I have been questioning the existence of coincidence a lot lately, mostly because of the sheer quantity of ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Moments that have been thrown upon me in one way or another. I swear to whatever God you believe in that the universal Gods are orchestrating this whole thing and sitting in their little temples in the sky watching a comedy starring yours truly and absolutely pissing themselves with laughter.
The last week alone has been an exercise in universal gas lighting, my watch is clearly either haunted or magical, car number plates are coinciding with whatever is going through my head at the time, I have been having bizarre little visions that happen….
Today I went to see my lovely shrink M and she listened to my little watch conundrum without accusing me of being crazy which was nice. I mentioned amongst other things that every time I go to the supermarket – which I have re-named ‘Trigger Mart’ I seem to see someone or something from my sordid past that makes me freak out or nostalgically question my very existence, although this does make for useful blog fodder so I suppose I can’t complain too much…
Anyways, where was I? Oh yes today’s Trigger Mart story…
So, after today’s psychiatrist session I went past trigger mart to get cat litter, simple, in-out done. Oh, of course not! I lined up behind 200 people with full trolleys and one of them kindly let me in front of her. (Score, I finally got to cash in on those let-you-in-first karma points I have earned!) There was this old lady pacing a few steps back and forth in front of my cashier looking very confused, suddenly she piped up to the cashier “So… I need to get a trolley?” “Yes, that’s right” The cashier smiled at her “Oh… okay… thank you dear…” she took another few steps before turning back to the cashier and saying “How do I get a trolley?”
The cashier politely explained the token system to the lady and the lady said “thank you dear” again smiled broadly and then just stood there looking blankly at the cashier. The tokens were on a shelf next to the conveyer belt so I grabbed one down and passed it to the lady, she looked at it blankly and said “Oh do I need to get a trolley? I need to pay you…” The cashier replied “It’s okay, you have already paid for your things, you can have the token” At this point the cashier and I both clicked that something wasn’t quite right so I told the lady that I would quickly pay for my litter and then help her with the trolley.
I took the lady and her shopping bag to the spot outside the supermarket where the trolleys were kept and the lady looked at me blankly for a minute and said “Oh do I need a token for this?” I showed her the token from the cashier again and she said “oh of course!” then looked around again smiling blankly for a moment the way my father often does. I showed her how to put it into the trolley to release it. I put her bag in the trolley for her and she smiled and said “Thank you so much dear! Now do I need to get a token?” I reassured her that the token situation was under control and introduced myself and asked her name, “um…um… Connie, its Connie!” She replied looking quite. triumphant about remembering. Realising that she must have dementia or similar and clearly wasn’t functioning overly well at the moment I asked her how far she had to go with the trolley hoping to dear God she hadn’t driven a car there.
She explained that her house was near the park, which wasn’t that far for someone young and fit but for a rather frail looking woman in her mid-late 70s, that was way too far to walk especially pushing a grocery trolley, feeling uncomfortable about her level of confusion I offered her a lift home instead, I showed her which was my car and she immediately went to sit in the drivers’ side, poor dear, I gently suggested that I drive and she said “Oh yes, thank you!” she couldn’t remember her address but luckily she remembered the way home!
When we arrived at her house it took about twenty minutes to locate the keys, get her door unlocked, get her inside and convinced she didn’t have to go and take the trolley back and then get her to put the milk into the fridge.
Her house looked abandoned from the outside and the inside was in quite a state too, she told me that she lived alone and when I asked if someone came to help her out or with the groceries at all she said “oh no, no, I don’t want to be a bother” but it was obvious that she had reached a point now where she needed help.
I said goodbye feeling uneasy about just leaving her there and wondered if I should call someone from social services or similar to do a welfare check or something. Unsure if that was the right thing to do, I decided to take note of her address and then plot my next move. When I looked up at the street sign, the universe once again gave me it’s blessing – the name of the street was my psychiatrists name. Really?! Of course, given what we had discussed in our session this morning I took a photo (evidence) and emailed it to my shrink along with an explanation about what had happened.
Unsure of who to contact about Connie, I went in to the local doctor’s surgery and gave them her address and her first name – she had been a patient there a long time ago but at least they had the rest of her information on file so they told me they would contact someone that could go and check up on her.
I am so glad that my Dad has my Mum there for him and I am not too far away. Going through dementia sucks at the best of times, but with no support around you it must be extremely frustrating and frightening. She was such a sweet old lady, I really hope that someone is able to be there for her through this next stage of her life.
I’m glad I talk to strangers.