August 23, 2012: Can’t Smile Without You

          The Jehovah’s Witnesses returned today.

          It had been an especially trying morning. Mom awoke, as she occasionally does, upset because her card club was coming over, and she wasn’t prepared. Over and over again, I had to pretend to telephone the president of the club (who died in 1978) to tell her that my mother didn’t feel well and could they please not come over.

          After the seventh such fake phone call, Mom said, “What do I have?”

          “Alzheimer’s,” I said, too exhausted to come up with a clever lie.

          “Well, it feels like a cold.” she said, frowning.

           The doorbell rang. The two old ladies on the front stoop were talking before I got the door open.

          “Here we are again!” the one named Bertha called out. I recognized her and her companion from last weekend, when they’d tried to corral me into talking about the anointment of Abaddon or something.

          “We’re walking the neighborhood talking to our friends about the good word of the Lord!”  the other one cheeped.

          Well, this friend has a sore back and is all out of Vicodin, I thought. This friend is an atheist and a homosexual who’s about to explain to you in detail about how both of those things work, just for the fun of it.

           But instead—for once—I closed my mouth. No, I thought. I’ve been delivering that particular sermon for more than 30 years. This time, I’m going to offer something different.

          “Won’t you please come inside and talk to my mother?” I asked, opening the door wide for the ladies.

 Thing I Hate Today: Lint


2 Responses

  1. Your last sentence is a page turner. Then what happened?

  2. Did you really, Robrt Pela? I must hear the end result of that decision.

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