So, he drinks; after which I ask, with caution, “So—what did the doctor tell you?”
He’s raising his eyes again, but the right words can’t be found nowhere close to him—not on the ceiling, or on the wall, or the floor, in this corner, or that. So instead, Lenny shuts his eyes and, like, stumbles into saying, “The doctor, he said: Mr. Kaminsky, the tests came back.”
“At this point,” he recalls, “I took a hard swallow. The doctor paused briefly—perhaps taking another look at the test results—and then went on to say, I have some difficult news for you. Your wife, I believe, has a form of Alzheimer's.”
I take the briefcase away from him, ‘cause it’s just about to fall, anyway.
And so Lenny can’t brace himself no more, ‘cause at this point, he don’t have nothing to hold on to, and nowhere to hide. Instead he just sits there, with the empty glass, saying, “Alzheimer's,” and then again, in a voice that is nearly gagged, “Alzheimer's.”
And after a long pause he adds, “At the sound of this word, Natasha was confused and I—I dropped to my knees. I remember, she could not get it, could not understand what was going on and told the doctor, Wait, hold on, I cannot talk to you now. Call back later, something is wrong here. No, not with me—with my husband.”
Lenny takes off his glasses and like, wipes something from the corner of his eye, and my heart goes out to him. And then, then the strangest thing starts happening to me. For the first time in ten years I feel not only for him—but for her, too.
Anita in Apart From Love
In this passage, Lenny tells his new wife, Anita, how the doctors finally came to the conclusion that Natasha, his ex-wife, suffers from early onset Alzheimer's. This is not an easy conversation for him, having kept the secret to himself for such a long time.
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Volume I: My Own Voice
Volume II: The White Piano
Volume I & II, woven together: Apart from Love
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