image by author.

no balloons.

Robert Rado

--

“So, you’ll see that, basically, all’s fine with Zak.”

“Yes, my wife and me — we’ve read your report.”

“Yes, so I’ve assumed.”

“Of course, we did.”

“Yes. Of course you did.”

[beat]

“It is my understanding that there’s something you wanted to discuss with us.”

[beat]

“Yes.”

“Yes. So, what would it be? Anything of concern?”

[beat]

“No. Concern? No. I wouldn’t say so.”

“Still. An appointment was necessary.”

“It was, indeed. It’s the shape-sorter exercise.”

“What about it?”

“Well, most toddlers show signs of contentment when they can solve the puzzle. They match a shape to the correct hole and they are — well, they’re happy. The green triangle block goes through the triangle hole and they giggle. They feel they have accomplished something.”

“And Zak? Can he match the shapes?”

[beat]

“I think he could.”

“Could? As a hypothesis?”

“The point’s this: Zak looks happy when he places the wrong block on the wrong hole. He puts a square block on a circle hole and he’s happy to see it not fall through. He leaves the square shape on the circle hole and he’s content it won’t drop.”

[beat]

“And you think that’s awkward?”

“Awkward? No. Out of the ordinary? Yes.”

“How so?”

“Statistically speaking.”

[beat]

“Statistically speaking, should my wife and me be worried?”

“No. Zak is — Zak.”

“What’s that mean?”

“It means what it means: Zak’s Zak.”

--

--