Dad asked: Is that guy coming over again today?
mom replied: What guy? Your buddy "Melvin"?
dad: No, no, no, not that... The guy! The other guy, you know the guy! He lives around here... The guy with the little dog... He's always coming over here to go on the walk with us, to walk the dogs to the park. The bald headed guy!
mom: You mean Euri? He's our son!
dad: Yeah, well I know that! I'm trying to find out if he's coming or not?
I wouldn't have thought anything of it if mom didn't mention him by name. Melvin? I've never heard of a Melvin before. Mom was telling me that my dad had been looking for me (his buddy) the other day, but at first she wasn't sure if he was looking for me or one of his other buddies. I knew the names of most of dad's friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. There was an Eric, a Kelly, a Burns, a Bob, and others dad would refer to as simply "that sumbitch, or this sumbitch", but still I couldn't remember a Melvin.
Mom? I asked. Who is Melvin?
Oh... mom looked around to make sure dad wasn't in earshot... Wide eyed she loudly whispered, "That's his imaginary friend".
Things are certainly getting interesting at my parents house. Dad has reached a stage where even though he still makes sense (mostly) when having a conversation, he seems to be overcompensating for his inability to express himself like he normally would. Instead, he tries to be funny, or witty, or silly - which he always was, but now? The result usually comes across as either confusing, defensive (in a silly way), or sometimes offensive. He's always talking about beating somebody up! Hopefully it will be "Melvin". Mom tells him not to stop and talk to so many different people at the park when they are walking the dog. She's afraid that he will offend someone and he'll be on the receiving side of the beat down!
I guess that's why mom doesn't mind dad talking to Melvin, or singing and humming like he sometimes does. She'd rather have him doing that, rather than trying to explain to strangers they meet at the park why dad sometimes acts the way he does.
I've read about Alzheimer's patients talking to people who weren't there. Sometimes they know that these things are not "real" even though they are a true experience for them, and some are not bothered by what they see, or may actually draw comfort from talking with someone who won't judge them for not remembering.
I hope Melvin is able to keep dad talking... There's so much more of this story to tell.