Dragon Lady


“Get out, go on now. You heard me. Leave.”

I’ve come into Betty’s room at the nursing home for my morning visit. She lays curled inward, knees to chin, arms, hands and fingers curled tight into a protective shield at her chest. She faces the wall.

“I came to check on you, to see if you need anything.”

Her voice comes out in a too sweet, sing-song imitation of my greeting, “I’ve come to check on you,” she mocks. “to see if you neeed anything. No, I don’t need anything. Just leave.”

It’s dark in the room with the curtains drawn. “At least let me open your drapes,” I say. “The sun’s shining outside. Maybe it’ll improve your mood.”

“Oh hell, do what you want to do, then get out,” she says, sighing loudly, frustrated with my need to help.

I sweep the fabric aside, and the sun streams into the room. “There, isn’t that more cheerful?”

“If you say so,” she harrumphs.

I smile, turn toward the door, and when I reach the threshold I call over my shoulder, “We’re ordering Chinese for lunch today.”

Her voice is almost inaudible. “From the Dragon Lady?”

“You’re the only Dragon Lady I know,” I say, laughing.

“Yeah, yeah, just shut up,” she throws back at me. “Order me some shrimp fried rice and an egg roll.”

“Extra soy sauce?”

“No, A1 Steak sauce,” she shoots back, turning her head to stick her tongue out at me.

I blow her a kiss from the doorway. “I’ll see you at noon,” I say. “Save me a seat.”

“Yeah, sure. You can take your place at the end of the line,” I hear her grump as I walk away.


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8 Responses to “Dragon Lady”

  1. Southern Sea Muse Says:

    You have perfectly captured my mother’s condition! Thanks for validating and capturing the sense of challenge and humor all in one that any given interaction can contain, in a state like this.

  2. Whimsical Sighs Says:

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful story! I am trying to visualize what her face might look like!

  3. OldMack Says:

    I enjoyed this cameo scene with dialog as much or more than some of your beautiful, long stories. I’ve intended to compliment several earlier posts, but others beat me to it.
    Happy New Year! May your journey be safe, but interesting.

    • train-whistle Says:

      thanks Mack. Some of my best friends are the grumpiest. I always look forward to your comments and your stories. Happy New year to you and Chris. Hope 2013 treats you both well.

  4. ly Says:

    Just visiting here because I’ve enjoyed reading your comments on a couple of blogs we have in common–glad I did. I’ll be following now and I’ll be back to read the older posts, too. See you on Bumble Files and Society Red. Laura

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