Last week at the care center Katherine stated that she wasn't sure she'd still be around when I returned this week, seeing as how somebody was trying to kill her and all. I'm happy to report that Katherine was there last night, decked out in plaid and surly as ever.
Speaking of surly, Albert was on a tear. Albert is a new favorite whom I've not met, only smiled at from across the room. He's old, but his eyes aren't. They still have youth in them, albeit a confused youth. His hair is unintentionally hip, turned into an ultra cool faux-hawk by uneven sleep. When his eye catches mine he waves at me flirtatiously, using just one finger. But last night there was no flirting because Melvin was too much for Albert. Melvin is too much for most people, what with his penchant for disrobing and inappropriately relieving himself.
Last night the kitchen forgot to include Albert's dinner tray and even though the food looks ghastly, Albert was not pleased that he didn't get anything to eat. The staff went right to work to get their hands on Albert's dinner, but that didn't calm him down right away. Kollie, the male nurse from Liberia, put his arm around Albert in a sweet hug and told him that, as his friend, he was going to see to it that his dinner was brought up immediately, that he was really sorry. This placated Albert, at least until Melvin went too far. When the tray arrived, Albert tore into his ham sandwich like a man who hadn't seen food for weeks. So when Melvin's hand ventured a little too closely into Albert's space, as it probably does fairly frequently, Albert would have none of it. Suddenly, the faint musical strains of Jesus Loves Me, This I Know coming from the CD player were interrupted by the exasperated cries of an old man who just wanted his ham sandwich. "Goddammit, you bastard!" Albert yelled, giant food crumbs spraying out of his mouth and all over the table. "Get your hands off my food, you son-of-a-bitch!" My adorable, across-the-room sweetheart, Albert, was clearly not amused by Melvin's childish antics. Then, just as quickly as his temper flared, it was gone and he quietly finished his meal.
Maybe the youth I see in Albert's eyes is a reflection of the child he's becoming again. Regressing, revisiting his childhood one failing synapse at a time. Falling backward into a time when restraint wasn't well known and anger exploded quickly. Then, a moment later, gone.