Guest blogger: LOLITA KEYRAIÑA ROY
I was asked to write this to share with the readers just what can happen to an elderly lady of 98, when she is overstimulated by the sights and sounds and smells of a gorgeous autumn afternoon.
I am visually impaired and almost totally deaf. I refuse to wear hearing aids, because most of what people have to say is absolute balderdash and not worth hearing. What pleasure do I get out of life? You may well ask, and I will tell you. A good meal, a long nap, and some encouraging smells can go a long way to making this old lady quite content. I forgot to mention I have no teeth but add warm water to any pureed meal and it gets eaten with gusto. My favorite meal is squash, beef, and kale all ground up with warm water. At 98, I am proud to boast that I weigh more now than I have ever weighed in my life. I never had a serious life partner, and never felt the need to have a good figure and now that my runway days are over, it is very liberating to do and eat as I please. I am still active and fairly gorgeous and recently won a best dressed contest in a Wakefield Competition for Dogs.
I am still fairly gorgeous
Living with my keen sense of smell is a wonderous thing, especially in the fall. Such delightful aromas surround us. A walk in the Gatineau Park brings forth composting leaves, beaver ponds, fresh and mixed rotting leaves, bear poop, and the occasional treat buried under a tree like a decomposing mushroom or leftover picnic. People leave all sorts of things behind in the woods – Tim Horton’s cups, tinfoil with bits of cheese, and once I found a partial ham sandwich!
My adventure began a couple of weeks back. The family and I headed out for a hike. I went with my younger sister and brother. There is a very nice trail to Richard Lake, just off the Eardley Side Road. Up here they call it Lac Richard, but my French is abysmal, so I’ll not even try.
The nauseating two on the left and me on the right.
My brother and sister are much younger than me and are extremely annoying. They embarrass themselves with their keen and earnest enthusiasm. It is just so nauseating. Admittedly though, that day, all of us were really anticipating a good ramble. We were belted in our car seats, and of course were very excited to finally get out of the car. I usually must urinate during long car rides, and it is dreadful keeping it all in. No matter how many Kegels I do, (that is when a lady scrunches and squeezes the muscles in and around her bladder to not pee her pants), I just feel wretched. The bumpier the road, the worse it gets. So yes, it was grand to finally get out of the car.
We raced off down the trail, untethered by the cares of the day, and to our ultimate delight without leashes. We scrambled and pranced, and our zeal was authentic. The fragrances and delights of the trail were in us and around us. We sipped water from Richard Lake, we chased chipmunks and poked around in the ferns. We were mad and drunk from the scents, what joy!
On our way back, about 10 minutes from the dreaded car ride home, I headed off the trail a bit due to an overpowering sense of liberty and was drawn to a sensuous scrumptious odor that I could not quite identify. That aroma made me so curious, it was a blend of spicy earth, blue cheese, and fungus. I heard a voice gently asking me to come back, but I ignored it. As I scampered over a mound of green moss and around a tree, the voice got more urgent, and I ignored it again and turned a new corner. Then I heard a frantic voice calling my name, but there were echoes and I heard the voice coming at me from three different directions. I don’t know what made the desperate calls from my Ma so distorted, perhaps the gully, or the cliffs, or my bloody deafness. All those things combined I supposed got me quite turned around. I perked up as I sensed the stress in her voice, then some wild whistling began as well and I raced in the direction of the calls but ended up somewhere else where the insistent vocalizations faded to nothing, I heard nothing. I was lost. In my sincere desire to appease my anxious folks, I also lost the curious scent I’d been tracking. Damn it!
That curious expression about a cat being killed, how does it go? I thought to myself, “Does that apply to dogs?”
I am curious, deaf, blind, and toothless, but I am not stupid. I knew if I did not make it back to the car, there would be no supper. So, the plan was simple, go to the car and wait there for the rest of the family.
I used that plan once before when the trail we were on did not suit me. The grass was too tall and wet, so I turned around and went back to the car. Seconds later my folks showed up. So, this time I knew I had a workable plan.
I trotted over the next few mounds and a few winding trees on the trail and later I found the highway. I turned right and started to walk down the shoulder of the road towards the car park. I am smart enough not to walk in the middle of the road and I hobbled along the gravel side. I was simply shuffling along minding my own business, when a very large truck stopped, and a tall, black haired, portly stranger swept me up in his arms and placed me on the passenger seat and took off with me!!
I was so mad, I yelled at him, and he mumbled something gently back, he seemed kind, but it was terribly impertinent and presumptuous of him to just grab me like that, who did he think he was? I suppose he felt sorry for me, and as most people do, he assumed I was cognitively malfunctioned in some way. I am not sure if it is my age, but I find most people are remarkably ignorant and seem to accept that I am a simple dullard. I was very angry with him and chose to ignore him and tried to look out the window. I saw our car parked briefly and then we turned the bend, and I was unable to visualize the road as the truck window was too high. My hips were sore, and I was frankly exhausted to the bone, so I curled up on the passenger seat and turned my back on the inane moron who had captured me and fell fast asleep.
