I speak dementia.
"Hi Diane! Why don't you come down for dinner?"
"Oh, that would be so nice. Let me open the walrus and see what I have."
Locked unit. Twenty-three captives.
"Do you know me?" Elaine asks.
"Of course I do, Elaine!"
"How do you know me?"
Sometimes they know where they are or sometimes...
"Where am I? Where's my wife?"
They call for loved ones.
"Mommmmmmy?" Mournful, small cries.
"Why am I here?"
"How can I get out of here?"
They scratch at the glass in the doors.
Punch the exit key pad in vain.
Sometimes they pick their way through word salad to cry,
"I hate it here and I want to go home!"
They can be mean.
"I'm going to punch you. I'll call the sheriff!"
Sometimes they plot.
"Here, I'll push you in your chair and you can try to kick the door open."
"I love you," they say.
I hug them and say, "I love you too."
I go home and cry.