But we have less and less in the way of conversation these days. She cautiously asks me how "work" is going, and I can tell she's feeling her way through a dark cave. In pity for her I decide not to be a jagged rock wall and tell her that work is going fine. In turn, she has no news to report, even though I know they had a comedy troupe visit them only today in the run-up to a national day of charity fund-raising.
In the couple of hours I'm there, she only needs the toilet once, which I take as a sign that she is less nervous around me tonight. I watch her glide off slowly down the corridor to her room, standing ramrod straight with the frame before her - as if she's holding onto the rail of a launch which is ferrying her across the Grand Canal.
I count her steps - at every 6th or 7th step she will hesitate, as if suddenly she can't recall how to move her legs.