Tim moved home April 2nd. Next time we talked to him he told me, “I see what you mean about the cockroaches. I can smell them.”
At the end of the first week he called. He asked if he could come up and use the computer. We said sure and Jerry met him at the bus stop. While here, he had us help him make some phone calls, explain a letter from his health care providers, let us do his laundry and make him lunch, took a nap, watched a movie and had dinner with us.
During dinner we told him we had bought him a shower chair and would set it up for him when we took him back to the apartment.
“How’s that grab bar Jerry installed?” I asked.
“I haven’t taken a shower yet since I’ve been back,” he admitted, around thirds of meat loaf and sweet potato fries.
Mentally I counted back the four days to the Tuesday we had moved him home. And I knew he hadn’t showered for a couple of days before that.
He noticed my questioning look. “The tub is full of dead cockroaches,” he explained.
“Would you like to take a shower here and try out the shower chair before you go?” I asked, hoping. I figured we could handle a tub of cockroaches for him, as long as they were dead.
“Yes.” Then, after he had showered and shaved, he suggested, “Why don’t I just leave the chair here? Your shower is so much easier to get in and out of.”
He also apologized for over-reacting before, and for misreading our intentions. He said wistfully there was nothing to do at home. His computer wouldn’t work and he missed Jerry’s eggs.
The camel is nosing his way back into the tent. We’re both fine with that–two or three times a week.