A sudden brake and jerk awoke me. It took a moment for me to recall the futile situation I was in. The truck stopped, and for a moment my heart swelled with hope, that he knew my folks and took me home, but it soon deflated. He got out of the truck and left me inside. I heard some movement from the back of the truck, and I strained up with the help of the steering wheel to see out the side of the driver’s seat. A very large chair was being delivered from the truck to the front door of some huge mansion of a house. I could see a dog bowl on the front porch with 2 kibbles in it and I salivated. A new home for me? Wow! Life was full of surprises, but no, alas, it was not to be, the imbecile got back in the truck and drove off with me again. I yelled at him again and he again mumbled some incoherent pacifying phrase, it sounded like “Everything is all well “, or some lame thing like that. I distinctly remember thinking this guy has been watching too much Oprah and he’d better not try too much pop psychology on me. Imagine trying to comfort me after abducting me, what nerve! I turned my back on him again and went back to sleep.
This sudden braking and delivering was repeated several times over the next few hours, each time I would see a different house and a different piece of furniture going inside. It became obvious I was not to be delivered and that I remained enslaved.
At one of the homes, I saw him pointing at me as I was yelling at the person at the front door of a nice house with a nice yard (it would have suited me well), and then he came for me. He did not pick me up though, he grabbed my collar and wrote something down and then went inside the house. It seemed very cruel to get my hopes up like that. I liked him less and less.
My opinion of him came around slightly, as he approached the truck with a bowl in his hand. There was fresh water in a paper cup. I was super parched, and not even aware of it. I drank and drank and fell back into what seemed to be a deep coma. When I woke up again my bladder was screaming at me, and it was dark out. I began to fret a bit. The truck was motionless, and the benevolent dictator was nowhere to be found. I got very uneasy, but before my mind was able to conjure up too many horrific scenarios, he appeared with a rope. He tied it around my collar and let me out of the truck. I immediately urinated on the pavement, a huge, huge puddle, such relief.
Then, the imbecile scooped me up in his arms and next thing I know we are in an elevator and going up up and up. Once out of the lift, he carried me down a short hallway and opened a door with his keys and I was now inside what seemed like a small apartment that smelled of HIM. So, this was his intent; to incarcerate me in his flat! I I made my mind up to bear it, providing he offered me some good grub. No sooner had I submitted my will over to my new fate, along came a plate with some rich duck pate.
I sniffed it thoroughly to ensure it did not contain any poison because you never know with kidnappers and once satisfied it was authentic, I dug in. It was divine, I heard music, and memories flooded back of Christmas’ past with gravy and potatoes and stuffing. I yelled for more, but all I got was more water. I yelled a few more times and he scolded me, so I stopped. Just because he fed me did not mean his intentions were pure, so I thought I’d better mind my manners.
Then the idiot picked me up and dunked my feet into his bathtub full of warm water, how dare he! I’d seen enough CSI shows to imagine what might happen next, and I cringed, waiting for the bludgeoning to begin.
He put a towel on the floor and motioned to me to lie there. Oh here it comes, I thought. I’d best not fall asleep at this point, best to stay alert and vigilant. I sat on the towel and stared him down. He looked away at his phone and then got into that weird coma like buzz that I’d witnessed before with humans. They get all vacant and the only thing that moves are their thumbs and fingers. They can stay in this trance for hours. I was grateful as it gave me time to think about an escape.
Damnation! I fell asleep again only to find myself held in a blanket and going back down in the elevator. I’m doomed, I thought, this is it, he is moving me to a second location – Never go to the second location – Never!! I struggled in his arms, but he had a vice grip around me. I began to panic.
We stepped off the elevator and I yelled “help” to the lady in the hallway, she ignored me, the witch! My torment began in earnest then, I was miserable and frightened. We went out the glass doors in the front of his building and low and behold there stood my parents!
“Oh Lola”, my mom gushed. They looked like hell and it was obvious they had been crying, they were tired and thirsty (unlike me, at least I had the sense to eat and drink) they were dirty, unlike me because I had a bath). I could tell they had been suffering.
They hugged the captor and gave him some money! They put me in the car and I was home in 40 minutes. Charlie would not let me go, he guarded me all night.
On the way home mom and dad filled me in on their story.
They searched in the park for me from 2:30-9:30 PM and had one small break to go home to post my disappearance on social media. They might have found me sooner, but there was no cellular reception in the park. The thought of me deaf blind, toothless overnight in Gatineau Park with all the coyotes tortured my parents, and so they looked for hours calling me and bawling their eyes out – sweet fools.
Many of our dear friends came out to look for me. My best friend Meika and her mom Sue. My friend Layla and her parents Bob and Judi, our friends Cider, Sasha, Emily and Justin and then my mom’s dear friend from work Laura and her husband Ale and children Lucho and Oscar. All this was going on while I was delivering furniture – signs were being made, messages being passed, and the park was being scoured.
Look at all my besties ! I am so lucky
The whole time I was eating pate on Elgin Street my family and friends were tormented and of course, I had no idea. I was only thinking about myself and my next meal, as well as planning to get out of the clutches of a serial kidnapper/killer.
How wrong , all this worry I’d had. Fraser, my kidnapper, was very sympathetic when all is said and done. The unexpected adventure for me was a grand lesson about the sweetness and genuine thoughtfulness of all people. Most humans are amazing, caring, compassionate, generous, and willing to sacrifice time and effort for their fellows. In this crazy day and age, it is such a good lesson I needed to be reminded of. All I have to say is thank you everyone all my friends and family, I really do love you. Now I am going to sleep. It was nice to be a guest blogger on Wandering Wakefield and seems very apropos given my wandering adventure.