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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Dinner Date

Nothing made sense in that garage, even though I had hung the tools on the peg board myself and stocked the shelves. It was happening more and more often, this feeling of disassociation or uncertainty. I looked at Betty, so happy with her schedule of summer parties, book club and gardening. I did not want to tell her and ruin her good times, but I was not feeling myself at all.
I turned on the overhead light and walked the garage perimeter slowly. I smelled something – a solvent? If I thought carefully, I could name some of the tools: crescent wrench and adjustable wrench and screwdriver. Then I felt muddled. Too many things -- names and words -- were flying clear out of my head. Our car was a Toyota, that I could see. But where was the Ford Taurus? Had we sold it?
Although I could not recall why I had come down to the garage to begin with, it did not seem an unpleasant place to be. A canvas folding chair leaned against the wall. Beside it was an empty can with a cigarette butt in it. Did Betty smoke? Did I?
The door to the laundry room opened and out came my Betty. I would know her anywhere by the bounce in her step and that lick-lips smile.
"Frank, honey, we really need to get ready. The dinner reservations are for 8 sharp and we don't want to keep the Rogerses waiting."
I walked behind her, from garage to house, through the cinnamon-smelling kitchen, and then I stopped. I had to ask. I hoped she would not get angry.
"Betty..." I said, then hesitated.
"Yes Frank? What is it?"
"Betty, I just need to know. Who are the Rogerses?"


Jared said...

Normally I'd feel a bit more dismayed for a character going through memory loss, but he's so relieved to see his beloved, unforgettable, Betty that I can really enjoy the last line with a grin. I feel like she's gonna take care of him. (A relief for us and Frank, but what about Betty!)

Angela said...

This is everyone's dark fear. I think you did a fine job of setting up Frank's situation, and I wonder if his reaction to the situation might also include more forceful frustration, anger, or even shame.