You cannot force this disease into submission, no matter how much anger your exhaustion riles after another sleepless night. Or if there was sleep, it came in choppy waves of fitful delusions less like dreams than feverish thrashings. Kicking off the covers, pulling them close. Sweat and shivering intermingled. It was a hallucination. A hallucination inside a hallucination. Whose dementia? Theirs or your own? You were back somewhere. You were ten again. Your mother came to wake you in the morning with her hand on your cheek. She packed a lunch for you. It had your favorite snacks. But then the cold blew through and you found her sitting on the edge of her bed cackling. It was 4 am. And then he was coming toward you, your father, and he had his head in his hands and he just kept saying over and over “I’m going crazy. I think I’m going crazy. I’m losing my mind. I’m losing my mind!” And you want to scream: “You ARE losing your mind! You are losing it!” As if that might tame it. But no words. No actions. NOTHING. You cannot force it to submit. It never will.
This reckless drunken beast. This Alzheimer’s. This dementia.