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Monday, September 3, 2012

Chance meeting Whately Prep p. 57


I leave my pick-up outside the front door of Sugarloaf Manor.  The smell of antiseptic, urine, aged bodies and their effluents assaults me as I enter the front rotunda.  The place looks like a four-star hotel. The decor is generic, but attractive. Reproduction antiques, reprints of Matisse’s and Monet’s works hang in neat rows going down the hall. There is a l large bulletin board with the names and faces of residents displayed in a colorful collage.  The smell of cauliflower, heavy and cloying wafts from the dining hall. It appears that most of the residents have gathered for their evening meal.  I eye the two rooms filled with senior citizens.  Most are women; many are in wheelchairs and powerchairs.  There is a sea of white heads when I look at the table rounds of diners.  I look for the Lucille Ball red that Mrs. Dickinson uses to dye her hair.  Find that head, and I will find her.  I do not find her.  When I walk down the hall to her room, I see she is seated, outside of her bedroom door.  An aide has cleared her tray.  Her head bobs slightly, her left leg appears to have a tremor.  
“You, you there, would you take me to the bathroom?”  
I am here because of an anonymous letter I found when I opened my bedroom door.  Someone had violated my privacy, entered my home, and left me an anonymous letter claiming that Mrs. Dickinson had information for me. I left the message untouched, on the floor, where it lay when I found it.  
I approach her cautiously, “HI, Mrs. Dickinson.  I’m Carl, do you remember me from Whately Prep?  Julia and i were good friends?”  Mrs. Dickinson turns to face me. Nothing like recognition shows on her face.  Then, suddenly, her face is transformed and it is glowing like a light filled vessel.  I follow her gaze to the room across the corridor.  I see a woman’s shapely legs, her face obscured by a bouquet of flowers.  She lowers the flowers to Mrs. Dickinson’s rolling table.  It isn’t until she does so that I realize that it is Julia.  

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