Lately, my father only lives upstairs.

He doesn’t use a wheelchair because it won’t fit through the doorway of his TV room. The fire marshal started this, with the chair, after he picked my father up off the floor for the third time last spring and told my mother that she can’t let him go downstairs anymore. And then they got a caregiver.

My parents are quietly crumbling, and their house is crumbling around them, just like in movies about old people and their old houses.

Now, their feet and their teeth and their joints and their toilets and their ears and their eyes fill up my time here. There’s so much to worry about, so much to take care of, so many new noises I have to learn how to sleep through in my new station downstairs on the sofa bed.

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