You have completely lost me, John.  What the heck are you asking?

$ calls public method "foo" on the object referenced by $obj.

$.foo      shorthand for calling "foo" on self (in scalar context).

As I understand it, although I could be confused, these have
absolutely nothing to do with whether or not there's a private "foo"
attr, other than the convenience of being able to declare that the
public "foo" method is actually an accessor for a private "foo" attr
via the "has" syntax.

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