“Dark and Stormy Nights” by Benjamin Bourdon

 

 

 

 

“Do you know why I call you the Captain, Captain?” I ask him.
He scrunches his nose and scratches his eyebrow.  “Well, I think you told me, but I’ve already forgotten,” he sighs.
“It comes from an old joke.  Would you like to hear it?”
“Why the hell not?”
“It was a dark and stormy night,” I start off, calm and slow.  ”And the captain said to the first mate, ‘Step up and tell us a story.’  And that story goes like this…” I pause briefly, then continue in a louder, more dramatic voice: “It was a dark and stormy night! And the captain said to the first mate, ‘Step up and tell us a story!’   And that story goes like this…” I pause and then even louder and more dramatically, repeat, “IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT!”
He chuckles and then hoots like an owl.
“Sometimes Alzheimer’s can feel like a dark and stormy night, Captain.”
“That’s right,” he says in a high-pitched tone.  “Can it be cured?”
“No Captain, there is no cure.”
“Well, what am I supposed to do about it?  Just hire someone like you to take care of me?”
“Yes,” I confirm.
“Well, what will you do?” his voice creaks.
“ I’ll do the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the medication, and the driving.”
“Anything else?”
“I take you out to lunch, on drives through the redwoods, and I tell you jokes and stories.”
“Stories?”  He sounds interested.  “Any good ones?”
“Sure, I’ve got one…”
“Well, then, let’s hear it, man!” he says with conviction.
“It was a dark and stormy night,” I say, then pause to see if he remembers yet.
“And?” he leans forward.
“And the captain said to the first mate, ‘Step up and tell us a story…’”

Benjamin Bourdon

© 2011

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7 comments

  1. lkthayer · March 19, 2011

    Alexis, this is a true gift to publish his work…so powerful & important, thank you for sharing.

  2. Adriann · March 19, 2011

    Very kind, very sweet, very moving.

  3. Alexis Rhone Fancher · March 19, 2011

    Your great compassion makes you an even better writer, Ben. Bravo for writing such a smart, moving piece.

  4. Devi · March 19, 2011

    WOW!

  5. Roz Levine · March 20, 2011

    Welcome to the Juice Bar. What a great example and so well written of what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s and to care for a person with this illness.
    Roz

  6. Caroline · March 22, 2011

    poignant piece
    you do good work in this world mr. bourdon

  7. Blanka · March 22, 2011

    A great appetizer!
    More, please.

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