I’ve given up calling, as it seems to serve no purpose. Her aperture on the real world is the size of a pinhole. Inverted images, memories, might still be imprinted on the back of her mind, but she’s distracted by sensations of the here-and-now: swollen ankles, a craving for candy, a leaking bladder, the fatigue of mid-day. There’s surety in them. Certainty. Familiarity. Something graspable.

And then there’s the disease, the craziness of paranoid dementia.

She steals. Squirrels. Swears. Somnambulates.

I’ve given up calling. I want to deny that she’s forgetting about me. Leaving me.

That toddler, clinging to her legs.

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