It wasn’t even 8 p.m. when I videoconferenced her, and I saw that she was already wearing her nightgown and was already in bed. «Mom, what happened that you are already down for the day?» And she answered, «The evening passed so slowly. It seemed so long that I went to bed for a change of scene.»
The pandemic changed her simple routine and deprived her of her evening activities. And since I returned to New York, I always call her at about six o’clock in the evening for her because I take advantage of the time difference to «have company» for lunch. And my call tends to be long because the two of us can be silent during several minutes, and simply with that, we keep each other company. And in a way, my call breaks the tedium of us both–it divides her evening in two, and it makes me have lunch always at the same time.
But I was stuck today. Despite the clear sky and the fact that the sun shone with energy, I could not turn away that gray cloud that sometimes settles in my thoughts. When I feel in such a way, I prefer not speaking with her until the feeling passes because feelings are quite contagious. So I did not call her until eight, and it was when I saw her in bed and when she said, «the evening seemed so long…»
And then we began talking of nothing in particular for two hours despite the fact that neither of us had anything to say. And because she has a television in her room, she sometimes says, «hush, hush…» and after a moment of silence, she asks me something about what she has just heard: «Did you know that…?» And I, sitting at my table, use the time to dust the library before me, reorganize my papers, and look through my window while we talk of nothing. And so, being alone together, the gray cloud left me.