Mum’s looking at me with an inscrutable expression. It’s quite unnerving. Every time I look up from my plate she’s staring at me.
After a few minutes of yes/no conversation, we’ve lapsed into silence and I’m (as usual) worrying what it means and (as usual) concluding that she’s upset and unhappy with me over her change of circumstances. I hold her look for a second and it feels awkward. I pull a face. After a few heartbeats she raises her eyebrows slightly. A minute later we’re doing it again.
“I’m wondering…..whatever happened to that gorgeous little boy I brought up.” she says, eventually.
After a stunned moment, I realise that this isn’t a snide remark. I think she really is having a little trouble recognising me as Greg.
Mum’s worrying me this week. She’s very frail and uncertain, hesitating over her knife and fork, looking to me for cues, reaching for her glass when I take a drink from mine. She seems nervous and out of her depth. How much longer will I be able to take her out to restaurants like this?
Getting up to go, she needs one hand on my arm and the other holding her stick. She does a sort of stationary jig before we set off, like she needs to wobble her legs into motion.