Aurelio Bari Ferrari

Fragmented portrait of a man who's slowly disappearing

The carpeted living room sat heavily with silence. 
The walls littered with photos of smiling children and purportedly happier times. My grandfather rested to my left, in his worn chair; the kind of chair that has a lever on the side for when lethargy strikes. 

“What are you thinking about, Tay?” he asked me. “Everything?”

“Yeah, basically” I replied. The truth is I was thinking about what the fuck was taking my mom so long. We were waiting to go to the hospital.

“You?” I asked him.

“Me three” he says. 

He was scared; I could see it in his squinted watering eyes. He was looking at my over-sized baby picture hanging on the wall in that heavy heavy living room. He was thinking about everything; the night before he had to decide what quality of life was ‘unacceptable’, in case something went wrong. I wonder what his thoughts looked like, felt like, smelled like, tasted like, sounded like. What memories was he replaying in his old tired brain? What pathways was he revisiting?

After they took him in to surgery my grandmother stood there with a bag full of his things. My grandfather in a bag. I could see the familiar patterned button up shirt folded and pressing against the plastic. They put him in a bag, and I don’t know how I felt about it.​​​​​​​
After the surgery, he wasn't the same. 
A little part of him had disappeared. 
Just like after every surgery he had had 
before that one - as if life just keeps 
chipping away at him little by little. 
Chip, chip, chip.
Now he seems to be living in 
another realm of sorts - 
not here.
But he recalls with great
clarity and vigor days of his youth. 
I wonder what the world looks like, 
feels like, smells like, tastes like and
sounds like for my pap pap.

What memories does he replay?
What pathways does he revisit?

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