I Don't Know How the Nights Can Be So Long When Life Is So Short

by Jerry Ratch


The seated woman dressed in blue with the stark white hair, starts saying, “She's a wicked witch. This one, she's a wicked witch, a wicked witch. She insulted me.”


The tall, standing woman with bright red lipstick, elegant at one time, you could tell, responding, “She has dementia,” pointing at her brain. “She was a Holocaust survivor.”


And the one they're talking about turns as she's pushing her walker, saying, “I never died.”


The tall elegant woman turns to the man who's standing at the table, wiping his hands with a white monogrammed napkin. “So, where were you in Hungary when Hitler came?” she asks.


“I wasn't born yet,” the man responds.


“Oh. You missed all the fun!” says the seated woman. She points at the woman with the walker. “Show him your number.”


The one with dementia holds out her arm, where dull bluish numbers are tattooed. No ring. No bracelets, silver or gold.


“But I never died,” she says.