His room was across my grandmother’s.  He paced back and forth reciting indecipherable mumble jumble.  Matted hair, long sleeves, barefooted.  Madness, I say, sheer madness.  His eyes remained fixed on the floor he paced, retracing his steps.  Occasionally he’d look up offering a vacant stare then he’d resume his march.  Grandma suggested I ignore him, but his movements distracted me from the matter at hand; her failing health.

Once I heard him repeat Helene, Helene, Helene.  Another time he took off his shirt.  I saw a block of numbers tattooed on his forearm.  His mania was starting to make sense.


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