Mark James Wooding
her face is familiar



Looking out the living room window, I can see that it’s a nice day outside. I want to go outside. I even see some people across the street. Maybe I’ll go talk to them.

The front door is closed. When I turn the door knob, the door doesn’t open. I don’t remember locking it. Who locked the door? No matter how many times I pull on it, it still won’t open. I slap it. The door still won’t open. I see some switches on the wall by the door. Maybe they’ll open the door. I flip the switches and I try the door again, but it still doesn’t open. I’ll have to try a different way to get outside.

I see another door. This other door leads to a room with a bed in it. There are some pictures next to the bed. I think that I’m in some of the pictures. I’m not sure who the other people are, but they look familiar. I must have met them, because they’re in the pictures with me. I wonder who they are?

One of the pictures looks especially interesting. I want to take it with me. I pick it up.

I can see through the bedroom window that it’s nice outside. I’d like to go outside. I’ll go out the front door.

The front door won’t open. I don’t remember locking it. No matter how many times I try it, it doesn’t open. I wonder who locked it? Even if I hit the door it doesn’t open. There are some switches on the wall by the door. Maybe they open the door. I flip the switches and try the door again, but it doesn’t open. I’ll have to find another way out.

Someone says, “Dad?”

I turn and look in the direction of the voice. It’s a woman. Her face is familiar, but I don’t remember her name. I wonder who she is?

She says, “Dad, are you hungry?”

I think about it. “Yes,” I say.

“Come here and get your lunch,” she says.

She takes my elbow and she leads me to the dining-room table. Whoever she is, she seems nice.

There’s food on the table. It looks good. I’m very hungry.

“Give me the picture first, Dad,” the woman says.

What picture? She pulls at something in my hand. I try to hang onto it, but too late. She took it from me.

“Go ahead and sit down here,” the woman says.

I know how to sit down. I don’t need her to tell me to sit down. But I don’t say anything.

She gives me a fork. I don’t know why. I don’t need one. I have fingers.

I pick up the food. It’s warm, but not too hot. It tastes good. I lick my fingers clean, and then I pick up some more food. It tastes good. Before I know it I’ve finished the food. I wipe the plate with my fingers and I lick my fingers. They taste like food. They taste good.

“Did you like that?” asks the woman.

What is she talking about? Do I like what? I don’t know what’s wrong with her. I don’t say anything. I just look at her.

“Are you thirsty?” the woman asks. “Would you like some milk?”

Am I thirsty? “Yes,” I tell her. She goes into the kitchen.

A woman carrying a cup of milk comes out of the kitchen. Her face is familiar, but I’m not sure who she is. She seems nice, though.

The milk tastes good. I drink most of it.

“Was it good?” the woman asks.

I think she’s talking about the milk. “Yes,” I say.

“Good,” she says, and she takes the cup.

I stand up. I walk into the living room. I look out the window. It’s beautiful out there. I’m going to go outside. All I have to do is go out the front door.

Before I can get to the door, someone says, “Dad?”

I turn. There’s a woman standing there. Her face is familiar, but I don’t remember her name. I know I must have seen her before, though.

“Dad, we need to get you cleaned up,” she says.

I don’t know what she’s talking about.

“Look at your shirt,” she says. “There’s food on your shirt. We need to get you a clean shirt and some clean underwear.”

I look at my shirt. Someone got food on it. I wonder who did that? Why would anyone want to get my shirt dirty?

The woman takes me by the arm. She pulls on my arm just a little. I follow her. She seems to know where she’s going, whoever she is.

She takes me to the bathroom. Both of us go inside, and she shuts the door.

“Let’s take off your shirt first,” she says.

She starts to unbutton my shirt. I stop her. I like my shirt on. Why is she trying to take off my shirt?

“You’ve got food on your shirt, Dad,” says the woman. “We need to get you a clean shirt.”

I look down at my shirt. It is dirty. I let her unbutton my shirt. She looks familiar. I wonder who she is? She takes off my shirt.

