Home Country: Now And Then

Home Country
It’s Tuesday afternoon at two, which means Clarice Devon is on her way to the Curl Up ‘N Dye beauty salon. It’s like the sun coming up or the price of bread increasing. Tuesday. Two. Clarice.
“Clarice!” yells Fran. “Ready to be beautiful?”
“Sure,” she said. “I like attempting the impossible.”
Clarice Devon is one of our angels. She’s one of the few people in town who will tolerate old people and shut ins, and she not only takes care of them, but seems to relish it as well.
During the rinse, Fran asks her if she’s the one taking care of Mr. Gavin since his stroke. Clarice nods.
“So what’s he like to work with these days?”
“It’s a now-and-then situation,” Clarice says. “You know … now and then?”
“I don’t understand. You mean it’s part time?”
“Nope. Full time. But it’s now and then.”
Fran looked puzzled.
Clarice laughed. “It’s like this,” she said, imitating old Mr. Gavin’s voice.
“Now, when you finish getting me my tea, I’d like a custard, but I’d like it in a glass bowl. A small glass bowl. Then I want you to call and see if my pills are ready. Now if they are, could you pick them up? Then, while you’re there, I want to try that toothpaste they talk about on television.”
Fran laughed. “Now and then, huh?”
“Now and then,” Clarice said, smiling as she was attacked by curlers.