News, music, movies & restaurants from the editors of the Silicon Valley's #1 weekly newspaper.
Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Fremont & nearby cities.


home | metro silicon valley index | columns | silicon alleys

Silicon Alleys - Gary Singh

Silicon Alleys

Trying to ADD Up

By Gary Singh

RECENTLY, while flipping through my shelf of books on Attention Deficit Disorder, I recalled a journal entry I wrote nine years ago, when I was diagnosed with that marvelous condition. It was me describing a typical day in the life of someone who has ADD, and it went a little somethin' like this:

"I work on a college campus and I live two blocks down the street, above a supermarket. A typical morning consists of me daydreaming at my job and then I suddenly remember my unpaid phone bill, so I run back home to search for my checkbook. Once I got home and find the bill, I get a fabulous idea. I have to do laundry. Since the washing machine down the hall takes only quarters, I go downstairs to the supermarket to get some change. I pull a crumpled up one-dollar bill out of my front pocket and the lady gives me four quarters. I come back upstairs, put the quarters down on the living room table and go surf the Internet for 45 minutes.

"I pick up the phone bill again and then pace back and forth in my apartment wondering how to make the day go by faster. An hour later, I grab the quarters, along with a few dirty towels. Down the hallway I go to load up the washer and pop in 75 cents.

"Back in my apartment, the pacing resumes. A thought comes to me: Well, I could go back to work and buy a stamp for the phone bill on the way. There you go—two birds with one stone. So I grab the bill and go back to my office on campus. I get all the way there and realize that I forgot my checkbook, which was the initial reason for going back home in the first place.

"I throw the phone bill down on my desk, lock my office up, and head across campus to the coffee stand. A drop-dead gorgeous woman named Rochelle, who's married, works there, and I grab some change out of my pocket just to buy a cup of coffee so I can talk to her for a second. Only then do I realize I already had quarters and I didn't need to go get change for the laundry in the first place. But ...

"Before going home again, I need lunch. Since it's boring sitting there in the burrito place with nothing else to do except eat, I decide to pick up something to read. I spend an hour in a nearby used book shop and drop seventy-five bucks. While flipping through one of the books and not actually reading it, I only end up eating half of the burrito.

"As soon as I get back up to my apartment, I put the books down on the floor and start looking for my checkbook again. Usually it's directly underneath a stack of parking tickets, unopened bills and a beer stein filled with pennies, but not today.

"So I sit down and peruse one of the books I just bought. I fall asleep on the couch and wake up around 9pm. I turn on the TV, flip through the channels for half an hour, and then turn it off. Then I phone an amazing babe that I have the hots for and ask her if she wants to go bowling. I don't even know how to bowl and she declines the offer anyway.

"The next morning, while leaving for work, I remember that I left my laundry in the washer the day before. So I go into the laundry room and find out that someone has taken my stuff out and thrown it all over the tops of the machines. I didn't have any quarters left for the dryer because yesterday I spent them on that last cup of coffee in order to talk to Rochelle. So I leave my wet laundry sitting there and I go to work."

The impulsivity reigns free, here and now. Let us explode.

Contact Gary Singh or send a letter to the editor about this story.