WHERE ARE WE GOING?
That is the question. Of the day. At the start of the conversation. Right after I give an answer. The same question. Over and over and over again. No matter what answer I give. It is the wrong answer.
All those who pass by the house are not spared. She asks them all, “What do you want? Where are you going?” They try to explain. She doesn’t understand. I call out her name to tell her not to bother them. She doesn’t hear me. She asks again. They see that she does not understand their answer. She keeps them from walking away, but asks just the same, “Where are you going?”
“Where are we going?” I go to the kitchen to cook lunch. She follows me and asks the question, followed by, “Why is there fire on the stove?” I answer because I am cooking something. She calls me again. I am busy with something else. “The food might be burnt,” she says. I tell her not to worry because I had just put the pot on. It hasn’t been 10 minutes yet and there is enough water to cook for an hour and a half.
She calls me again, more urgently this time. I go to her, thinking, What could it be this time? “Where is B? Where is N? Where is T? Where is J?” I know she cannot remember, but she is taking medication for it, so why is it not helping? We are spending close to Php 10,000 (US$200) a month on her brain vitamins, but her questions and memory retention remain the same.
“Are we not going to leave this place?” Well, at least she knows how to rephrase the question. I tell her, No, we are staying right here. She asks again, “Where are we going?” Finally, I give up. I don’t know, Ma. You tell me. She goes, “Ha?” I repeat her question. Where are you going? Her answer is short, “To bed.”
My husband, E, comes home for lunch and she asks him, “Where are you going?” He answers he is not going anywhere. She asks again, “Why are you dressed up? Where are we going?” We are not going anywhere, we are just staying here. After eating, E goes back to the farm. “Where is he going?” she asks. To the farm, I say. “Are we going somewhere?” she asks again. To the farm, I say, you want? She shakes her head.
“Who’s in the kitchen?” Nobody, I say. “Where are we going?” When? I ask. “For lunch,” she answers. We already had lunch. “For dinner then,” she corrects me, as if I don’t know my meals. It’s too early for dinner. “Where are we going for dinner?” she asks. I don’t know, I say, my head beginning to spin. “Go to the kitchen and look for food for dinner,” she orders. I repeat, It’s too early for dinner. “Will we go out for dinner instead?” It’s too early for dinner, I say again. “Where are we going then?” I have lost my train of thought.
Author’s Note: If anyone reading this can relate to what I’m saying, then my decision to write it out is validated.