The DH drops the Goldfish off after he’s been at day care. He doesn’t say much as I welcome him in and help him to settle in his armchair. I ask if he would like the television on and he says yes. I head back to the kitchen where I was cooking our evening meal and chat to him through the open door as I stir things.
He appears in the kitchen and looks into the pot. “That looks very nice, dear, but don’t bother making any for me. I’ll have to be getting off home.”
Maybe I should have played along (don’t argue, don’t confront the person with his/her delusion) but the words were out before I could stop myself. “But you live here. You’re at home.”
“If you say so, dear,” says the Goldfish as he heads for the door. By the time I catch up with him, he’s half way up the drive. Astonishing how fast he can move when he wants. I try to persuade him to come inside using a variety of reasons from it being too cold to be out to the tea nearly being ready. However, he is insistent he is going home.
By this time we’re at the gate and he turns right and pauses beside the car. I wonder for a brief moment if he thinks he is going to drive home but he tries to open the passenger door so it seems he expects to be driven.
“I’ll just run back to the house for the car key,” I say, hoping he doesn’t decide to start walking to wherever he thinks home is by the time I get back. I turn off the cooker, grab handbag, keys and jacket for the Goldfish and rush back. He is still waiting. I persuade him to put his jacket on and we get in the car. I set off – not knowing where I am supposed to be going.
I drive, chatting about the weather and maybe going out somewhere the next day round the roundabout. The Goldfish isn’t very responsive. When I reach the edge of town, I drive round the roundabout a couple of times, saying, “We’re nearly home now. This is us on the road back. Soon be there.”
“Oh, are we nearly there?” he asks.
I turn back into our road, telling him where we are. No response. I drive past the house. “Are you going to turn at the school?” he asks. I sigh with relief that he recognises where we are. He’s back. I park up, help him out the car and we make our way – very, very slowly – back into the house.
“Do you want to sit at the table and keep me company while I get our tea ready,” I ask. He sits at his place and drinks some juice while I resurrect our meal. He tucks in with obvious enjoyment and when he’s cleared his plate says yes to a helping of apple crumble and custard. “But, I’ll have to be going soon. It’s about time I went home.”