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!]
“West Virginia State Trooper Brody calling, sir,” says the crisp voice across the landline. “Your younger brother’s Mazda RX-7 went off the interstate bridge this evening.”
Please, begs Screen Two, do not say the next words. Do not, do not, do not.
“He’s at the hospital. Get there safely, but as soon as possible.” Pause. “Your brother is in critical condition with head injuries.”
Across my tear-filled, 80-minute drive, not one screen breaks the tension, though Four unwisely reminds me just how very high the interstate bridge stands above surrounding countryside. Absent is the rehearsal of pokes, prods and puns, those tacky but life-warming responses to tragedy among the Blackwell brood.
At the hospital, stern-faced emergency personnel, their eyes streaming sorrow, direct me to Thor’s glassed room and an unmoving brother’s strong frame.
I am not ready! admits usually stoic Six, in this moment broken and sobbing at possibly losing our co-adventurer.
Pausing before opening the door to catch my breath, fight my fear, quash my anguish, I am unaware my brother, stabilized by doctors, plots against me. His head emptied of both blood and compassion, Thor is full of mischief. “Frosty,” he moans, laying his knocked noggin gently against pillow and closing fluttering eyes, “Frosty, where are you?”
Weeping loudly, I enter Teddy’s presence. He cancels the “blown brain” bit and exuberantly trumpets, “I’m going to make it!”
“I am Dr. Yang,” greets an Asian voice behind us. “We look at head now,” explains the materializing doctor. “See better what to do.”
“Skip brain scans,” I counsel. “You won’t find anything.”
Ignoring our raucous laughter, Dr. Yang looks closely at Thor’s markedly split head, sighs, leaves. He returns but a moment later with curved medical needles.
Hooks! recoils Three. Huge hooks! Those would haul up sharks!
Thor, who has not yet seen the doctor’s implements, agrees his head should be stitched and will stay. But my stomach and feet are about exit.
“You no go!” commands Dr. Yang, sensing my pending escape. “Hold hand.” I wrap my fingers in Thor’s. “When pain bad, he squeeze.” The doctor nods in approval. “I give shots now. Tell me when not feel good.”
Another monstrous needle surfaces. Feeling … woozy, mumbles Four as the point is inserted into an already battered head.
“Not good,” says Thor, calmly. “Ahh,” replies the doctor, “this just painkiller. Three shots to go.” Then a sheet is placed over my brother’s head –
He is not dead, insists Five.
– and a precisely cut hole in the sheet allows Yang to circumvent infection as it prevents Thor from seeing the invasion. The doctor threads one of the ghastly hooks, places it at the edge of an oozing wound, and pushes firmly with such precision and speed that the “metallic curl” pops right back out the other side of the bloody crevice.
“Owww!” Thor cries out.
“That hoort you?” asks Yang in accented surprise. “Needle hoorts?”
“No, Den hurts. He’s squeezing the crap out of my hand!”
I apologize and promise not to watch the process. I lie. The Hook slides through scalp once, twice, thrice. “You hear that?” the doctor queries, looking around. “What that noise?”
Such a high-pitched sound, puzzles One.
Hook slices skin a fourth time. Eerie noise returns.
“Haven’t a clue, sir,” I confess to the doctor as we scan the room.
Head-covering sheet flips back, exposing Ted’s agonized face. “You’re killing me. More painkiller!”
Shots and stitches and suction finished at last, Thor’s head is in one piece. Dr. Yang cannot certify everything is there that once was, but thinks Thor will heal nicely. “You stay here,” he tells Ted. “Brother come tomorrow. Pick you up.”
“Why can’t I go home with him now?”
“Not safe. Must observe. Swollen brain, much fluid. Sleep too dangerous first hours.”
“Thank you, sir,” Thor politely declines, “but my brother can check me during the night. We’ll set alarms.”
Dr. Yang straightens, adjusts his white vest and commands, “I am doctor. You stay.”
Thor straightens, expands his tight chest and demands, “I am fine. I go.”
Yang realizes he is just eye level to Thor’s pectorals. “You go,” he nods heartily. “Brother watch. OK?”
Hahaha! laughs Screen Three in delighted expectation. This fires up our next great adventure!
[Editor’s note: Three is correct. Come back Thursday for a sequel that rivals the latest “Star Wars” movie … but has more action and better characters!]
Blackie’s Weekly Wonders
B.J. Thomas is “Hooked on a Feeling,” too