At the Picnic

“So what are you saying?” he asked me, understandably at a loss.

“When I say certain gears aren’t working in my head, I’m not trying to say I’m seriously impaired.  I mean, I can have a conversation, can take care of a lot of things, I have talents, feel responsible to people I love and even people I don’t know, I’m strong, I can be counted on in a pinch and all that, but I am impaired, clearly,”  I could see this was not making things clearer for him.   I felt bad, he is a likable man.

“I’m like 90%,” I said.  “I can do most everything I need to do, but I’m not 100% effective, if you know what I’m saying.”

“So, you’re like 10% off?” he said.

“Yeah, something like that.  I mean, not to say it’s not a problem for me, it’s clearly a problem.  But also, yeah, I’d say about 10%, maybe, things I can’t get myself to do.”

“Can’t get yourself to do or can’t do?” he asked, making a distinction that left it my turn to be confused.

“No, to be clear,” I said, “sometimes ten percent, which seems like a small percentage, takes on a disproportionate importance, like when the top 10% in a society own 90% of everything, things like that.”

“Oh, Jesus,” he said, looking around with a sudden determination to refill his waning red plastic cup of wine.


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