On Evening Conversations

My grandmother was taking a nap. Dinner was ready. I needed to wake her.

She was on the couch. I shook her foot, and she let out a ooh! of surprise. “Dinner’s ready,” I said.

“You mean breakfast,” she said.

“No, dinner.”

“It’s dark,” she said.

“Of course it’s dark. It’s dinner time.”

“We just had dinner.”

“No, we had dinner yesterday. It’s time for dinner now.”

“I want breakfast.”

“We had breakfast this morning.”

“No we didn’t.”

“You had pancakes.”

“Oh, yes, I did.”

“It’s dinnertime,” I said. “Get up.”

She got up. She ate dinner. Spaghetti. She didn’t eat much of it.

At least she made it through dinner without asking where the street light is, oh, a half-dozen times. Strangely, she didn’t ask once.

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