“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.