Earth Angel

| May / June 2005

Maybe he has ADD and maybe he doesn't. Is dreaminess a disorder?

Andy forgets where he's going before he gets there. His misplaced sweatshirts, lunch boxes, and mittens stock the school's lost and found. Doors shut on him because he can't remember to hold them open. In class teachers say he "has attention issues" -- their polite code for space cadet.

His head isn't empty; perhaps it's too full. Mornings he sits at the kitchen table forgetting to eat breakfast (he has also forgotten to put on socks and comb his hair) because he is reading about parquet floors at Versailles, or Arnold Schwarzenegger's political future, or gas mileage statistics for Hummers. Worry eats up space in Andy's head. Last summer, on Iowa nights so sticky even mosquitoes were sluggish in the heat, he quietly turned off his window fan each evening after I said goodnight. It wasted electricity, he'd tell me later. It heated up the atmosphere. About the same time, his father and I started flicking off the radio at the lead-in to any story about Europe's deadly heat wave. If we forgot, Andy was soon teary over global warming.