I can sense the question before it comes.
“How are you doing?”
I want to answer, How do you think I’m doing, with my husband morphing into a ghost? I’m dying here. But thanks for asking.
Instead I clench my fists and deliver a cheerful response: “I’m good.” Which is, of course, a lie.
My husband is demented.
I cannot say these words out loud. Pushed to the wall, I’ll say that my husband has dementia, like it’s temporary–a virus curable by bed rest and chicken soup. Murray admits only to memory problems, while I split hairs over which verb I can stand to put next to his decline. We skitter around the truth like insects caught in a pool of light and scurrying for cover. The reality is, we’re on a steady downhill course, with Murray in frantic pursuit of words and ideas he can’t remember, while I chase after him, trying to mine precious nuggets of coherence buried in his muddy ramblings,
Murray imagines himself still capable of living a richly layered life, despite what his psychiatrist calls a severely impaired executive function system. What the hell is …