A Fine and Subtle Dance
It is a fine and subtle dance. It would be easy to make a mis-step, but I am meticulously careful, as I always have been.
It started with keys. She was always losing them and scrabbling around, dressed smartly, on the floor – clawing underneath chairs, lifting sofa cushions. She missed so many appointments and dinners with friends from not being able to find them, it drove her to despair. And all the while they were in my closed fist, biting into my skin.
She kept her diary in the calendar of her iphone which was extremely useful as I could move appointments around, change times and venues, delete things without her knowledge. The art of it was not to overdo things, and to let her doubt in herself bloom and do half the work for me. She became a stuttering little creature, unsure of herself, constantly apologising to friends and dentists and hairdressers on the phone, an embarrassed little wreck who couldn’t understand how she had become so pathetic.
Soon, she didn’t know whether she was coming or going. Nothing was ever where she had left it, and she could barely get herself together to leave the house – in time, it became easier just to stay inside. As for all her things that went missing, why, I was simply throwing them out as I went along. Not in our bin, of course, but dumped into public bins on the street, wrapped in carrier bags, as I walked to work.
I was, naturally, all furrowed browed concern and sympathy. The model husband. I encouraged her to see her GP which, while difficult to get her to agree to leave the home, once she had a prescription, it was easy for me to switch her pills to something else that made her more confused.
I have voiced my concerns about her state of mind to the doctor, and have made on-the-record inquiries with social services as to what support is available to help me care for my wife. However, before they are able to help me, some time over the next couple of weeks, I fear my poor wife will muddle up her medication and sleeping pills, all while I am blissfully unaware in my bed in the spare room, and she will vacate our marriage once and for all. Once she has gone, I can finish my cull of her possessions. Soon, it will be as though she never lived here at all.