Fiction Sad

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah, how long was I out for?”

‘A minute or so. Do you think you should see a doctor?”

“Nah! I’m fine.”

January 12th 2018

“Why are there so many Canadian flags around these days, eh?” I wondered aloud as we drove by Walmart one day.

“It’s so the Americans could know they are in Canada,” answered my wife, tongue in cheek. “And certain other people…”

“Yeah, but this one is huge!”

“Well, you can’t bring guns into Canada. You can’t bring your police speed trap detectors. When you leave, you must leave your weed behind. Saves a lot of trouble.”

“Oh, that’s why hotel maids are getting weed as a tip, right on the hotel pillow!”

Then, the other day, I would know that. What all those lighter spots were about on the carpet? Circular, round, like crop circles, only way tinier. I had to ask my wife.

“You don’t know? Seriously. Think about our dog and cats and you not doing something you promised.”

“Really? I guess I’ll get right on it.”

And so, it went—that trip down the road and better pet management. Until much later in the year, I knew there was something up when we were in the car again.

“Wow! Look at that wooden wheelchair ramp for that bungalow in our neighborhood! It’s huge. I never saw that before!”

My wife did a double-take after checking the rearview mirror. “Get serious! The paint is peeling on it!”

April 2nd 2019

The doctor was nice. He smiled a lot. There were a lot of tests, then I was free to go. You never know what you are supposed to know, I guess. So, I’ll work on that. Learning what I should know. It seems easy enough. Pills and my wife should do it nicely.

September 4th 2019

It's time for grocery shopping again. My wife had this look about her, the car keys in her hands.

“I’ll drive.” She said.

“I always drive!” I answered. I had car keys in my hands, too.

“You are on the wrong side of the car.” She said.

“Really?” I hurried to the other side of the car.

She got in and started the engine. Then, the list and the groceries were important.

Oh, I guess that was the start of how I got to know what I should know. It was like a game. I always won. Every time I won, my wife was so happy. Really. But she was happy or sad. One or the other, never just normal. Never like that.

February 5th 2021

Doctors again. She isn’t smiling. My wife is crying all the time, so I tell her jokes. Hilarious ones that make me laugh. And I could almost tell the same one over and over, and she would smile every time! I was so happy.

March 22, 2022, and it’s my birthday! We had cake and a party. Some people came that I knew, and others I didn’t know. It was fun even though some of my gifts were not interesting.

“It’s a drone, remember?” said my son. “You love flying them, and you have a collection of them.”

“Where’s my collection?” I ask. I want to be polite. Don’t want people to be sad.

“We’ll have a look later,” says my wife as she gives me a slice of cake in a bowl with a spoon.

“We went flying drones together last fall! Remember?” says one of the strangers. He has this big smile, but my wife is mad. She is handing a plate with a slice of cake to him.

Don’t!” she says.

Everyone is so quiet. So, I tell one of my jokes. Then it is fun, and we have fun again. That’s what I need to do. Make everyone happy, then I can be happy!

August 3rd 2022

It’s my birthday party—and vacation day! So fun, so many people I don’t know. But we sing songs and eat cake. Then there is a big surprise. The vacation van comes, and we all go to a new place. I can choose everything I want to take with me. Fill in all the boxes I want. I put my favorite towel in the box. Then toilet paper and clothes, my best suit, the hat I love, and the cards from my retirement. Always must remember those. My wife keeps telling me I worked for thirty years and deserve a rest. I need a long vacation so I can rest!

August 4th 2022

Where is everyone? No one is in my room. I’m all alone. I go into the hallway, and there is no one there.

August 4th 2022

The nurse is on the telephone. She is calling someone. The nurse tells me to wait; my wife will be here soon. I thank her so many times. She doesn’t smile.

August 4th 2022

“I came as soon as I could.”

“Where were you?”

“At work. I brought you a coffee and your favorite donut. Here. I can’t stay long. I’ll come see you tonight.”

“When do we go home?”

“This is home for you.”

October 17th 2022

“Clap your hands with the beat!”

I’m with everyone, and it's fun. But I need to go. The nurse says to just not worry about it. Everything is fine. We’ll fix it later.

Then my favorite part started when we sang songs. So, I did what I was told, and it was fixed later.

June 2023

A new place! I have a friend in my room, or is it two friends? One friend is gone a lot. The other snores all the time. We get activity sometimes.

My wife keeps talking to me. “No money for that other better place,” she says. She’s crying a lot.

“It’s ok,” I say. “You keep…”

“It’s ok,” she says.


I wrote something down. It took a long time:

Could you hep me to talk?

I practiced it so that I could look at the words and say them.

My wife cried so much.


“That last one was the worst! Does he even know that we are in the room?”

Someone is crying.

September 16, 2023 03:44

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Rose Lind
04:50 Sep 29, 2023

The inappropriate jokes... Ty for ur story


Show 0 replies
Rudy Greene
21:43 Sep 27, 2023

Good description of someone with progressive dementia. I hope it's not someone you know. Although I do like the dialogue, a little more narrative and scene setting might have added color. Good job overall.


Joe Smallwood
23:12 Sep 27, 2023

Thanks for reading. Lately I have been trying to write shorter short stories. But your observation that more detail would have added something is certainly true.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Dragon The Poet
14:28 Sep 25, 2023

My heart!!! Your story really helps get into the mind of someone with a disease really well.


Joe Smallwood
22:52 Sep 26, 2023

Thanks for reading and for your most kind comment.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
David Sweet
16:44 Sep 23, 2023

Sad progression of a horrible disease. Thanks for sharing!


Joe Smallwood
02:49 Sep 24, 2023

Thanks for reading, David.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Mary Bendickson
02:45 Sep 18, 2023

Slow decline. 🥺


Rose Lind
04:50 Sep 29, 2023



Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply