Archive for Alzheimers
The restaurant was illuminated by built in wall lighting so that parts were bright but pockets of near darkness were scattered throughout the room. A posse of early evening clientele were seated, talking, and sipping their pre-dinner cocktails. Through the kitchen doors, the faint sound of a busy kitchen could be heard. Delicious smells wafted out from behind the same doors. Paul was seated at a side table and was just finishing his second Manhattan. He had already made his mind up that he would opt for the fish dish tonight. Maybe the salmon. There was just something about the smell of salmon on a hot grill.
The tall, gracious woman glided into the room, her coat flowing behind her, a small hat with a green feather on her head. She scanned the room and her eyes settled on Paul; I small grin crossed her face, a face that bore the unmistakable signs of recent botox injections.
“Hello Paul, how lovely to see you.” Her approach was preceded by a subtle scent that Paul could not quite place. It reminded him of something or someone.
Paul, seated in a dark corner of the room, away from the other diners, rose to his feet politely. He felt rather light headed. Was this the woman of his dreams or maybe he was really, really hungry.
“Er, good afternoon, er, evening.” He pushed his chair back, moved around the table, and pulled back the second chair at the table, indicating for her to sit. The chair made a terrible noise and some of the other diners looked over at who or what was causing a disruption to their deliberations.
She looked down at him, a hint of a smile on her face. She raised her hands and sat down next to Paul. “How are you doing? How are the roses?” She placed her expensive leather handbag open the table. Paul looked to see if he could see any identifying initials. Who was this woman? But he had identified the scent. It was Opium or some such name as that. His wife had used it a lot. And what the hell was all this about roses. He wouldn’t know a rose from a daffodil.
Paul’s brown frowned. He was unsure what she was talking about. He tried to cover his confusion by a quick response. “Um, er, they’re doing well, thank you.” In his haste he dropped his napkin on the floor. Would it be impolite to reach down for it or just leave it where it had fallen? She might think he was trying to do something else, something entirely different than retrieving an innocent napkin. One of the wait staff dropping a tray of plates interrupted his thoughts. The noise in the restaurant seemed to be intensifying. Now the kitchen noises were raised and it seemed all the diners had started yelling at each other.
The woman seemed to take his response in and snapped back. “Betty well? I haven’t seen her for a while. And how is the new grandchild. It’s a girl isn’t it. Madison – something. What an unusual name. You must be thrilled.” She adjusted her wrap and to Paul it appeared she was actually looking down her nose at him.
Paul was now completely confused. Who was Betty? What grandchild was she talking about? Who was this woman? Now he wasn’t even sure about the perfume. “Yes, yes. All well.” Best, he thought to leave the napkin where it was and just hope that this woman, who was now glancing around the room, would just leave him alone. Seeing no one else she could sit with she noisily drew back her chair, picked up he bag and rose.
“I won’t keep you. Have a lovely day.” She turned on her heels and walked out of the restaurant. Paul, in his haste to be polite and stand, knocked his drink over. The smell of spilt whisky and the woman scent made for a heady mix. His head was spinning and the room started to go in and out of focus.
Paul sat down heavily. He must be getting Alzheimer’s.
Meanwhile the elegant woman looked back into the restaurant. I sly grin came over her face. She quickly adjusted her hat and strolled down the road to the next restaurant on the high street
Vi Gets Old
She awoke. It was not a pleasant awakening. Soiled dreams drifted through her consciousness. Memories of falling, failing, no flying. Her limbs ached. Her head throbbed from last nights red wine. He clumsily threaded her aching limbs into the ancient robe – a legacy from her late husband and staggered out into the dimly lit kitchen gradually brightening with the light from the dawn. She finally managed to get the gas on the stove going and filled the kettle and places it over the gently hissing blue flame. She could smell the faint odour of the gas and it gave her pleasure to think of times gone by when she had cooked breakfast for the family – the noise of them drifting through the house as they prepared for the day.
Turning on the minimum of lights she wandered off to perform her morning ablutions.
As she ran the brush through her greying hair she thought, momentarily that something was wrong. Had she forgotten to let the cat out last night? Was it a noise from the front of the house or just the old wood shifting in the changing heat? She shrug’s and returned to looking at the sad sight in the mirror. Bags under her eyes, pallid complexion, more lines where it seemed only yesterday there was a clear complexion. Looking closer she saw the beginning of a turkey neck. God! Where had all that time gone? She smelled something funny. It must be the cat! She didn’t think she could face cleaning up after it again. Maybe time to get rid of the old companion. It was so sad when old age started to show through smells and little accidents.
She shuffled back down the cold corridor that separated the bathroom from the kitchen. As she entered the kitchen she instantly knew what was wrong.
Her brand new electric kettle ($62.95 at the Warehouse) sat on the top of her two year old gas stove, slowly sizzling and emitting an acrid cloud of blue smoke.
How would she explain this to her children? Already they were looking at retirement home brochures.
Images flashed through her mind.
A blue – rinsed old lady wheeled down a long dark corridor, soiled nightwear on prominent display. She screams incoherently for her long lost cat. She screams “Where are my children?” although she can no longer recall if she has children, a cat, a husband, a life.