“I think it’s one of my granddaughters,” Maga said, her voice progressively getting louder as the telephone was handed to her. “Hello?”

“Hi, Maga. It’s Abby.”

“Hi, Abby dear. How did we start this conversation tonight?”

“I called you.”

“What day is today?”


“Do you normally call on Tuesdays?”

“I do.”

“Oh, I didn’t remember that.”

“That’s okay. Your memory’s not as young as it once was. It’s 99!”

“I’m ninety…” her voice trailed off as she contemplated how old she was. “I’ll be 99?”

“You already are.”

“I’ll be 100? When’s my birthday?”


“Where are you?”

“My apartment.”

“Who’s with you?”

“No one.”

“I mean who’s visiting you?”

“No one’s allowed to visit right now.”

“What did you do today,” she asked in what was beginning to feel like an interrogation.

“Worked. Ate food. Walked. Boring,” I said.


“I did some work. Made some meals for myself.”

“You cooked for your son?”


“Do you have any children?”


“No girls or boys?”

“No. Do you have any children?” I asked, testing this wobbly memory of hers.

“Yes. 4.”

She was quiet. Was it my turn to interrogate her? She sighed, long and low.

“What’s up?” I said.

“I’m trying to think what’s up.”

“What did you have for dinner?” It’s easiest if I stick to the present.

“Chicken and, hmm, what else was on that plate?”

“What it good?”

“It was edible.”

That was a good way to describe this Tuesday. It was there. It happened. Nothing notable. Nothing terrible. And sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

“Well, Maga. I’m going to let you go,” I said after she’d given me the play by play of the geico commerical, the all state commercial, and the tennis match she had on.

“Until next Tuesday,” she said.

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