I don’t like bacon. Why do they bring me bacon?
I’ll send it back. I eat..not meat, things from the ground, fruit, I’m unitarian, not the right word…doesn’t matter. Looking out of the window I murmur to myself
What place is this?
That’s a quotation. Something. Was an actress, should know some. What’s in that bag? Oh make-up. Look in the mirror. Who did that to my hair? Where are my highlights? Must go to the hairdresser. Put on my black eye-liner and Goth make-up. Looks odd but makes me feel better. For a moment there is a different bathroom reflected in the mirror behind the old lady I assume has to be me but doesn’t look like me. A stone-built house in France. I lived there with…fat bloke, always angry, shouted a lot…don’t remember his name. Didn’t like him. Perhaps I’ll call him Bacon. Giggle to myself and wave at the mirror. “Hello, Mr. Bacon! Glad you aren’t here!”
I must have dozed off because when I wake up I am thinking of my boat, my lovely little yacht and Andy. Andy was my husband. He went away somewhere with a man, don’t remember who. Wonder where he is now?
“Hello, Princess!” There’s a man at the door. He didn’t knock. Nobody knocks, that’s rude. He smiles at me and looks sad. I wonder if he has a relative in this place, hotel, prison, what is this place? I smile back and offer my hand. We always shook hands in France. I don’t think I’m in France now. People speak English to me and they don’t shake hands.
“Would you like to use the computer today, Princess?” He is talking to me gently and I look at the machine he is setting up. I’m not stupid, I remember what a computer is, been using them most of my life!
“Who would you like to type to on Skype today, hmm?” He talks as if he knows me, as if we do this often but I can’t remember. I wonder if I should give him a hug but decide not to, he might not take it kindly from a stranger.
“My boyfriend!” That came out a bit forcefully and he smiles again but still sadly. Poor man, he must have a lot on his mind.
I remember how to type but I stare at the icons and don’t remember which to press first. He makes it work and sits on a chair behind me, playing with his mobile phone.
“Hello, my beloved.” I type, “When will we be together? Is it soon? Can I come and live with you soon?”
The answer comes back from the screen “Yes, darling, very soon now.” and I feel happy. I remember that my boyfriend and I can’t be together but not why. He is in…. no, don’t remember where.
The man with the white hair is crying over his mobile phone now, his shoulders shaking and I feel sorry for him. I wish I knew who he was. I turn away to type on the screen.
“Love you, Teddy Bear.”
“Love you too, Princess! and a huggy teddy followed by a heart” Funny, that’s what the man with the white hair called me. Shall I tell him? No, he is still sobbing. I’ll ignore him and talk to my boyfriend. Wish I could remember … more.
A woman comes in with a tray, meat again and I scream at her. The man with the white hair goes to speak to her and I return to my screen to see “BRB…” my Teddy Bear has had to go away and I start to cry.
Where is he? What is this place?
This was written for an anthology about Alzheimer Disease which was never published.