“Before we put a clean shirt on you, we need to change your underwear,” the woman says.

“No,” I say.

“We need to change your underwear, Dad,” the woman says. “You peed in your pants and your underwear overflowed. We need to change your underwear and your pants.”

I didn’t pee in my pants. I never pee in my pants.

She tries to unbutton my pants. I stop her.

“Dad,” she says, “you’re wet. Your pants are wet. We need to change them.”

My pants do feel wet. I wonder who wet my pants? Why would someone do that to me?

The woman unbuttons my pants and unzips them. She pulls them down.

“Lift up your foot,” she says.

I look down. She’s trying to take the pants off of my leg. I lift my foot. She pulls the pants off of my leg, then I put my foot down.

I look at the door. I’d like to leave.

“Now the other one,” she says.

I look down. She’s trying to take the pants off my leg. I lift up my foot and she take the pants off of my foot. I put my foot down.

She rips the sides of my underwear. The underwear is made of paper. She pulls it away and puts it in a plastic bag.

She takes a wet cloth and she wipes my skin. That seems like an odd thing for her to do. I’m not very comfortable with it, but I don’t stop her.

“We need to put your underwear on now,” the woman says.

She’s squatting on the floor in front of me, and she’s holding a pair of underwear made of paper. I think she wants me to step into them. I lift up my foot and she puts the underwear on one of my feet. Then she pushes my foot down.

“That’s one,” she says. “Now for the next one.”

The way she’s holding the underwear makes me think she wants me to pick up my foot. I pick up my foot, and she puts my foot through one of the holes in the underwear. She pulls the underwear up to my knees. It looks like she wants me to pull them up. I grab them and pull them up.

She picks up a shirt. She puts my hand in one of the sleeves. She pulls the shirt up to my shoulder. She puts the rest of the shirt behind my back, and she lifts my other hand. She puts my hand in the other sleeve. She pushes my arm through the sleeve, then she buttons the front of the shirt. Then she buttons the sleeves down by my wrists.

“Now, I’ve got clean pants for you, Dad,” she says.

She’s squatting in front of me, and the way she’s holding my pants makes me think she wants me to lift my foot up. I lift up my foot and she slides the pants leg over my foot. Then she pushes my foot down gently, and I lower my foot. She holds the pants in front of my other leg, and I lift my foot up. She puts the other pants leg over my raised foot. The she pushes my foot down again. She pulls my pants up part of the way. I reach down and pull up my pants the rest of the way. The woman zips the pants and buttons them.

I don’t know who this woman is, but her face is familiar. I think she thinks she’s helping me.

She takes a wet cloth and wipes my hands. She wipes my mouth too, which I don’t like. But she is fast, and by the time I try to push her hand away she has stopped.

“Okay, Dad, you’re all set,” the woman says.

What am I set for? I don’t know what she’s talking about.

“Do you want to watch some TV with me?” she asks.

I like TV. “Yes.”

“Good,” she says. “Just give me a minute.”

She washes her hands, then dries them. She picks up a plastic bag beside the sink, and she picks up a pair of pants and a shirt that someone left on the floor.

“You can follow me,” she says.

I don’t know where she’s going, but I follow her. She walks too fast, though. I can’t keep up with her. She walks into another room.

I look out the window. It looks nice outside. I want to go outside.

I hear someone say, “Dad?”

I turn and see a woman. Her face is familiar, but I’m not sure who she is.

“Do you want to watch some TV with me?”

I like TV. “Yes.”

“Come sit down next to me,” the woman says.

She points to a chair. I sit down in the chair. She sits down in a chair next to mine. She picks up a thing and points it at the TV. The TV turns on.

I look at the woman in the chair next to mine. I feel like I should know who she is. Whoever she is, she seems nice.

This chair is comfortable. It feels good to sit here.

The TV is on. I think I’ll watch some TV. I like TV.



Copyright 2018 Mark James Wooding

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