Oh, Lordy, what's our Howie been smoking with that caterpillar? When I approach Dad down the long hall, he tells me I am taller than I think. "She," he says," is six two and five eighths. And you are even taller." Yikes. I'm Tall Alice. My high school health teacher warned us about flashbacks!
I enticed Dad to nibble a bit on a personal pan slice from Pizza Hut. He tells me again I am six two and five eighths. He's tall, also, he says. I input that he always used to be five ten or so. Nope, now he is "nine six".
I'm glad Dad wants to be out wheeling down the hall toward the dining room. I walk behind and give occasional course corrections to his tacks. It must be hard to steer when one is suddenly so much higher in the clouds.
When we get to the dining room Dad settles in, staring at the aquarium without seeing, hearing the monotones of the blind lady without getting stressed, listening to the cd of big band hits played by some woman at a chicken restaurant organ. I can almost, but not quite, latch onto a lyric here or there.
"The first evening I was here," Dad says, "they brought me a big glass of cranberry juice with ice. Now that was living!" Is this real? Is this tea time in Wonderland? Dad's nurse tells me it is okay to get him some cranberry juice. His aide tells me that must have been the evening he hit her. Geez. Off with his head. Dad schlurps cranberry juice through the straw like a man possessed, momentarily clear-headed, satisfied, and hydrated.
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder