Even the one they called Big Bob was a little apprehensive to approach him and check his blood pressure and other vital information. He knew why, but he hoped they’d learn to trust him. He never really moved much except when they told him to. He did not lash out. He was not violent.

The nurses and aides called him Harry, but at first it really didn’t mean any more to him than being called “Fred” or “Roger”. He didn’t know who he was or what he was even doing here. He would just sit in the corner of the room and wait for the knock and the buzz and the door to open.

The doctor came in to see him on a regular basis. He couldn’t quite remember how regular his visits were, but they seemed less often now than before. Of course, time was the greatest mystery to him. He had no idea how long he’d been here. It could have been weeks or months or years.

During the first few visits that he could actually remember, the doctor asked him questions that he didn’t know the answers to. The questions didn’t make sense to him, and he couldn’t even remember now what they were. After a while the questions began to change—the doctor began asking him questions like “What color is my pen?” He knew the answers to those questions, and so he responded to them. After every question, the doctor would smile and write something in his tablet. He seemed very happy when Harry knew the answers to his questions.

Harry wasn’t dumb, and he knew that the doctor was trying to gauge his mental functions with the simple questions. He could remember how to read and write, and he knew what simple objects were. He also could understand what was being asked of or told to him, and he could follow directions.

He just couldn’t remember much of anything. His past was a hazy cloud where wisps of memories would appear and then suddenly vanish.

Other people asked him questions as well, but he didn’t respond to them. He would only speak to the doctor. The nurses and aides commented openly about him not liking them, but that was not the reason he only communicated with the doctor. The real reason was that the doctor was the first one he noticed that was—different.

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