Phone conversations with Mum are increasingly bringing to mind the Turing test.
Her conversation is plausible on the surface, but after a few exchanges I'm aware that Mum's responses are generic fragments of her former speech, crusts of old sentences tossed into the mix, comments that would imply credibility were it not so easy to spot the prompts in my news that have triggered each facsimile phrase. There are so few of them that it's easy to anticipate what's coming up next.
There is no familial nourishment in these conversations, no sense that I am communicating with another soul. Her larder is quickly emptied of stock expressions and Mum ends the call or suggests that I talk to a member of staff. It's almost as if Mum is conscious that she's taking a test and wants to keep it short to avoid exposure. I'm left feeling that I've missed a connection.