Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Conversation Circles

A call to my parents last year.

My father answered.
"Ok I want to tell you what happened."
"The washing machine broke."
"Oh," I said, "How is mom doing, how is her foot."
He handed the phone to my mom to talk.
"Hello," she said.
"Hello how are you doing? How is your foot?"
According to what she told her cousin that had recently been in town, she was incapacitated  and unable to walk.
"I'm doing OK."
"Wow it was quite an event, that your cousin called you."
"Yes it was," she said.
"Do you have any idea why? What motivated him to just call you out of the blue?"
According to her cousin, he was in town so he had hoped they could get together.
"I don't know," she said, "I don't have any idea why he called now."
"Ok," I said, "well you took quite a spill sometime back. How is your foot doing?"
"All right, it hurts a bit."
"Did the doctor suggest to do anything special, like, uh, an operation?"
She had told her cousin when he called that she should have an operation, but didn't want to.
"No, just exercise."
"Oh, good, and you are exercising," I asked.
"Well I go for walks."
"That's what the doctor said to do?"
"I don't know," she said.
"What do you do? The doctor must have given some instructions right?"
"Well, I guess so, I just can't remember."
"Surely he must have written it down."
"Yes, he did."
"So did you read the doctor's instructions?"
"Why not?"
"I don't want to."
"Don't you want to get better?"
"Yes, that's why I tell your father to take me to a health club, so I can workout there."
"And he doesn't take you?"
"That's right."
"Well do you want me to talk to him?"
She hands the phone to my father.
"Mom says she wants to go to a health club."
"This is the first I've heard of this."
"She has fantasies," he said, "now let me tell you about what happened to the washing machine."
He proceeded to describe how their 6 year old washing machine broke down. They got a quote from the repairman for $800 to fix it.
But, he found a deal on a new washing machine for $1100, which he took. "And I bought a five year warranty!"
"Great," I said, "so do you think Mom's foot will be ok?"
"I don't know, talk to her."
The conversation just went in circles, without anyone really connecting.

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