Davis visited his Nani when he came back from his summer in Paris. She marveled at his pictures, asking again and again where they were from.
“Yes, I was in Paris.”
“Oh, I’ve never been there.”
“You were there on your honeymoon.”
“Oh, I was?”
“Yes, Nani. You’ve been there many times.”
“Oh dear. I don’t remember that at all. I remember nothing.” She bent toward Davis and whispered. “I’m losing my memory.”
“That’s okay, Nani. Don’t worry about it.”
She turned to a picture of Ellen sitting on a tiny balcony with a wrought iron railing. “And who’s this? Is this me?”
“No. that’s Ellen, my girlfriend.”
“Ellen? I don’t know her.”
“She visited in the spring. We live together at school.”
“Oh, I see. She’s very pretty.” She looked at it again. “And where is this?”
“Oh.” She turned to the next picture, Ellen completely naked on the bed.
The blood drained from Davis’ face as he reached over involuntarily. He had forgotten to take those ones out.
“Who is that?”
“Well…” He took the stack gently from her and sifted the next three images out – each more graphic than the next – and returned the remainder to his grandmother.
She considered Davis with her drifting, vacant eyes and then squinted at the images in her lap. “What’s this?”
“You were in Paris?”
“Yes, for a few weeks.”
“I’ve never been there.”
“Yes, you have, Nani. You’ve been there many times.”
“I don’t remember that at all.”
“That’s okay.” He turned to the next picture.
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
Davis nodded. “Okay.”
“You have to help me.”
“I can do that.” He stood. “Ready? One, two, three.” He pulled her up from the couch.
She clung to him a moment, her head against his chest, and then peered into his face. “There’s no dignity in getting old. You just have to forget about that.”