Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ten Toes Up, Ten Toes Down

Gladys comes into the office. Unbrushed hair, wringing hands, completely distraught. She is so upset I can hardly get her to tell me what is wrong. I have to ask multiple times. She finally sits down and asks "Did anyone say anything about me this morning?"

"Uh, no. Like what?"

"Oh good heavens it must really have been a dream! Well, not really a dream it was more like a nightmare!" She is extremely animated, sitting at the edge of the chair, taking big, deep breaths.

So I ask what the dream was about, assuming it would be about missing keys or someone breaking in or some other caper that goes along with her slight (but darling) paranoia. I was wrong.

"I dreamt I had a man in bed with me!! It seemed so real. I dreamt that I got up and went out into the hall and told him to come into my apartment and then when I woke up there he was in my bed! Can you even imagine such a thing??"

She is so serious, and so...frazzled. And so worried about "what would everyone think!" She is 91 years old! This is damn funny. I giggled. I just couldn't help myself! So I ask Gladys, "Well, was he good looking?"

Gladys, who has Alzheimer's, starts laughing, and rolling off the one-liners as fast as she can. She says "Well, it wasn't his face I was looking at!" Which makes me laugh even harder. "And if he was good looking, I wouldn't be down here telling you about him, I'd still be in bed!" She then describes how real the dream seemed and that she lay there for a minute and finally decided she had better check the bottom of the bed to see how many sets of feet there were. I am laughing so hard my eyes are watering, and Gladys is full-out belly laughing. It was so awesome to hear her laugh like that.

Like all good things, our laugh-fest had to come to a close. Gladys left the office. And then...

In walked Assistant. "What happened to your chair?" she asks, as I glance at it.

And right there where Gladys had been sitting... is a perfectly round, great big, Wet. Spot.

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