I had been working at a marketing company for close to four years and loved it, although the ‘work transient’ in me was beginning to manifest itself. My employers were kind and very giving, but now it had become clear there was an issue with Mom. I would receive at least 6 calls per day at work from Mom. She would be very upset explaining she could not find her keys. I would go over during my lunch hour and find them for her, but as soon as I returned to the office she would call again saying,
‘I’ve lost my keys! I don’t know where I put them? I can’t go out if I don’t have my keys!’
I would try to calm her down and told her I would drop by on my way home to help her again. I remember handing the keys to her and what she did with them after; I had no idea. I tried to concentrate on work, but would become inwardly angry with Mom for disrupting my day. I would arrive, it seemed like every day, after 5 p.m. and find Mom in a tizzy.
‘I can’t find my keys!’ she stared at me with watery eyes.
‘I gave them to you this afternoon; remember? I came here at lunch and found them for you and put them in your hand. Mom, what did you do with them?’ I said angrily.
‘No you didn’t find them for me!’ she said emphatically.
‘Yes I did!’ Holy shit I thought. What is she talking about? I don’t have all day to keep finding her keys. What the hell is wrong with her?
Next thing I know she is walking towards the bathroom.
‘Now where are you going?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know!’ her voice quivered.
‘Whatever, I’ll keep looking. Please, go in the bedroom and look too.’
Both of us searched, I thought we were both looking, but I couldn’t say for sure that Mom was on the hunt for the ‘disappearing keys’. Mom went in the bedroom and became quiet. In the meantime I looked through the drawers in the kitchen, the credenza and under her lazy boy chair. At this point I asked Mom if I could have a glass of juice. She didn’t answer so I helped myself and low and behold, what did I find? The case of the ‘disappearing keys’ had been solved! There they were, on the inside door of the fridge next to the milk carton.
‘Found them.’ I yelled.
Mom came running out.
‘Oh thank you so much. Where did you find them?’
Pointing I said, ‘Right here, in the fridge, next to the milk carton. Why did you put them there?’ I asked.
‘I didn’t put them there.’ she said.
‘Well they didn’t run to the fridge, open the door and jump up by themselves.’ I said sarcastically.
‘I don’t remember, but I wouldn’t have put them there’. You are making me sound Crazy. I’m not crazy.’
‘I know you’re not crazy, but something is going on. Maybe it’s your diabetes. I’ll make an appointment with your Doctor to check your blood sugar. Okay?’
‘Okay’, she sounded defeated.
I said goodbye tersely and left for the 1-minute drive to my apartment.
I reached my door, heard the phone ring, put the key in the lock, turned and entered my apartment running for the phone. I missed it, oh well; whoever it was would leave a message. This was prior to ‘call answer’; I had a separate answering machine attached to my phone. I pushed play and I couldn’t believe my ears.
‘Hi Paula, it’s Mom. I can’t find my keys. Can you come over and help me find them?’ she said in a panic.
What? I thought to myself! I just found them for her. What the hell is going on? A big part of me didn’t want to call her back. Was she lonely and was that the reason behind the ‘case of the disappearing keys’? My stomach became a huge knot and the anger flared inside me once again. Looking at buggs I said out loud, that’s it! I’m calling the doctor now. I can’t go on like this.