There was the time mom spent the afternoon in the hospital with me. On the way over, she'd told a story about a college friend. The friend's name was Tuesday, and she had driven a Karmann Ghia in college. Years later, during a poorly connected phone call, Tuesday had tried to tell my mother something important. The call was unsuccessful in that respect as well, and the two hadn't spoken since. When she'd finished talking, mom'd said, "It's a terrible story to tell, I suppose."

Down the hall from the room we were in, a man groaned loudly. I could not tell if he groaned in pain or effort. I pictured a large monkey, grunting and thrusting bent fingures one way or another, trying to get a bit of food. The nurse asked if my mother wanted any coffee; she did not. As a machine took my blood pressure on the half-hour, mom wondered aloud, "...what they're doing to that guy." I shrugged. Later, in the car, she mused about getting in touch with Tuesday again. Her cellphone rang as I thought, "Today's Tuesday." She answered the call,



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