He used to be the cleverest person in the room – any room, with a very few exceptions. He would make connections so quickly that to others it seemed like witchcraft, was always a few steps ahead of everybody else, always knew something you hadn’t worked out yet.

He used to be a man of almost perpetual motion; even when at rest, he was like a spring, building up tension, ready to burst with energy, to run through the streets like a foxhound on the chase.

Now, he spends his days in a favourite armchair, barely moving. His hands shake when he reaches for the teapot, a process that takes so long his tea is almost cold before it reaches his lips.

Now, he stares up at you with milky eyes and a not-so-faint frown, struggling for even the smallest details of who you are. It pains you to see him searching for an answer he can no longer find, so you introduce yourself every time you say hello, as if you’re a stranger.

You can’t help but wonder if he remembers what he used to be – who he used to be. You hope, against all hope, that he does not.
© Kari Fay