The first time it happened, that she noticed at any rate, it was about her son. But she'd seen it happen with others. On the moment of delivery of terrible, awful, potentially life-changing news, a sudden pause. Then she noticed the sound, a sort of dramatic drumbeat. Then blackness, and quickly, life would resume the ramifications of whatever being said played out again until an equally dramatic moment.
It had gone on for years, but, for Dot Cotten, this is how life was.