On the bus, I am sandwiched between two people who are on their phones. They, without regard for their surroundings, have voluble simultaneous conversations:
To my right:
“Memory loss. 10 years definitely, getting worse. March. Yes, trouble walking, lack of oxygen to her brain- You think it was the blockage? No, I can’t even… sometimes. No. She did have surgery for glaucoma 4yrs… Maybe. Yes,
she’s had a number of mini strokes over the past ten years.
To my left:
“And there’s little sausages that I give her after the evening walk. Take a flashlight, and a bag for poop. She likes to walk early in the morning, then at night. Nothing to drink between 9 pm and whenever you wake up. Brush her every day, if you can. She’ll sleep wherever. Oh, it’s so important. I know. That’s what I’m saying…”
Ah, this is where I am released from my audio torture… My stop. It’s also the stop where my new friend lives, and that’s where I’m headed for the first time. She is two blocks west of the bus stop, and I am two blocks east. I head west. We are having a girls night out: dinner, shopping, a glass of wine.
The building could be mine. I open the door, step into the lobby, and think “this is my home”! I back track out the door to make sure I haven’t lost my mind and gone home. This should be correct. The surrounding buildings confirm this is not my home. I walk into the lobby, and search for her name. It’s where my name is on the panel in my lobby. Okay. I ring, and am buzzed in. This is odd. The paint, the runners on the floor, are just like my building. Up, the elevator takes me to 6. I’m led to her door by habit rather than direction. Right off the elevator, and around the corridor.
There she is in the doorway. She opens the door for me to enter, and I walk into my apartment. My sofa, my table, my artwork, my books are all where I left them this morning when I went to work.
She hands me my wine glass and says: “This afternoon will be fun. I’ve been practicing for a while, and think I’ve got it down.” I nervously take a sip of the wine, and then the world goes black.
THE DAILY POST
Oct 27, 2014
You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?