“It’s terrible when you pick up a bug when traveling,” Maga said. “When you’re out and about and meeting people.”

“I actually feel mostly fine now. I just sound terrible.”

“You sound okay on the phone.”

“That’s probably because my voice is deeper and you can hear this register more easily than my normal voice.”

“I suppose that’s true.”

“Hey, did you watch any of the women’s world cup final?”

“Is that soccer?”

“Yes. I’m guessing you didn’t watch it?”

“When is it?”

“It was Sunday.”

“This Sunday or it already happened Sunday?”

“It was yesterday.”

“Who played?”

“The whole world.”

“Who won?”

“THE US!!!” My voice broke and scratched and lost all noise.

“What an athletic world we live in.”

“Oh, hey, Wimbledon started. Have you watched any of that?”

“It’s on now?”

“Well, not right now.”

“What TV station is on?”

“I’m not sure. I don’t have the TV on. And it’s not on right now. It’s super late night there.”

“Oh, yes. When we’re in bed sleeping, they’ll start playing again.”

“You got it.”

We transferred to upcoming travel plans, some of which involve seeing her. The details were explained and spelled out, as her memory became less crisp.

“Is Abby coming?” Maga asked.

*pause* “I’m Abby.”

*pause* “Oh, why yes you are. I’m a bit addled this evening.”

“It happens. It’s nothing to be worried about.”

“I meant is [Sister E] coming too?”

“She is.”

“I’m so lucky you’ll be here. I’ve been here such a long time.”

“That you have.”

“Let’s see. Jobo got the job in two thousand fifteen.”

“Umm, that was four years ago…” Laughter started to fizzle.

Maga chuckled nervously. “Maybe it was one thousand fifteen?”

And then it bubbled over (albeit silently due to this weird bout of laryngitis), but apparently Maga could hear it because she let loose her own peal of laughter. “Oh dear I am all foozledee and mixed up this evening.”

“That’s how I always feel when attempting math. Let’s just agree that you’ve lived there for a wonderful lifetime.”

Sometimes math carries all the answers and weight, but sometimes words do it instead.

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