Sunday, May 21, 2006

Second Night Without Sleep

Bea is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when I enter her bedroom at 7 am.

“Could you give me a painkiller? You’d be surprised, but just watching that thing made a mess of my knees,” she exclaims.

“What have you been up to?” I ask, picking up the pillows from the floor after Bea has swallowed an Aleve. She must have been wiggling around during the night.

“Oh, you know,” she says and then suddenly starts to laugh. “Hurts so much, it’s better to laugh than cry.”

“Where were you?”

“Why, at the football game!”

Football? Bea never followed the sport.

“It was curious how the older women looked at me.”

“You mean Nan and Margot?” I ask, confused.

“No. The three older women who were here. They were older than me. To me they seemed older, all so elegantly dressed.”

Oh, my! Bea certainly has a vivid imagination. The other day she told me I was in one of her dreams wearing a high-collar and perfume that smelled of violets.

“I really think pharmaceuticals work wonders in this age.”

I nod. No question there. Thank goodness for painkillers.

“When I worked at MCA, I wrote a book on the chemical industry and –“

I wait for Bea to finish the sentence but she has drawn a complete blank and just stares up at me with confusion in her eyes.

“Oh! I forgot my sequence. This has never happened before. It must be due to my age. I’m 96 now. I guess that’s old…”

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