11.4.16

After missing two Tuesday calls due to international travel, I made sure to call Maga as soon as I returned, even though it was a Friday.

“Hi, Maga. It’s Abby.”

“Oh, Abby dear. Hello! We were just leaving for dinner. We’re late. I mean it’s not late. It’s early for dinner, but we’re late. Could you call back in one hour?”

I cast a wary eye on the clock. I’d gone to bed at 3am London time, woken up at 5am London time, flown for 7 hours with 1.5 hour subway trips on both ends of the flight, and it felt like 11pm, though it was 7pm EST. “Sure,” I said. “I’ll call back in an hour.”

One hour later.

“Tell me all about the trip. Did you take many pictures?”

“You know,” I said, “I really didn’t.”

“Why not?”

“I guess I was too busy just enjoying being in the moment and chit chatting with friends. I’d seen all the touristy buildings before and I know what my face looks like, so I just used my eyes to drink it all in.”

“Are you going to make an album?”

“No. The pictures are just on my phone. I can look at them whenever I want.”

“I hope you’ll bring that phone with the camera on it with you the next time you visit because I’d love to see what you were up to and what you were doing.”

“I sure will.”

“Where did you stay in London?”

“With my friend A.”

“Is she from there?”

“No. She’s Bulgarian.”

“Bulgarian? Oh, how interesting! How do you know her?”

“We used to work together.”

“At one of your publishing jobs?”

“Yes, at my current one.”

“Well she’s certainly very worldly.”

“Yes, she is very accomplished.”

“And do you have to go to work tomorrow?”

“No, tomorrow is Saturday, so fortunately I don’t have to go in.”

“Oh, lovely. You can catch up with yourself before work on Monday.”

And that’s the exact right description of jet lag. One version of myself in one time zone and another version in a different time zone and me trying to juggle them both.

Her physical therapist came in and so we had to end our call early because now it was Maga’s time to juggle two versions of herself: one 95.5 year old recovering from a variety of illnesses and one 95.5 year old who still wants to see the world.

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