A Day in the Life
Wil A. Emerson
Pot roast is easy to prepare. Not much thought to it. So when Mary T. walked up to the butcher and asked for him to cut her a three pound chuck, I didn't take it as a sign she'd recovered from the amnesia. I figured there were some things a person did often enough, they had no need to think about it. Sort of like reciting the alphabet.
I took her out this particular afternoon for a change of pace. Went to a couple of her favorite places. First the library to return the books she'd borrowed before the accident. One novel finished the day before she hit her head; the other two she glanced at when her head wasn't so foggy and tossed them aside as if they were written in a foreign language. Under normal circumstances, she'd had finished all three in a week. But for the spill, the concussion, the memory loss, she would have read them all in a flash and taken those books right back and picked up three more to take home.
The librarian looked at the dates on the borrowed books and eyed Mary T. up and down like she'd robbed a bank.
"Not like you to abuse the system," the pinched-nosed gal sighed.
"Do I know you," Mary T. asked.
I started to explain then decided to let it go. Mary T. had asked the dentist the identical question a few days before when I took her in for a routine appointment. And when Dr. Hopkins replied, "You helped me decorate this office," my Mary T. cried.
When we got to the grocery store, I, quick like a dumb fox, realized I might have made another mistake by bringing Mary T. out on a rainy day. A strange sensation came over me. As if I set back the clock, I could prevent her fall and all would be right in our world. I rushed ahead of my wife, straight to the counter and demanded they dry up the floor where customers waited as the butcher cut their meat.
"Get it done before Mary T. comes up the aisle," I said to the young kid behind the glass shelf.
He came out with a mop in his hand, looking a little angry as if I'd asked him to wash down a battleship all by himself. Dang kid didn't know the price someone pays for an unnecessary spill on the floor.
Mary T. caught up with me, went straight to the counter and pushed the customer bell. Ding, ding, it rang and the butcher came out from the door where he worked on his prized meats.
"A three pound chuck, please," Mary T. said, "I'm doing a pot roast today." She stepped back, her hand on her purse.
After a few minutes, she turned and looked at me. "Sorry, Sir, did I step in front of you? Seems like I've lost all my manners these days." She took a few steps back and raised her hand for me to step ahead of her in the line.