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“Two generations of dementia are enough!” Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end, he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.
In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of other residents: his neurotic sister, Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); and Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him.
Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson?
Page Count: 298
Word Count: 78395
My quiz book, all three hundred pages, is older than my stay at the Fountain. It belonged to my grandson, Peter, my daughter Bonnie’s oldest. Peter and I spent many evenings in his room reading the questions and seeing who could come up with the answers first. Often I won. Sometimes he did but I clearly had the advantage of age and education. Peter had the advantage of looking up the answers ahead of time so I guess we were even. When the decision was made for me to move to the Fountain—not unanimously I might add—Peter insisted I take the quiz book with me so we would have it when he visited. By the time I settled in he decided he was too old for the book. I often wonder whether that was so, or was it possibly because he couldn’t look up the answers ahead of time. Either way, whenever I open the book I think of Peter and smile, and then smile again because I know its real purpose.
By the time I retrieved it from the multicolored vase and returned to my apartment, I had totally forgotten about Pomerantz even though I had been asked by Ruth at the front desk to speak at his memorial service, and for her I would do anything. So, I spent several grueling days writing and memorizing the speech I planned to give. It was sitting on the kitchen table, although when I walked in I hadn’t noticed it. I normally don’t forget such things. Maybe I was just bothered by the fact that I mixed up the East and South Halls. Besides, he wasn’t my best friend. He was a Republican. He voted for George Bush twice. I’m sure Ruth thought we were best buddies because I joined his fight against the Vatican’s refusal to take Mrs. Pomerantz off life support. She took the trip to Hades on Lower Level 2 a year or so after she and Pomerantz arrived at the Fountain. Such a shame and such a surprise. She was a spry little woman with the intellect of a giant. First in bridge, always, and first in the weekly Trivial Pursuit night. I’m sure she didn’t study the answers ahead of time…but who knows. From one day to the next she found herself on the River Styx without ever stopping at Lower Level One. Three months later she was on life support without a valid living will, at least according to church officials at Christ-the-King Care Group. That brought Pomerantz and me together, for a while. There’s nothing like a good fight for what one believes in to bring people together.