There it is. A done deal. I managed to get ready to have two friends to dinner while breaking only the Russell Wright butter dish. I laid it on the counter so he could see it the minute he got home.
“Where’s the chip?”
“There’s no chip. The edge shattered into a million pieces,” I answered.
“We’ll never be able to get another,” he said standing in front of it. Mourning.
I knew it was a favorite dish of his. I tucked it inside a towel to dry then brainlessly I whipped the towel off the counter. Only when it crashed on the tile floor with a final ceramic on ceramic implosion did I realized that it had been in the towel. It was as if I had suddenly turned into our friend Duck with no memory of my immediate actions. I felt doubly awful.
We visited Duck first yesterday.
“He just tried to go out the door,” the receptionist told us.
“We caught him going out the back door,” one of the nurses told us. “He said he was going home.”
“Do I have to stay here tonight?” He asked us when we joined him in his room.
“Yes, you live here now,” replied G in a litany that is becoming familiar. “You have lived here for eleven months.”
“No I don’t, I was walking in Balboa Park just two weeks ago.”
We always try to deflect the topic. Change the subject.
“Are you ready for dinner?”
“Where do I eat?”
G, patient as all get out replies, “You eat in the dining room.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes, you have been eating there for eleven months. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
“No!” He sounded quite astounded by the fact that he ate in the dining room.
Perhaps I should have asked, just for curiosities sake, where he thought he ate. Allie saved the day for us.
“Here’s Allie,” I said in a sprightly fashion deflecting the conversation once again. “You sit with Allie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
He remembered her, and just for the moment I felt very relieved. She’s a veteran and has applied to move to the veteran’s home in Chula Vista. Her brain works very clearly. She cares for Duck, and she makes sure he goes to his meals by herding him there in her motorized chair. She makes sure he gets to crafts class too. I am very grateful to her for the efforts she makes.
“You save him all the time,” I tell her. “He’s having a very bad day today.”
We nod together; she understands.
“I’m sorry to say that I selfishly hope you don’t move for a long, long time.”
“It’s the VA,” she replied. “It may be a long, long time before there’s room down there.”
Duck: Very, very confused yesterday.
Me: Still nursing tooth. Dinner jigsaw: We will have to move the sofa, but it’s better than sitting on the floor or eating off our laps.
G: Came home singing last night. He went off to the Company in office Christmas Party this morning singing and wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt. Is he making a statement?
Weather: Have my fingerless gloves on and am heating the whole house. Gee, it looks as if we may have the heat on for three days this year. That will be 150 a day x 3= 450. Old style radiant heating may have been a good idea when energy costs were low, but it today’s world it doesn’t work.