Old Ms. Murphy suffered from dementia and often thought Uncle Earl was someone from her past named Mitch. This evening she stood at Earl’s front door in a pink flowered nightgown with a pink plastic bath scrunchie in her hair. Her eyes were filled with tears as she pleaded with Uncle Earl, “please take me to the dance, Mitch?”
Uncle Earl sighed and said, “okay darlin, give me a sec.” He flipped on the yellow overhead light on the carport and turned up the radio in the house.
Aunt Arlene leaned on her elbows and watched out the kitchen window with a wistful smile. Earl gently guided Ms. Murphy around the carport while Patsy Cline sang “Crazy”. The moths fluttered around the light making a flickering effect on the concrete dance floor.
As they swayed, Ms. Murphy muttered incoherently while Earl replied with “uh huh” once in a while and repeated old jokes like, “cows dance to….mooosic….plumbers tap dance..”
Finally Ms. Murphy said, “I’m gettin kind of tired, Mitch.” “Then, it’s time to walk ya home darlin,” Earl replied. So he returned her to her caretaker who had just begun to search for her apologizing that she’d slipped out again.
“It’s fine,” Earl said, “we had a nice time didn’t we darlin.” He gave the old lady a little peck on the cheek to which she responded with a giggle, “don’t you go gettin fresh, Mitch!”
As he walked away Earl said over his shoulder, “ya know, butchers dance at meatballs…hee hee.”
They heard a few days later that Ms. Murphy had passed away, Earl took off his toupee, held it over his heart, looked up and whispered, “I hope yer up there with Mitch enjoyin some Soul Music.”
(this is a frogkisser tale) Thank you for reading.
Originally published on Bubblews