The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Life in Reverse


Life in reverse. Once you’ve got turned around, slam it into drive and take off faster than the years and dementia chasing you down.

My neighbor buzzed our apartment this morning. She wanted me to unlatch the back gate so she could scoop up a dead bird before her stray cats could pick at it. She throws cat food onto our cement backyard for the strays squatting in empty garages with doors raised just enough for small bodies to slide in. My daughter said the food was attracting opossums too. That, after I opened the back door one evening and caught movement in peripheral vision. Glowing eyes and a rat-tail. Cary’s friend afraid of those rat-like creatures. Some bizarre reason I can’t recall now. Like fear of sunflowers. Their bright sunny upturned faces that begin drooping with age. We all have our quirks.

The neighbor sent her boyfriend over with the dustpan. He irritates her. She claims he has dementia that makes him contrary. Au contraire. I’ve known lots of contrary people without dementia. He might have it though. He’s at the age of possibility. With dustpan in hand, he asks if I’m African. “Uh, no.” “Why are you in your bare feet then?, he asked.” His girlfriend shaking her head at his question. Are all Africans running around in bare feet? Au contraire. His question wasn’t dementia or contrariness. Just his joke.

Expert advice for out driving the dementia. Stretch your brain until it wants to crack. Learn something out of your comfort zone. Stop napping. Well, napping’s OK. Recharge the brain.

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