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"Say ... Joel ..."

That's how Sammy started the phone call he made tonight. No, hello ... or how are you ... or I just got your message. No, just, "Say ... Joel ..."

"Hi dad. I just called you ... did you get my message?"

The television is turned up so loud in the background I could hardly hear him. "Say ... Joel ... did you get my message?"

"No ... I just asked you ..."

"I got a hearing aid. Aren't you proud of me?"

"That's great ... are you wearing it? Because  I can't hear you with the TV so loud."

"I put it on in the morning and I take it off at night."

"Dad ... turn down the TV ..."

"What's that? Yeah, at first there was a lot of static you know ..."

"Dad ... I can't hear you ... PLEASE turn down the TV."

"I don't mind them at all. I can hear fine now."


"I'm watching television now. I can hear it great."

"I give up."

"Tomorrow .... did you say? We going to breakfast?"

"No ... I just called you to tell you we were back in town. You wanted me to call ..."

"Downtown? We are going downtown?"

"No ... no ... I just ..."

"Well. I just called to see how you were and to tell you how I'm doing with this hearing aid."

"Dad ..."

"You take care too."

I stared at my phone as he hung up.


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