I had just finished preparing supper, ham and that healthful and nourishing mac and cheese with some green beans, when I went to check on Marty. Erica, one of our fantastic caregivers, had transferred her from her bed to her wheelchair so Marty could come to the dining area for kitchen. I wasn’t finished when she got up so Erica had moved Marty to the living room. She was sitting watching the news with her back to me, a very tempting target for a troll like me.
Marty has always hated it when people would come and tap her on her shoulder to get her attention. She still doesn’t like it, she just doesn’t like being touched like that, she doesn’t like being poked. Being just a little bit of an antagonist I snuck up behind her quietly, tapped her right shoulder and moved silently and quickly to her left side.
She said, “What?” never looking away from the television, watching some inane newscasters prattle on about who knows what.
I pushed my luck trying to get Marty to react and I tapped her left shoulder again, this time a little more insistently. I moved to her right thinking she would look to her left. She never moved her head and didn’t seem to move her attention from the talking head on TV.
She said, “What do you want, is supper ready?” She clearly knew it was me without me saying anything. What, she recognized my tap? She knew I was jacking with her and was not going to give me the satisfaction of reacting. She stared straight.
I bent down and looked around on her left side, leaned down close to her face, (she doesn’t particularly like people breathing on her either) and said, “How did you know it was me?”
“I smelled you.”
“You smelled me?” I asked. “And what exactly do I smell like”?
Marty smiled, I could see the light of an imp pass across her eyes and her face as she slowly turned over the best smart ass answer she could, and she said, “Chicken”.
“I smell like chicken?” I asked. “I haven’t been cooking chicken, I’m cooking ham.”
She looked to her left, saying with her eyes, “move your face out of my space”, and said, “sorry but you smell like chicken tonight” and she started smiling, then chuckling.
Marty has always cracked herself up, she was and is a great lover of humor, especially her own. She is still one of her biggest fans, she just doesn’t have the same number of brain neurons firing as she did before the stroke. She's not quite as quick cognitively but from time to time she really works hard at being the consummate smart ass.
Marty loves to laugh, she always has; she still really likes making other people laugh and smile, she always has. It’s one of the wonderful things about Marty, it always has been.