I have an idea. I think you might like it.
Oh yeah? What is it? I pause, the spoonful of mashed potatoes before his lips.
That’s your idea—white horses?
OK. I like it.
Spoon into mouth.
His arm reaches for mine, slapping at the air, hits the orange tray. Milk sloshes. Chicken noodle soup spills over the top of the brown plastic cup. I wipe his fingers with a napkin.
I might be able to get a job at McLean Hospital. I used to race horses there. Back when I was young. He winks. We could make some money. It’s a beautiful place. You’ll like it. I was thinking I’d like to get her there.
Her? Who’s her?
You’d like to get me into McLean Hospital?
Why do you want to put me in the hospital?
I’d love to see you ride the horse and the horse going up in the air. Makes up and down motion. Love to see you ride the horse. Goes into announcer voice.
I don’t want to go to the hospital.
Oh, it’s beautiful there, you’d love it. McLean. There’s horses and a pool. I used to race the horses. When I was young. Goes into announcer voice.
He bangs the table, fingers not quite able to make a fist. His laughter turns to coughing. I hold the napkin up for him to spit into, wipe his chin.
Oh, I’d love for you to see it so help me. I think you’d like it. Do you think you’d like it? I’d love you to see it.