She met me at the door as soon as I lifted my fist to knock.
She had insisted on a home visit, claiming that she couldn’t hear on the phone yet she never asked me to repeat myself or speak up. I knew it was her as soon as her pinched little face appeared from inside of the darkened house. Somehow her eager loneliness, flowered turtle neck and perfect hearing gave her away.
A gust of wind rushed in and caught the curl of grey hair on her forehead, lifting it away from her wizened face. Suddenly, I thought of my own granny and that I owed her a thank you card from my birthday present.
We’ll call this little turtle neck wearing lady, “Notmygranny”, for no reason other than to encourage my thank you note writing.
“Come in, come in,” she said and ushered me into a shag carpeted living room.
With each home I enter, I say a prayer of protection to any high power that might be listening and inclined to show mercy. It goes something like, please don’t let this be where I die. I think there is some merit in keeping it short and simple – so as not to overload the existential request line.
I cautiously padded through the room and wondered if I had fallen into some type of alternative reality. On top of the brown shag, there were two small upholstered recliners from a period before the Big Mac and Whopper. Both of the chairs were filled with the oversized bottoms of her adult grandchildren.
The two stared ahead with matching dead eyes at a tv screen of static. It was completely without interest that they watched me follow their granny to the kitchen table to get help paying for medications. The movement only briefly caught their attention before they returned to watching their “show”.
“Notmygranny” and I spoke to a nice man named Oliver with the medication program only after we applied three times online for help. As it turned out, “Notmygranny” forgot her social security number and once she remembered that, she forgot her birthday. I began to wonder if we should involve her family in completing the application.
Then I remembered TweedleDee and TweedleDum in the next room so clearly unconcerned with the situation, and we continued with our work.
Once we finished up, I bid everyone in the household farewell and the Dud twins wordlessly raised their hands in a show of solidarity. I sped off in the wrong direction and found myself quickly lost on Oliver Street, of all the places to be lost in the entire world after meeting with a lady who was not my granny and talking to a man named Oliver.
After a full day of wrong turns and seemingly wasted time, I realized something and stopped rushing.
I was exactly where I needed to be.
Lost on Oliver Street.