Saturday, June 22, 2013


      It would be lovely, if we could all age gracefully. Who needs the aches and the ailments that come with growing old? The worst, by far, are the humiliations associated with aging: the body betraying us, the mind following the suit. My friend, Roberta who is eighty and her husband, who is seventy three, stay with us in a small room with their own bathroom. Roberta recently fell down and fractured her spine. It sounds terrible, and she is in a lot - a lot - of pain, but, it turns out, there is a way to mend from it. Anyway, she sleeps on a narrow bed and her husband - on a mattress on the floor.This morning the two of them came out of the room laughing. They continued to giggle until I pried the story out of them, and we all didn't stop being amused by it since then. At night Roberta can't, sometimes, tell the imagined from reality. Once I ran into her room when I heard her talking in the small hours of the morning (2-3 am). "Are you alright?" - I asked. "I'm alright, but I don't know where all these people are going to sleep!" - she answered. "What people?" - my knees became weak. "Those ones: she, and he, and he!" 
     That was awhile back. Last night Roberta's husband, Dr. Park,  from his place on the floor, saw her get up, again, at about two or three in the morning and start walking toward him. "Where are you going?" - he asked. She answered: "To the bathroom." "The bathroom is in the opposite direction!" - he insisted. "Hush" - she said, untying her pants. He began to panic in earnest, trying to get out of the tangled sheets. "Turn around!" - he yelled, covering his face with his arms - "Go back!" To his relief, Roberta turned and saw the bathroom. Otherwise, who knows, what she could've done!

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