The Meds


In the elevator, after leaving the neurologist’s office on Wilshire Boulevard, I look at the papers he has given her. She has an order for a brain scan and medication to be filled. The scrip says: Aricept.   For cognitive impairment.

“We’re going to stop by the pharmacy,” I tell my mother, who stands next to me in the crowded box.

“Okay,” Pat says. “I’ve got to have a cigarette. Do you have one?”

“No,” I remind her. “I don’t really smoke cigarettes. Check your bag.”

The elevator doors open to the lobby. My mother asks, “when are we seeing the doctor?”

I’m starting to learn that it’s futile and upsetting to to try to correct her sense of time, place, or reality. Presenting what was isn’t helpful. It all passes anyway.

“We’re going to see him soon,” I say. “Very soon.”

She smiles and asks, “Do you have a cigarette?”


Published by deirdremendoza

Deirdre is the author of the story collection, Real Lives of Married People, and the creator of DOGGED, a series about memorable canines and their human friends. Her writing has been published in Ms., The L.A. Times, Variety, WWD, and many other publications. She teaches creative writing at colleges and universities in Southern California. Coming in 2021 WG workshops!

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