The smell of spring is out of synch with the patches of snow, but it hangs in the air, cloying, tantalizing, seductive. I race to my room to retrieve my Psych books, breathing deep like a long-distance runner. I’m tall and muscular but have trouble remembering an assignment for five minutes. Alzheimer’s. That’s what Mia calls it. Thank God brain death is painless. If she knew what was really on my mind, she’d move to another dorm.
Ruth groped toward the stairs in the darkened hall. She descended toward ghostly objects – a plant, telephone stand, hall tree...
Suddenly a door opened, framing a stout woman in the light. “Why darlin’, how come you’re still awake? Her voice was high and sing‑song. “Are you hungry?”
Taking the girl’s hand, she led her into the kitchen where Ruth wordlessly consumed three graham crackers and a glass of milk. This foster home was Ruth’s earliest memory. She was two and a‑half years old.
Good morning, my sweet. We slept late, didn’t we? Claudia called and said she will be a little late, but will make it before I leave. Don’t scowl. I’ll be back before dinner. You’ll have a good time with Claudia. She’s a real television lady. “One Life to Live...” “All My Children...” I’ll bet you know them as well as I once did. It’s a vicarious experience. Remember when you would tell me that? The window to the world. The seashore, the city... Well, it’s something anyway.