Dementia Journal

In the cooling light of morning, I swept the yeast from the corners of my eyes. I put on wheat, cooked the toast that is, spread the crisp with orange jelly. Spoons spilled out of the drawer. Although I had no plans for the morning or the afternoon, I didn’t want to pick them up and wash them one-by-one. I did, though. A task like that can gnaw at you if you don’t do it. I picked up her book after that and fell asleep.

Domes accrued. One arch was constructed above my head. A trowel could have dropped and knocked me further into sleep. Further, where the buildings were not only mine, but were built where I told them to be. Oh, why so many buildings? Don’t we need inhabitants to justify all these things?

When I woke, it was time for lunch, and I ate toast with tuna salad from the refrigerator. My tuna salad has capers, and this is caperless. The knives spilled out. More work.

But washing all the spoons and knives can be like sorting through old pictures if you look at it right. Memories. All the meals eaten. When you bring a spoon to mouth, of course, you don’t want to think of where it’s been before. But when you wash it, sometimes you can remember how it touched those you loved, and though you’ve washed their germs, there could be a touch of the talismanic. The energy of one you loved resting somewhere below, or maybe above, the disinfected skin.

It’s best not to think of the departed until sunset. Don’t mar the day with them.

The sun isn’t so different from a canister of cloves. Or no, that isn’t right. But both are homey when they’re in your home.

Blooms the day between lunch and dinner. Stretch and stretch of blinding light. It grows, the day, like a child mannequin turns into a mannequin.

One day in the ancient past, I went to a skating party. A girl in my second-grade class went to the new roller skating rink to celebrate her birthday.

At the party, I broke my finger.

Gravity is like an apple. It pulled things together. Sickness is also like an apple in that it also pulls things together. It pulls skin into bone, eyes down, hair off, and it pulls people to the sick to tend to them. God, I hate being tended to.



Ivy Grimes has work in Salt Hill, Weave, PANK, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Barn Owl Review, and elsewhere. You can read more of her published work at