At P.’s house, there is a woman who is very tiny, with delicate features and downcast eyes, who creeps about the hallways, holding the railings. I greeted her the first couple of times I saw her, but she didn’t so much ignore me as seem to be unaware of my presence, so after that, I left her alone.
P. told me that, of all the people in the house, this woman, whose name is Renee, is the particular butt of the screaming lady’s malice. How dreadful that must be, to be physically small and infirm and have to live where someone tortures you emotionally.
I started to get feeling that maybe Renee was becoming used to me, so today I greeted her again, and she gave me a fleeting smile, though she didn’t look directly at me. After P. and I returned from our outing, we were sitting in his room when Renee came to the door and said, in a tiny voice, that she didn’t want to interrupt us, but she needed something from P.
She walked in and right up to him, and he said, "I can’t play house right now." After he repeated that, she turned to me and I saw that her robe was hanging open, and so I tied the pink strings for her and I gently held her outstretched hand, and she beamed at me, looking right at me for the first time, and told me I was a good person and that if there was any money left over, I should get it; that I’ve worked for it. I realized she was alluding to P.’s will.
She wished us a good night and a happy new year, and crept off. After she left, P. grumbled that this woman is always touching him, and he doesn’t like it. Very soon she was back, with her robe undone again and a diaper in plain view. I tied her robe closed again.
Then P.’s other sister called, and I went into the living room to give him some privacy, and talked to Kay. Renee came in, with her robe open again, and Kay said meanly to her, "Ain’t ya even ladylike?" I was appalled. I wanted to say, "Oh, well, she’s among friends," but I guess she isn’t.
P. said later that Renee’s neediness irritates the other women, and that they hate her because she’s very old, yet gets around without a walker.
I was glad P.’s sister had warned me about the ill effects of his medication change. His eyes also looked rather odd. She had thought we might be better off not attempting to go out, but P. said he was up to it, and there was only one untoward event, in a coffee shop in the
P. ordered a plain cup of coffee, but ended up with a foaming coffee drink of some sort. After a bit, the employees realized what had happened, and told him he had someone else’s drink. He got agitated right away and said, "But this is what you handed me!"
He had already poured some of it out to make room for milk and sugar, so they took it back and poured it out, which further upset P. He opened his mouth to say something else, and I said, "Just calm down. Don’t say anything else to them. Just leave them alone and let them get your coffee. Everything is OK."
Then one of the counter people said to P., "These two women are getting their drinks. Let’s just leave them alone and then we’ll get your coffee." I would have thought that was slightly rude, except that I had just said almost exactly the same thing. I still don’t think the counter person should have said that, but in fact, a quick study, he had learned it from me.
And I had said it because I got tense about a possible fight, or about P. becoming very upset, and so I wanted to quell whatever there was to quell instantly. I guess I should have just focused on calming him down and not told him what to do or not do, since it wasn’t strictly necessary.