One Week Without the Unnamed Ones- Day 5

The truth is, I get as much done when the Unnamed Ones are home as I do when they're away...The only difference is, I just plain miss my boys...and now, it's worse because I even miss the Witch!

But...I did finish cleaning out and putting back the office closet and its contents.

And I wrote about 11 pages. I'm trying a new way of writing for awhile. It's called the "Don't plot it- just put the people on the page and see what happens next."

Darlene, my Flea Sister, was with me up in D.C when the approach came to me. Of course, as you may remember, I was sick and stuck in amongst 3500 therapists at a psychotherapy conference. I think the therapists helped. For one thing, if one of the presenters hadn't bored the living poop out of me, I wouldn't have started writing- inventing 2 characters to entertain me as I went along.

Secondly, I think the influence of 3500 therapists shows very clearly in this new writing technique. I put the characters on the page and try to figure them out as I type along after them.

I know...get to the good stuff, Nance, you're boring us....

All right. I went to pick up my massive quantity of jelly beans, all tucked snug in their little beribboned jelly jars. Bessie was nowhere in sight but the rest of the crew was gathered in the activity room, waiting for the afternoon's storytelling session.

As near as I could tell, they all appeared to be sleeping, or at best in a post lunch stupor.

Milly, a white-haired lady with blood-thinner bruises all over her arms and a lap rug covering her legs rolled up and squinted up at me through her glasses.

Most days she smiles and says "There you are, honey! I've been looking everywhere for you!" But not today. Today Milly rolls up, raises one eyebrow and says acerbically, "Well, it's about time! I haven't seen you in forever!"

"Well, Milly," I said, "It was only yesterday, remember?"

Milly ignores this in order to get right down to what's on her mind.

"Are you gonna clip my toenails, or what?" she demands.

Now, usually I'll go along with whatever they throw at me but I have this thing about feet- I don't let people play with mine and in return, I won't play with theirs! So before I could stop myself, I'd said, "Heck no, I won't clip your toenails. I love you, Milly, but you'd better save that for the podiatrist."

"Humph!" Milly snorts, like "what good are you then, girl?!"

The activity assistant is sitting in her office, reading the paper, probably stalling story hour until she feels inspired.

"She knows you aren't the podiatrist," she says, never looking up from her paper.

But Milly's had enough of our foolishness. She starts rolling out of the room, headed down the hallway.

"Milly!" the assistant calls. "Milly, where you goin'?"

"I'll be back!" Milly calls over her shoulder...but the assistant knows better.

"Aw, she's goin' back to her room and gonna climb up in that easy chair of hers," she grouses. "She loves her some chair!"

But I know the real truth. I've let Milly down. Not only was I not the podiatrist, I didn't even have the sense to help her save face by pretending to be the podiatrist.

I walk back out to the car, put down the top and drive away with my jelly beans. I know Milly will have forgotten all about my betrayal by the next time she sees me, but I won't.

Getting old, losing bits and pieces of your memory and your life, is terribly hard. It's full of pain and misery and the grief of losing your future and your past.

Compared to that, becoming a podiatrist is the very least I can do.

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