I hear him talking the caregiver through the bath, instructing him on each little move to make. My dad, the carpenter, the builder, the detail guy, talks his way through everything. The caregiver today, a young man, is patient with Dad, exactly what works well. He barely says anything, a simple question to confirm what Dad wants, a nod here and there. I hear Dad complaining of being cold, there in the steamy bathroom with zero ventilation and the caregiver sweating.
Dad emerges looking confused, but not enough to forget the towels need to be replaced. The caregiver leaves and Dad says, "What am I doing?" I suggest maybe he wants to comb his hair and shave. "That's it . . . now how do I do that?"
I bring his wheelchair so he doesn't have to stand in front of the mirror and he puts a little VO5 lotion on his hair. I comb it and he waves me off.
He wheels to his easy chair and looks at it for a minute. A big long sigh. "It's sure dark."
"Do you mean dark outside?"
"No, I mean it's dark in here." He points to his forehead.
As we settle, I ask him if he wants some coffee. "Coffee schmoffee." And then, a bit later. "Where's my shaver."