“It’s called executive dysfunction,” said the doctor. She rummaged around in a drawer full of pamphlets looking for the right one to summarize the problem without her having to actually explain too much.

Zdenda had no idea what executive dysfunction was, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t good. Dysfunction didn’t sound positive at all. He tried really hard to think of a situation where dysfunction would be a good thing, and failed. Instead, he pictured a load of business executives in suits and ties carrying briefcases and trying to shake hands and network at a conference, but failing to manage the basic handshake, dropping all their paperwork on the ground and flailing around in showers of sparks.

The noise of the doctor shuffling around the papers was starting to hurt his ears. He figured he should tell the doctor to be a little quieter. After all, a specialist like her would surely understand his sensitivity to sound. He decided to say something, but nothing came out. His mouth stubbornly refused to move.

He settled for rocking back and forth and hoping she’d finish quickly.


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