Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Key of G

I love music. I forget to play it as I should. Especially now. You know, soothe the savage beast and all. And I don't mean he is the beast, in case you wondered.
Last night the house sparkled and a Bach's collection of works for the organ rumbled throughout. Lights were dimmed and flowers were fresh. As I dressed my real life dolly, my six foot Raggedy Andy, he kept asking what time they were coming and exactly what their names were. He also was specific about what he wanted to wear; I hope I found it.
I tried desperately to keep up with the steady stream of needs, while getting finger foods ready for the oven and jumping in the shower myself. He sat and asked, while I did last minute preparations, so I gave him jobs. He tried to open a bag of nuts, a bag of mixed chocolates, a box of flatbread crackers. He couldn't manage any of those. His strength is waning, and they are making packaging a lot tougher these days to get into. But I suspect there was more to it than that.
The women in my book club are retired teachers from Taft, the school where he retired from as its principal. As our friends came in, he sparkled like the house. He gathered each in his arms and kissed everyone. He sat in the circle of women as we discussed the latest book we'd read, never thinking of leaving the room, as he wasn't part of the book club. No one in the circle, including me, would ever have thought of asking him to either.
He was charming and offered a few memories from his childhood as they were relevant in the discussion. His language, of course, was in his own "Japanese", but not one of the people in that circle of women acted as though he hadn't made perfect sense.
When it was time for everyone to leave, he got up and got his own coat on, found a flashlight in the place we keep our emergency flashlights, (an amazing feat for any of us, by the way, to actually find anything in that space) and asked to help each of them to their car.
Several of these wonderful women whispered in my ear that they were amazed and hadn't known what to expect, but it wasn't this charming behavior. I slipped a little further down that rabbit hole I have been discussing. I felt as though I had been lying to everyone or at least exaggerating. We had a similar experience when visiting our neighbors the week before. We shared dinner with them and a group of their friends, and then shared a bible study session. These sweet people included him lovingly as well, and he opened and blossomed under the warmth of their attention.
It is very important to realize that he does lighten and brighten in the face of loving, social stimulation. This is a very sociable man and he has been as isolated as I have been for much too long.
I think I will put the Bach back on.

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