No Cognitive Defect - Part I


No Cognitive Defect

By James M. O'Meara, © 2007

I see dead people

Wilson’s legs were tiring.

The line of mourners still extended out of the room and around the corner, deep into the heart of the funeral home. He would be on his feet a while yet. Evan had tried several times to persuade him to sit, but Wilson would have none of it.

“They’ll understand Dad,” his son pleaded, “People know you tire easily.”

Wilson dismissed the pleas with a swift wave of his left hand and stayed on his feet. “I won’t sit like an invalid at your mother’s wake,” he retorted. Wilson was tiring quickly now, but he simply couldn’t take to a chair and validate his son’s concern.

An obese woman, trailed closely by a thin, almost emaciated man, was next in line.

“Erica was such a wonderful person,” she said breathlessly, leaning in close and nearly making Wilson lose his balance. Her breath was a blast of bitter garlic and onions. “She worked the soup kitchen every Thursday with me and my husband, Ray.”

Ray extended his right hand, looking puzzled when Wilson’s didn’t rise up to meet it. Wilson could picture the wheels turning in the man’s head as he took note first of Wilson’s forearm crutch, then the slight droop in the right side of Wilson’s face. He hesitated, and finally decided to pat Wilson on the upper arm. Soup-Kitchen Ray nodded and moved on with his wife to greet Evan.

Wilson didn’t know most of the people coming through the line, which was no surprise to him at all. He hardly ever left the house any more. Erica, on the other hand, was always on the go. Church groups, volunteering, political committees, all took pieces of her time. He’d never minded…she’d still had plenty of herself left over for him.