“I just got back from dinner and I’m munching on a cookie,” Maga said.

“What flavor?”

“Chocolate chip.”

“The best flavor.”

“Oh dear.”

“What? What’s wrong, Maga?”

She mumbled something about votes. I could hear the TV… “Are you watching politics?” I asked.

“Yes. Bernie Sanders. Do you know him?”

“I know of him, yes, but I don’t know him personally.”

“Oh dear.”

“What’s up?” My response was, admittedly, less spooked.

“What am I going to take to help me sleep tonight?”

“What do you usually take?”

“Well,” she paused, “a couple of things.”

“Hmm, well, the good thing is that it’s still early, so you’ve got some time to watch tv and relax and get sleepy.”

“What do you do when you can’t sleep?”

“I read. Count my blessings.”


“Well, it’s better than counting sheep. Another thing you could try is to count backwards from 10,000.”

“What?!” Maga fairly screeched it. “Did you say 10,000?”

“I did and you should try it.”



“How long does that take you?”

“Oh, I don’t get very far! That’s kind of the point, I think. It’s a fairly easy task, so it won’t keep you awake in the attempt, but it’s something to keep your mind occupied instead of worries stacked up from the day.”

Maga continued munching on her cookie. I wished I was doing the same. I didn’t have anything exciting to report and she couldn’t seem to gather her thoughts or keep her attention on what I was saying and yet she didn’t want to end the conversation and yet it was difficult for me to parse through her scrambled thoughts.

The push and pull of a generationally and geographically long distance relationship.


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