SS: Hello? Duane?

GK: Hi Mom.

SS: I just called to tell you not to worry, Duane. I'm okay. The tests came out just fine. So don't worry. How are you?

GK: Tests? What tests?

SS: I said I'm fine, so don't worry. You staying warm in this cold snap?

GK: Tests for what?

SS: It doesn't matter. I'm fine. I hope you're wearing that winter coat I gave you. Unless maybe it's too small for you now......

GK: Just tell me what tests-----

SS: I don't want to talk about it. Okay? It's over and done and I've moved on. I just want you to know that if they're wrong and I croak, I want you to be sure to play Neil Diamond at the funeral. Okay? Promise?

GK: Mom, just tell me what tests. Tests for what?

SS: And now I've gone and gotten you all riled up and I'm sorry, I just wanted you to know that I'm okay. Okay?

GK: Okay. I won't ask. You don't want me to know, I won't ask.

SS: Good. So how are you? Staying indoors, I hope. Using your sun lamp?

GK: I'm fine.

SS: Cause you know what happens when you hole up in the dark, you get all moody and cranky. Don't want that, do we. I saw your pictures from San Francisco on Facebook. So lucky for you to be out there in the sunshine, and miss out on our polar vortex --- your dad went out and shovelled the driveway and the neighbor's driveway and it was so dang cold, his family jewels retracted up into his abdomen like landing gear and still haven't descended, I tell you, it's something----

GK: Mom, please.

SS: And there you were eating lunch outdoors with that young woman, what's her name? Sheila?

GK: Sharon.

SS: Oh. Right. She pay her own way or did you treat?

GK: We used mileage, Mom.

SS: Yeah, well she looks like she's got plenty of mileage. I thought I saw a big tattoo on her upper butt. No?

GK: I don't know.

SS: Oh "I don't know" ---- ha. Listen to him. "I don't know."

GK: I don't. She tries to stay out of bright light.

SS: Yeah, so would I if I were 55 trying to be thirty.

GK: Mom----

SS: It looked like some sort of Satanic cult type of tattoo if you ask me which you didn't so never mind. Anyway I hope she isn't getting in the way of you finishing your book. She looks like a distraction.

GK: Mom, she wants me to finish it just as much as you do.

SS: Yeah, well, before she gets her hopes up too high, tell her to take a sip outa my glass. She's in for a rude awakening. I was hoping that before I keel over, you'd be a published author. I could go around to other patients in the Memory Unit and I'd say, (WEEPY) Look. My son wrote a book. A big book. All those words. He wrote them. The fruit of my loins. That horrible night fifty years ago.

GK: Mom.

SS: When you were born the doctors wanted pictures of your head for the medical archives. Anyway, the tests came out okay. I don't have that---- what's the name of it?

GK: The name of what?

SS: You know---- what am I talking about?

GK: I have no idea.

SS: Help me out, Duane. You're the writer. What's the word?

GK: Dementia?

SS: Dementia. I don't have it yet.

GK: Well, what made you think you did?

SS: I was carrying saltines in my purse.

GK: So?

SS: Quite a few saltines, and they'd been there for a long time. So your father squealed on me and they put me through some tests. Speaking of whom---- Here talk to your father. Hank! Come take the phone. It's your son. He's back from California. (FUMBLING, MUMBLIN)

TR: Hello?

GK: Hi dad.

TR: Hi son.

GK: So, it's cold there?

TR: Yup.

GK: You were out shoveling?

TR: For a while.

GK: How'd it go.

TR: I got pretty cold.

GK: Yea? Mom said that your----

TR: I know. I heard it.

GK: You okay?

TR: Hope so. I'll look later and call ya.

GK: However it works out, dad.

TR: Yup. Well I'll give you back to your mother here.

GK: Ok. Bye dad.

SS: Give me the phone, Hank and go sit on the heating pad. Duane, honey are you still there?

GK: Yes, mom I'm here.

SS: Look, I won't keep you honey I know you're busy. Cause you put me on speakerphone. So you're texting a girl, aren't you.

GK: I am not.

SS: Duane, I am your mother, I know these things. You are texting a girl.

GK: I was texting before but I'm not now.

SS; Your mother calls and wishes you would come over for supper and you put her on speaker phone so you can whisper to some tramp----

GK: Mom ...

SS: What?

GK: Mom ...I can't come to supper. I have other plans.

SS: Duane, when the doctor told me I was pregnant, I did not say, "Oh I have other plans." No, Duane. I saw it through to the bitter end. When I gave birth to you, Duane, your head ---- I didn't have an epidural or even Novocain, Duane ... The anaesthesiologist was on sick-leave. They had to give me a broom handle to bite on like it was the Middle Ages. And ice, Duane. ICE! And that's all I see everywhere I look, Duane ice, ice, ice, ice, and MORE ICE! I look out the window and I feel pain. Forty-seven hours. (WEEPING)

GK: Mom, please. Mom? Mom, I can come over tomorrow night.

SS: Ok, but only if you're sure, Duane.

GK: I'm sure.

SS: You want to come for dinner?

GK: Okay. At seven?

SS: At six.

GK: Fine, sure.

SS: You don't sound excited, Duane.

GK: I am working up to it, Mom.

SS: Good. See you tomorrow.

GK: Yeah. Love you, too.

SS: Bye now.

GK: Bye, Mom.