I left my mother in her room to talk to the nurse. A television played in the distance.
I continued on, glancing into the rooms.
“Will someone take me to dinner?!”
I found a young woman, in an elf green outfit, sorting papers on a cart at the end of the hall.
“I have a question about my mother.”
She looked startled, the papers lolling forward. “I’m not a nurse.”
“She had a fall this morning.”
“I’m the director of social programs.”
“Is the nurse around?”
“She will be here soon.”
I paused. “And there’s a woman that wants to be taken to dinner. She seems a little upset.”
“The nurse will be here soon.”
I went back, looking in briefly at Gregory Peck and then the frail legs in the bed, long and white, the rest of the body hidden by the half-open door.
“Will someone please take me to dinner!?” The voice was more strident now, desperate.
“She told me that someone is coming.”
“Oh.” She sat rigid, her eyes sunk in. “Thank you very much!”
I wondered who the woman thought I meant by ‘she’ as I got on the elevator, always there, ready for my escape.