The old man was in his 70s. He had unkempt hair and it’s been at least a year before he had shaved. His hair was grey, not like a silver fox but grey like storm clouds that roll in just before a life changing tornado barrels through your town.
He was thin as a rail and his clothes hung on him in a way that a cheap suit hangs on the rack in a department store.
His wardrobe was simple: a pair of worn out, off brand sneakers; a pair of workout pants; a faded flannel shirt; and a red, beat up ‘Bama Crimson Tide hat.
At times he wore a his old, beat up military jacket.
For a man who retired three times and had three pensions, he lived a simple life. He lived on my brother’s property, they had a house that sat on three acres of land, a used single wide trailer was brought on site, so my father could live close by yet, retain his privacy.
The beat up single wide trailer had been gutted into one large room. This is the castle of dementia.
A toilet and sink hid behind a curtain although the smell didn’t hide. He had a tv that sat behind a metal screen and just out of reach, like the ones in a county jail.
His temper was unpredictable, and his suspended grasp of reality caused him to destroy tv’s on a whim.
My brother lived in a small town about an hour south of Atlanta. They got a deal on a small house on three acres of land and the location made it ideal.
I lived north of Atlanta, because of this I couldn’t visit as often as I would’ve liked.
During the two years of his decline I couldn’t visit. I was, at the time homeless and fighting my personal demons (getting off the streets.) I didn’t know of his situation until a year after I conquered my homelessness, although I was left heavily scarred.
I drove to my brother’s property on an overcast day to meet him. Once I arrived, my brother escorted me to his trailer to meet this stranger.