My grandmother doesn’t appear to have gotten any sleep last night.
I locked the house up, shut off the tree, and went to bed. The television was still on, however; she usually sleeps through the night with it on, so it made sense not to mess with it.
When the alarm went off, I heard the television on. Not surprising.
I went downstairs. My grandmother was sitting up on the couch. Her expression is difficult to describe. Shock, perhaps. Anger? Concern? I couldn’t tell. She was watching the news.
The kitchen door was unlocked. The kitchen lights were on. The faucet was running. Oh, and the tree in the living room was on.
I put coffee on. Shut off the faucet. Grabbed a breakfast muffin.
I went back into the living room. The light from the lights on the tree and the television cast strange shadows on her face.
She turned, looked up, and stared at me.
“What’s wrong?” I said.
“I can’t find Donald,” she said. “He might be stuck in the snow.” The news was showing a traffic report, about how the weekend’s snowfall might affect the morning commute.
Her husband has been dead for ten years.
She hasn’t made that “mistake” in a long time. She talks about her father constantly, most recently when my sister came to visit a few weeks ago, where my grandmother decided that she was going to leave and go to stay with her father a few days. Her father has been dead since a month before I was born.
I waited a few minutes, poured myself a cup of coffee, and hoped that the morning’s delusion would blow over.
It’s all I could do, really.