Vivian looked up from her book and stared at her husband Ray as he fiddled with his iPod. At one time he knew every little detail about that thing; now the device totally confused him. In frustration Ray cursed and threw the iPod across the room.
“Fucking thing’s busted!” he yelled.
Vivian sighed and retrieved the iPod, placing it on the table between their recliners. She glanced sadly at Ray who just sat in his chair looking straight ahead. Where was her husband of 55 years? He was gone, replaced by this ‘nowhere man’.
“We’ll look at it together after dinner, Ray. I’m sure we can figure out what’s wrong with it” Vivian calmly suggested.
“Don’t patronize me, Viv!” Ray shouted. “I’m not a child!”
“Sorry, Ray. I was just trying to help. I’m going to make dinner. Soup and salad sound ok to you?”
“Whatever!” Ray snapped. “I’m not hungry anyway.”
In the kitchen Vivian wept silently. It was like this ever since Ray’s diagnosis of early onset dementia. She and Ray squabbled over everything. He used to be very handy; now he couldn’t set his alarm clock. When Vivian offered to sort out his meds for him, Ray lashed out saying he could do it himself. He mixed up the dosage and had a terrible reaction leaving him feeling hopeless and helpless.
Ray came into the kitchen and started helping Vivian make the salad, perfectly cutting vegetables and chatting amiably.
The old Ray was back … at least temporarily.