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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

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My fence!Open-mouthed in disbelief, I stand and watch.

Bet he just drives off, wagers Screen Six.

Think you are wrong, counters One. He departs only the vehicle, not the accident scene.

“He” is an undefined older man, meaning that I know nothing of him beyond one simple fact: the aged fellow has just run over my three-foot, boundary-protecting, chain-link fence.

With his massive white whale of a van, no less! mutters Three. Moby Dick lives!

Despite my shock, I am calm, especially for one who is ADHD-powered. Truth is, this has happened before.

You being calm? asks Two. Really? When was that?

Blackie means the fence has been smacked before, asserts Five. The last was the teen boy, so busy putting hands on his sweetheart that he had none left for the steering wheel. Crunched the supporting post big-time and took off like a bat out of –

Well! shouts Two, drowning Five’s words. What shall we do about this latest damage?

Having reached the recycling bin, I position myself there, nicely hidden from the driver’s sight by his own vehicle. Mr. Geriatric does, indeed, exit his mechanical whale and step over to survey the fence he has just bowed with his van’s steroidal bumper.

OK, maybe he did not flee, concedes Six, but you can sure tell he is going to look at the ruined fence, scope the area and then drive away without a care in the world.

Fence fixed!Uhnnnnn!” grunts Grandpa, leaned way over and pulling on the fence post until it abandons lazy ways and nearly straightens. Deeming the first tug insufficient, he grunts once more, huge hands coaxing the metal into a well-behaved posture.

As the man also straightens to assess the impromptu handiwork, his eyes catch mine. “Oh!” he says, startled.

“Oh,” indeed! fumes Six. Probably thought his amateurish repairs would buy the time needed to fool others and allow a safe exit, putting him miles distant before anyone recognized the heinous nature of his misdeed.

“Note to self,” I say to me, “cut caffeine consumption.”

“Who lives here?” the man asks without the tone the words imply.

“I do. I live here.” My next words – “I own the fence you just ran down” – do not make their way into light of day.

“Oh!” again escapes aged lips. Then, “I’m Tom Rader, your new neighbor. I just ran over your fence.”

Laughing as Tom eagerly puts forth a massive mitt for shaking, I say, “Blackie. And that’s – well, that’s one way to meet, I guess.”

An expensive greeting, murmurs Four. Cookies work better.

The man looks sheepish. “Didn’t realize it at first, but when I felt something drag, I stopped and went back to find out what had happened.” He steps nervously toward the reworked barrier. “You, uhh, you might want to look at the fence yourself.”

“I can see it,” says One through my lips, speaking before Six interjects with suggested compensation. “What you have done is fine … the fixing, I mean. Not the flattening.”

Tom flames red again, shakes his head. “There’s just not much space to park that big van back here, is there,” he asks rhetorically. “Was working so hard to carefully get it out of the tiny driveway and … well, really sorry.”

“I’m not,” I respond. “I just witnessed firsthand what kind of neighbor I’ve got. You ran over my fence, stopped your vehicle, returned to check the damage, and even did your best to straighten what you’d just crunched. I really like who I see.”

This time I’m first to extend my hand, which is warmly swallowed by his. “Welcome to the neighborhood, Tom Rader. Great to have you.”


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