Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Walking my dog yesterday, I run into John. He's a nice guy in his early 60s. Kind of Mayor of the Block. Knows everybody and their pets. John is getting out of a car with his Mother, who's ancient, but alive. For a lady creeping up on 100, that's about as good as it gets. She shuffles over wearing a bright red sweater and I quip "Oh, what a lovely sweater."

"A little black boy gave it to me. He comes around and gives me all sorts of things."

"Oh God," John sighs. "Don't pay any attention to Mother, she's having hallucinations. Everything in the house - 'Oh a little black boy brought it.'" He talks loudly, right over his deaf Mom, who is still muttering.

"Yes, this lovely red sweater, he gave me. He's a little black boy." She raises her withered hand as if formally holding a teacup. "And he's no bigger than my pinky."

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