Theresa's watch is frozen at 6 o'clock. It has been stubbornly keeping the same hour for 40 years. When asked why she holds onto the timepiece, Theresa says, "Why, it's a good watch! It still keeps the time."
Then she smiles and starts humming. No one is sure of the tune. Her eyes glaze over and just like that Theresa is gone, lost in the ancient maze of her disconnected memory.
The Meadows staff and the occasional visitor where Theresa resides do not pay her much heed. She is a harmless, crazy old woman now, her brain scrambled with powerful psychotropic drugs and electroshock therapy.
"Be careful about spending too much time with those head doctors," she likes to whisper during rare lucid moments. "They're looking for crazy and they ALWAYS find crazy." She sputters and laughs until the light of cognition goes out and drool escapes from the corner of her mouth.
Time froze for Theresa with the ring of a bell. It was her neighbor at the front door. He was cradling some sort of limp, bloody animal in his arms – road kill, maybe a dog. Theresa could not tell; there was so much blood.
She does not know what happened after that. It is as if someone came along and hit the eject button right before the climactic scene of a suspenseful movie. The psychiatrists call it "psychogenic amnesia", but Theresa doesn't understand their psychobabble. She pretends to listen intently, if her sedatives don't make it too difficult to concentrate, but in truth she is wondering about her son, Billy.
She furtively glances at her watch: Oh dear, it's dinnertime. Billy is officially late. He should have been home at least 15 minutes ago, so he'd have time to wash up before supper. Billy's father will not be pleased.
Theresa looks up at Dr. Olson, "I'm terribly sorry sir, but I must go. My son is waiting for me, and I still have to get the pot roast out of the oven.”
She attempts to get up to leave, but in her chemical restraints she finds her legs don't work like they once did . She doesn’t struggle or fight to stand. Instead, she relaxes back into her chair and calmly folds her hands into her lap, but not before checking her watch again.
She sighs, "What could be keeping Billy?"