.
Wincing, Thor gingerly pulls the helmet down and around his head, then forms an “OK” with his fingers. We roar off to the lake a few miles distant, and there in the deepening shadows I tell my brother about the incredible guts this 650cc beauty has.
“Show me,” says Thor, forgetting he is not from Missouri but New Jersey.
“Watch me climb this hill,” boasts Six through my lips, “even with both of us on the bike.” I veer away from the now moon-kissed lake, gun the throttle and start to fly up the grassy hillside. A third of the way up, though, the ascent steepens markedly. I shift the wrong way and the cycle starts to die.
More throttle! bellows Three. Gas solves everything!
The front wheel pops up, flipping us backward. I dive to the side, but the bike falls heavily onto my right leg, its hot muffler pipe pinning my sneakered foot. I hit the kill switch and crawl out from beneath the Black Beast, but combined helmet and darkness blind me. My calls go unanswered as I crawl the ground, searching for Thor’s inert body.
He survives the fall from the bridge, pokes Three, only to have you polish him off.
“Right here,” a voice says from above. Strong hands lift me to my feet and spin me ’round to reveal the moonlit silhouette of my brother.
“You’re alive!” I shout. “Did the bike pin you down, too?”
“Nah, I felt the engine dying, put my feet down, and realized I was tall enough to stand. The bike surged ahead without me. You flipped off moments later and” – he laughs hard, very hard – “I’ve been watching you this whole time.”
Oh, you have, have you? growls Six through gritted teeth. We will laugh now, just to show you what great guys we are.
But tonight, vows Five, while you sleep, we will Velcro the pillow to your stitches.
Postscript: That photograph at top – yes, the one with the four chaps – shows four of the five Blackwell brothers.
What you do not see is that the three riders behind “driver” Ted – Mike, Blackie, JB – all owned cycles. And what you do not know is that all three brothers crashed or had serious cycle injuries.
But (as you learned last week), Ted alone escaped such tragedy, wisely choosing instead to crash while tucked inside his Mazda-RX7.
The guy is brilliant, claps Six. You would do well to follow him through life, which I presume may not last long.
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Blackie’s Weekly Wonders
Blackie helps wounded Thor cross a creek
Another one of those tear-jerker “Best Ads Ever“