In another body

in The Ink Well3 years ago



I have an existential conflict that I don't know how to resolve.

Every time I look in the mirror the face of an old man is reflected, someone I don't know who is not only usurping the reflection of my face in the glass, but also occupying all my places in the house.

I am 40 years old and I live in a strange house where there are papers placed on the objects with the name of these, as if they were price signs of some supermarket and I will not deny it, although they bother me they have served me well because many times I do not remember what they are called.

I don't know at what moment that man took over my body, if I'm living a nightmare or some alien abduction, I don't know those who call me dad, but I can't deny it, I like that loving way with which they say it to me.

I don't know to whom I should turn to unravel the mystery, there are days when my body or his body is just an inert sack of potatoes and though I try to retrieve it I can't, I don't know where my strength of four decades went or if it has also been stolen by the stranger.

There is a man who claims to be a doctor who assures me that everything is fine and I wonder if he is an accomplice of the old man, of those who claim to be my children, or if he is not talking to me because he cannot see me.

Once I tried to escape and almost succeeded, in an oversight of my captors I opened the door of the house and tried to run, but the wretched old man did not give me back the strength of my legs and I looked like a turtle in a marathon race.

A neighbor stopped me, took me by the hand and although I resisted arrest he returned me to the prison in the form of a house, where I am.

I don't know if I am alive or if I am just a hologram of who I was, I even have doubts that I am the intruder and that I am usurping the old man's body, because there are moments when I disappear, when memories of the man's life become present and like jealous owners they expel me from his brain.

I am worried about the fact that the only memory I have is of my birthday party, everyone was gathered in my house, not in this one where I am now, but in the one I shared with my wife and my real children, suddenly as if I had been shot, everything went black.

Maybe I died, reincarnated or transmuted into this body, I don't have the scientific or spiritual knowledge to understand it, I only know that I am not this one but I don't have memories of who I was either.

Once I asked for my wife and they said she had left, that night I did not sleep because I skillfully managed to deceive them and I did not swallow the pill that forces me to visit the world of Morpheus, I tried to get up to escape to look for her but this body that has kidnapped me almost never has the strength.

I settled for investing the sleeplessness in remembering it but I could not, the old man's thoughts blocked any attempt to achieve it and like Roman gladiators we fought to take over that space in the brain where they are kept, but we both failed.

Tired from the combat, we fell asleep and when we woke up, a question arose: Did my wife or the old man's wife leave?

I don't know whether to settle and give up on recovering what is mine, because I have no idea where my body is, in which direction my house is, how to send a message to my children to rescue me, I feel as useless as a piece of junk that no longer works.

Maybe I should leave the usurper alone and disappear from his life, but I don't know how to do it, we are so closely disunited that we are prisoners of fate, water and oil in a glass of water.

I have not even been able to commit suicide because this useless man who possesses my body barely has the strength to walk, his hands tremble, fatigue invades all his cells and I feel that sadness is like a guardian that watches over him.

I am condemned to live with this existential conflict that overwhelms me because I don't even know my name, these strange people have never mentioned it and the old man's brain has prevented me from knowing it, I only know that the usurper of my body is called Alzheimer, so I guess he is a foreigner.


Hello @joseph1956,

A couple of years ago I helped a friend write a book about her experience with Alzheimer's Disease. She published the book and included resources for those struggling with this disease. Then she sold the book at cost, without profit.

My friend did not have Alzheimer's. Her husband did. They had a marriage that lasted many decades, and he stayed with her until almost the very end. Only hours before he died did she allow hospice to take charge of his care and ease his passing.

I found your portrayal to be sensitive and spot on. My friend's husband was there, and not there. He was aware of deficits, and that awareness seemed to bring him his greatest distress. I think his decline was less precipitous than it might have been because she kept him home (with professional help) and in familiar surroundings.

Can't tell you how impressed I am with your story.

Hello, @joseph1956

You produce a sensitive voice that describes the loss of the present and the spirit's rootedness in the memory of the good old days. Although the voice denotes a feeling of despair and a great willpower to regain one's identity, the text also produces a certain tenderness when we stop to dwell on the unrealistic appraisals.

I also think that the syndrome is so well known that the last two sentences are superfluous, since in such a detailed text one would have to trust that the reader will come to what is explicitly expressed.

This story took my breath away, @joseph1956. It is very difficult to write from the perspective of one who is confused and losing his faculties. But you did so beautifully. Your character's beliefs and conclusions based on what he can understand and what he has forgotten are really astounding. The story is poignant and believable and quite heartbreaking.

Wow!! This was beautifully written.. And there's this feeling that's comes with reading this that you know you just can't rush it.. You have to read each word as slowly as you can, almost as if you are as weak as the old man himself.

This is really a touching story, especially coming from the perspective of someone who has lost his memory.
Your story explores what could go on in the minds of people with alzheimer, and i truly feel for the old man.
Thank you for this.