…The receptionist greeted me with a friendly smile when I entered. “He’s all ready, you can go right up” she said. Tony was sitting in his chair watching TV – he stood when I came in and we hugged tightly. “Love you”/”Love you too”.
I scanned the room and bathroom for anything left behind and we walked together to the elevator. I was surprised he hadn’t been outside all week, Tony told me he could have gone to the garden, but it was too cold. While I punched in the code for the elevator, Tony told me his stay had been all right, and that five ladies in the dining room always waved to him – his new wives. He was laughing at the joke. The main door of the building had a code to get out too, if Tony noticed he didn’t mention anything.
Once in the car and the dog leaping and snuffing, Tony said “Whip ‘er, billy” – which meant let’s get moving. Tony said he hadn’t slept too well and the food wasn’t like home cooking. He had a yen for poutine, so we stopped for lunch at a roadside café. I mentioned I’d like to show him the surrounding area a little – he’d never been there before. Within minutes he was snoozing, the dog too. We took a scenic route home I pointed the car north, intending to ease east. It would be fun to enjoy a change of scenery instead of a direct route.
Somehow I took a wrong turn, and realized we weren’t where I intended to be. Pulling onto the shoulder to regroup, Tony stirred awake. “Where are we? What’s the trouble?” he asked. There was panic in his eyes. “There’s no trouble darling,” I reassured him, “I just need to get my bearings.”
His only comment was, “That’s not like you, Sherry. You never lose your way.” I nodded; it was an easy mistake to make. The route I chose was longer than the way I’d come, and it started to rain. I felt suddenly tired and wondered if my anticipation had been unrealistic. Tony was tired too, away from his familiar surroundings for a week.
A diesel-belching tow truck was ahead; I knew where I was now and turned left onto a side road. Several minutes later though, I pulled onto the shoulder again and reached for the map. “I know where I want to be but I’m mixed up again”, I said.”
I can’t believe it” exclaimed Tony, are you really lost?” I could hardly grasp it myself, twice in one day, so unlike me. “We’re going west,” said Tony, “I can tell by the sun”.
I kept driving – we were headed east, I was certain, and there was no sun. Soon I recognized a familiar place – and was on track again. What a mix up; the possibility that I might subconsciously be creating delays alarmed me…