Marrakech - Lily, a wife has moved to a nursing home to support her husband, Max, who is obviously drawing closer and closer to the end of his life after a stroke. The total dependence for the most intimate aspects of life is an emotional strain for her, an exacting experience. The loneliness can be overcome neither by the Bingo sessions nor by the dances organized by the home. The feeling is more intense after every visit of her daughter and grand children. Only the fish in the aquarium breathes life.
Marrakech – Lily, a wife has moved to a nursing home to support her husband, Max, who is obviously drawing closer and closer to the end of his life after a stroke. The total dependence for the most intimate aspects of life is an emotional strain for her, an exacting experience. The loneliness can be overcome neither by the Bingo sessions nor by the dances organized by the home. The feeling is more intense after every visit of her daughter and grand children. Only the fish in the aquarium breathes life.
The staff of the nursing home never came to help Lily push her bed close to her husband”s. Too heavy for her to do it alone. She takes good care of Max, requesting his opinion about which shirt to wear for which occasion, etc. Not that he was aware, cared or could react, but Lily must think that is her duty, the obligation of a good wife – or just a wife!
A man moves in the room next door. He plays the saxophone. She sees him sneaking in the kitchen in the night and took advantage of the situation to make the traditional birthday pie she made for her husband and which the staff of the home would not let her make for security reasons, she is told. He played the saxophone for the birthday and was introduced to the family. He proved very gallant, widely travelled and spoke of Paris, Venice and her gondolas with lots of romanticism. Very fast, the two became friends.
They talk about their experiences and the places they visited. They have laughs, Unlike Lily, he has never been married. Jokingly, he adds something to the effect that “one never knows how life will end” ! Lily was falling in love, was a bit jealous. She started to take care of herself, of her appearance, her make up and clothes.
One night, she burst in his room, jumps on him, kisses him, undresses him, he then undresses her. Suddenly, she has an excess feeling of shyness and perhaps guilt. That night, they stopped at hugging and kissing. Back in her room, she begged pardon from her sleeping husband.
They became lovers and got out of the closet. He promised to take her someday to Paris.
Lily discovered emotions and a passion she never had with her husband. On Christmas at her daughter’s, she tells her about her love affair. The daughter is mad and does not understand. She informs her mother that she cannot because, she, too, was not well. She forgot things and suffered from dementia. Obviously, Lily does not believe it.
Lily spends New Year’s Eve with the man at the nursing home, had a lot of fun, danced, drank and kissed in front of everyone. “The hell with them” he said. They are out of the closet!
She invites him to a summer house which, it turns out she had sold several months earlier. She had forgotten that completely. It was quite a blow for her. Her visit to the doctor and the tests she took confirmed the diagnosis for her. Indicators that she was having dementia were positive.
As she watches how an old lady with dementia behaves, she decides to profit from the time she has left with relative sanity to do what she had always wanted to do. She buys tow tickets for Paris. Her daughter hears about it and tries, in vain, to stop her. She forgets where tickets were and asks her lover to help her find them. He, however, turns down her invitation. He is too old, he argued. She packs for the trip and finds him in the lobby of the nursing home. He is not ready to go. She has a fit and beat him. She is admitted to hospital. When released, Lily finds her husband had passed away in the night. She is in pain and sobs at the funeral as gasket is closed.
The departure of her husband leaves her without the solid attach she had relied on for decades. She is frightened and feels vulnerable. She asks to live with her daughter but the plea is not as welcome as she would have expected. The daughter needed time to think it over and to discuss it with her husband and children. One way of saying no.
Back at the hospital, Lily gets rid of her husband’s clothes. Sinatra is singing “I love Paris because my love is near …”. She breaks the aquarium, the music stops, she cries. She takes a walk along the lake and gets lost until she’s found late in the night and brought back to the nursing home. She shuns her lover and would not talk to him, she would not open her door to him.
When she finally lets him in, he declares love to her. “If you really love me, get me out of here.” She packs. He helps her through the kitchen backdoor, puts her in the elevator and sees her off. She needed to go to Paris. She forgets her luggage in the corridor, gets in a cab for the airport, gets off it after a short drive and gets back to the nursing home and her lover. They push the beds close to one another and giggle at the sight of their feet.