Jeb McKinney sat in the bathtub. His wrinkled, withered body was being washed by his oldest, Sandy. He stared at the granite wall as his daughter lifted his arm, scrubbed, put down his arm, lifted the other, scrubbed, put that one down, too, and continued in this fashion until they were finished.
Sometimes, though, thankfully not this morning, Jeb would get confused, frightened and embarrassed all at once. He couldn’t possibly lash out at his daughter—the thought could never cross the tender man’s mind. He had always been a sweet, considerate soul—Sandy had loved him for this since the day she was born—but in more trying moments he would be brash, boorish and unhinged, flailing about the room, making a fuss and yelling as loud as he could “Why?! Why do I have to bathe, damn it? Just let it be, if I can’t do it myself, there’s no use! I don’t smell anything! To hell with the others who can! I think I smell fine! No, no need to go out if I have to bathe first…To hell with the grocery store, the doctor and the rest!”