I’m in Kansas City now and won’t be back in Greenbelt till the 21st. Without balloons or fanfare I gave Miss Cathy a hug and a kiss and took the train to New York last Thursday to hang out with Chad in the Emerald City and now we’re in the land of Oz.

I feel like I’ve escaped from the Wicked witch’s tower but that would infer that Miss Cathy is Glinda’s evil sister from the East. By the look on her face (utter joy) when I was standing at the door to leave I could see that she was a fellow escapee, too. She was looking forward to getting rid of my ass and as much (or more) as I was looking forward to leaving. How can you blame her really, I mean, the poor woman hasn’t been alone in over a year.

So, I guess that would make Alzheimer’s the Wicked witch that’s swooped down and turned our little world to black and white from color; dementia the evil tower, her paranoia and anger issues would be the flying monkeys (which scared the be-Jesus out of me when I was kid by the way) and lately her behavior threaten to send me under the bed once more.

If it’s true what Mr. Baum says that I’ve been home all along then why is that when I click my heels nothing happens? I’ve lived in the Emerald City (New York), the land of Oz (Kansas City) and even over the rainbow (on the left bank in Paris) so why oh why do I keep waking up in Greenbelt? Since becoming suburbanized I’ve traded in my designer shoes for Nikes but the result should be the same-when am I going to wake up in an overstuffed feather bed next to some little hairy beast surrounded by extended family and the hired help?

I left Miss Cathy with her lifeline alert necklace (more powerful than ruby slippers) so I feel like she has some protection. I called to check on her yesterday and she sounded as happy as the mayor of Munchkin land. She could have been sitting there playing with her own feces for all I knew but that’s a stretch in behavior (thank the lord for now) but I am cognizant of the fact that one can give “good phone”-meaning that a lot people that are ill can “sound” healthy and capable over the airwaves.

So, I’m conscious of that and I also know that she couldn’t deteriorate that quickly in just a few days so I’m listening for things other than the scatological. Is she present? Is she clear? Does she sound calm or confused?

Once I ascertained all of that I could confidently sit back and let her tell her latest story of what hillbilly relative did what to whom wash over me and feel confident that I could hang up the phone and start skipping back down the yellow brick road.


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