My grandfather suffered from loneliness,
the worst kind. A retired businessman,
he sat next to the kitchen telephone, his
wife—suffering from the kind of dementia
that comes from years of indulgence—
cooking sherry, a little vodka, a beer once
in a while. He adored her—a blond bombshell,
the life of any party, a flirt, the perfect
complement to his reserved demeanor. What I
remember, though, is the shell of that woman,
her dementia consuming her brain—her body
too if truth be told. When I visited his loneliness
expressed itself in his hug, which was a little
too hard, and in the way he hugged me and
patted my back so vehemently that it hurt. I loved
that man and the sad way he remembered his wife.


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