I wrap my eye stalk slowly around the door. I savor the slow lengthening and stretching.

The front door bangs open. Squirrel is here. Moving fast, jittery. I think about squirrel. ADHD. With emphasis on the hyperactive, not the attention deficit so much. Usually.

I am retracting my eye stalk as Squirrel races past my receptionist to the scale. My receptionist is starting to push her chair back and Squirrel is in the room with me.

My eye stalk is still retracting. I focus the other one on Squirrel. I extrude 8 pseudopods slowly to type.


"I can't stand it!" Squirrel is off. Sits down, stands up, bounces, hops up on the exam table and back down, pushes the step in and pulls it back out. Starts to open one of the drawers and then looks sideways at me, guilt.

"-lo Squir rel."

Squirrel sits, twitching. His facial muscles are fasciculating.

My pseudopod clicks the computer. It will take 6 more clicks to open the chart. I initiate the second click.

"Hi." says Squirrel, bouncing impatiently with each word. "A black squirrel moved in. I don't WANT to share the tree! He's obnoxious! I've tried to chase him away and LOOK! I scratched my paw!"

I stop retracting my left eye stalk and start to turn it towards his paw. The other eye is focused on the laptop.

"Oh, forget it!" says Squirrel impatiently. I do the second click. "I can't stand it! He's so noisy! He chatters all the time and he throws cones at me! What a waste! What a moron! He picks 'em before they are ripe! I hate seeing food wasted!"

"Ir ri ta-" Third click. "-ting." Left eye stalk focused on Squirrel's face again.

"You can say that again! And he asks me questions! He asked me who my doctor is!" Squirrel frowns. "I didn't tell him! Maybe I should. I already told him where the post office is and which grocery store I like. If I have to have a neighbor, I want one that keeps the yard clean and helps out and isn't too noisy! You know?"

"Mmmm." Fourth click.

"I tried that mindful thing. Sitting still. Really? I don't get it." Squirrel's leg is vibrating up and down. The facial expressions are in continuous motion. Click five. "It isn't working for me. I started calling counselors like you said. I called 47. None have called back yet."

"Did you" click six. Chart is open. "leave your num ber?"

"Leave my number?" Squirrel is focused on my face. Still for a moment. I update Squirrel's age.

"So they can call back."

"Call back! No! I don't think I did!" Squirrel laughs heartily, holding his belly. "Wow! Am I a tree space or what? Didn't leave my number!" He slithers down in the chair laughing.

I type letters: U

He bounces up. "Wow! Doc! I gotta thank you! You think of things I never would! Thank you!" He pops towards the door, hand on the handle. I type P. "Oh, so like when should I come back?"

"M-" S.

"A month! Got it!" He's out and talking to the receptionist. I type E.

"Bye! Cool! Hey, Happy New Year!"


It will be six more clicks to close the chart. One....

for reQuest

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