Twenty year old father

  ”Dad, how old are you?” I asked. Hearing me call him “Daddy”, he looked at me with a look of embarrassment, as if he could not accept the title that called me more than fifty years. He had always been gentle and self-cultivated. He hesitated for a while and replied in a distant and polite tone: “Twenty years old!” As
  he said, his face showed a kind smile. No, I should say, an innocent smile appeared on his face. It was a pure, pollution-free smile that only a three-year-old doll had.
  ”You are a dad, why are you twenty years old?” I reminded him and gave him a mirror while asking him to see the old man in the mirror.
  ”Look, you have white hair with silver lights, won’t you be twenty?” I gave him a second reminder and tried his memory again.
  While my father was looking at the mirror intently, I looked at him carefully. He wore a light green short-sleeved shirt and washed it pale. Originally, I wanted to help him change into the new clothes his husband came back from on a business trip, but he kept refusing to say that he could not wear other people’s clothes without money. He wore a pair of black trousers with elastic bands. Previously, this was a tailored trousers. It was worn on the 50th anniversary of his marriage to his mother.
  At that time, he and his mother were almost 80 years old, and I hosted dinner for them. The low-key parents refused to be extravagant and only invited a few close relatives. Seriously, there are few remaining relatives and friends. On the same day, I dressed them carefully. I applied foundation for my mother who didn’t wear makeup, painted eyebrows and eyeliners, and applied blush and lipstick for her. Although my mother kept saying that you shouldn’t be a monster, it didn’t really stop me. The photo was washed out, and the mother looked left and right, saying that she had never been so beautiful in her life.
  On that day, the father in a black suit was even more energetic and overjoyed. I want to quarrel frequently. They act as a loving couple in front of the camera. The moment captured by the shutter is that the father holds a handful of flowers and looks at his mother with clear eyes. Today, my father’s eyes are blurred and his spirit is gone. His eyes are like two windows that are open but emptied due to the gradual deletion of memory, looking at nowhere.
  After years of dementia, he began to pack diapers. To take care of it, I had to endure the pain by changing the buttons and zippers on the waist of his beautiful trousers and replacing them with elastic bands. The entire pair of trousers looked fluffy and casual, and could no longer be handsome.
  When I happily celebrated the 50th anniversary of their marriage for my parents, I never thought that my father would be demented two years later, and my mother would die seven years later. We chose to use her mother’s brightest and most beautiful smile to remember her who had been tortured and suffering from bipolar disorder all her life. Also because of the death of my mother, I have taken my demented father to my home for support, and it has been three years now.
  Father didn’t wear a watch on his white wrist because he wouldn’t watch the time anymore. When he first moved to my house, he wore a commemorative watch from the American General Motors company that his husband gave him many years ago. He happily pointed at the gold-plated watch, saying it was a gold watch, and he was reluctant to take it off. He looked at it proudly every day and reported time to me.
  With the gradual death of brain cells, the beautiful watch made him fall into the maze of time and could not get out. Although he still wears it and looks at it habitually every day, the long and short hands that constantly change positions and the twelve shiny numbers have become his incomprehensible books. He always looked at it in confusion, unable to interpret the meaning of “magic puzzle”. If the combination of time and space is a complete memory, then the father ’s memory has broken through the hole and continues to drain. Kim, who once made him proud, is an extra burden. He should be wondering why he was wearing something he could not understand all day long. In order to avoid more setbacks, I took it off while he was asleep and kept it in many supplies that he once cherished but had no time to take care of. It didn’t take long for him to forget the watch.
  He was still sitting in a chair by the window while taking self-portraits in the mirror. The bright sunlight sprinkled through the screens, such as gold flowing on the crow’s feet and age spots on the corners of his eyes. There are not many wrinkles on his face, nor deep decree lines, the nose bridge is particularly tall and tall, thin lips are slightly raised, and there is no “annual ring” that should be seen on his lips. Ten years old. Does dementia not only make his mind go backwards, but also looks younger?
  He was always worried about having no money. I wonder if this is a common problem for the elderly, or a unique worry for the demented elderly. It was my homework every day to show the passbook with his name on it and read out the deposit in the book aloud, but to no avail, every ten minutes, he would go out to find a teaching job to make money. He said while touching the top pocket, so I quickly put a few hundred dollars in his pocket, but these did not really solve the problem.
  His anxiety made me feel distressed, and it was very tiring to explain constantly. The employed foreign caregiver was particularly worried about how she would deal with her father when she was not fluent in Chinese. Ready to slip out the door. He used to magically open four different locks and took the elevator to the first floor. Fortunately, he was stopped by the guard who had greeted him.
  Thank God for the inspiration he gave me when I prayed continuously, and let me think of a clever way to solve his “workaholic” mentality. I wrote on a cardboard with my father ’s tone: “I, Cai Moumou, have been teaching books for more than forty years, and now receive retirement pensions at home, as well as children ’s support, life carefree, no I need to go to work again to make money. “When it was
  okay, I asked him to read his own happiness aloud. Every time he read it, his tense nerves relaxed, and a smile appeared on his face. But immediately after reading, he forgot, fortunately, he will automatically reread the good news on the sign, and read it thousands of times every day without getting bored. And the foreign nurse and I took care of other affairs in the house while he was reading aloud.
  I do n’t know if this suggestion is effective, or if he is more degraded. He feels that he is no longer a middle-aged person who wants to work and support his family, but an outsider who is a guest in my house. He often pulled my sleeve and nodded repeatedly to smile: “Thank you for your hospitality, please send me home!”
  I was tired of dealing with the different balls thrown by my father every day, and I knew that some explanations were invalid, only I can hold back my tears, hoping to hug the love and care conveyed tightly, and keep him in the strange “homestay” that I run.
  At this time, after looking at himself in the mirror, my father said confidently to me: “Although my hair is white, but I am twenty years old!”
  ”You are my dad, I can’t be younger than me!” , Holding his hand unscrupulously, like holding the soul of his time god who is gradually away, wanting to recall his deep memories and lost years, wanting to recall his father who loved me deeply .
  Unexpectedly, he raised his head, pouted, and said angrily: “I-why-be your father!”
  My heart seemed to be poked with a hole, and a cold wind blew it to the bottom of my heart. In front of me there was never ending grayness, and I was in this diffused grayness, trying to catch up with my father’s back, and yelled “daddy” or “daddy”, but the strange thing was that the father walking in front of me didn’t look back . When I finally caught up with my back and looked closely, I found that I was chasing the wrong person. He was just a strange body that looked exactly like his father, not my father.
  In the endless gray world, only me is left.
  Such chasing, losing, chasing, and losing cycle back and forth every day, forming a huge vortex. My father and I both floated up and down in this vortex, and it was unclear whose life was more decaying.
  My father’s words even condensed me in the past and the future barrenness, which made me unable to find an exit. It took me a long time to recover. I swallowed saliva, hid the cold winter in my heart, and put on a tone of spring blossoms, as if the new life was about to start. I happily announced: “Okay, let you be a twenty-year-old dad!”