Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Personal Day!

I was dragging. It was as if no amount of sleep could ever be enough. Monday two weeks ago, it was a slow start to my day. Very slow. I had an appointment at noon in Topeka, and I just couldn't seem to get going.

Then the phone rang.
"Sophia, I'm on my way over to Nieman."
My friend Cindy. Ben calls her "Strap-on Cindy." She's beautiful, energetic, and somewhat confused. Today she was overwhelmed as well.
"Cindy, I'm already late, I'm on my way out the door."
"Sophia, please just go in to the office and get my records. Scott (the apartment manager) hates me. I'm trying to prove residency for Missouri plates."
Cindy used to live at Nieman, and left on bad terms because her dog Tucker, peed all over the carpet. After a quick heart to heart about accountability, she admitted the dog had in fact made quite the stinky mess, and that they did have a right to be upset. I really like our apartment management, so that was important. She apologized, when she got there to Dayna. Scott wasn't working.

Unfortunately, the records were no where.
"I have had two meltdowns today."
Cindy pulled out 4 pages of instructions from different courthouses, she'd had to visit to get the proper documentation for the plates. A four course meal if you will?
"Hey do they require a rectal exam, too?"
Cindy didn't think it was funny.
"That would probably feel better, and less time consuming. Seriously Sophia, I've taken a personal day because this is impossible." And here comes meltdown number three. I went to college with a friend who used to say "sometimes tears are your only defense." The release didn't seem to be making Cindy feel better.
"I'm just going to call KCPL."
"You can get it online," Dayna, the property manager offers a voice of reason.
I cancel my appointment in Topeka.

I want to emphasize again how tough Cindy is on a regular basis. She tears around all day like a white tornado with relentless energy. She volunteers. She helps her sisters who both have kids. She's watched Puccini, a lot. Today it was clear she needed an emotional boost from me. Borrowed energy. Kind of funny, considering my near narcoleptic state, but I rallied.

"Cindy, let's just go over to the apartment and use my computer."
Over at the apartment, her phone rings.
"Oh my gosh, it's KCPL.. they are CALLING ME."
She gets the necessary info and has it faxed to the Nieman office. Again, it was important she mended that creaky bridge.
"I want a beer! " Cindy's been over before and knows there are 3 beers on tap. She just loves Ben and his homebrew.
"There's some in the regular fridge, Cindy, but we drank the rest. There are two in secondary in the spare room." (yeah so much for office space, we have a nano-brewery in our spare room. Smells better than company, and makes a lot less noise.)
"where's Ben? The hottest man alive. A good match for you, Sophia."
"In Texas, he'll carbonate the Brown when he gets back. Go grab a bottle of Single Wide."
She settled in with some hummous and sirachi instead, while I did an errrand. After all it was a personal day.
"Will you go with me downtown to finish this? I'll take you to lunch and for beers."
I agreed to the errands and food.
"I promised Debbie I'd run Kill Creek later, so I can't drink."
We went to the post office and mailed Trail Nerd T-shirts.
We went to Pet Smart for food and to get our pups nails trimmed.
But things were not running smoothly there. Worried that leaving the dogs there could mean death or permanent maiming, we nixed that, and got them to the dog park later.

My phone rang.
"Sophia, it's Debbie. Do you want to run Rockin K on Saturday? It's full but Julie dropped and you can have her spot."
Rockin K is a very difficult marathon. I am grossly undertrained. I don't hesitate.
"Hell yes! It's our marathon annifuckinversary!!!"
About a year ago, we bonded running Boston together.
"Cindy, I'm not running tonight."
"PERSONAL DAY!" in unison. We high five, and crank up the tunes.
We went to Mc Coys and met up with Keith the brewer. His wife just had a little girl, Josie, and at 4 weeks premie (although a healthy 5 pounds 9 oz.) and was still in the hospital.
I chatted on the phone with one of Cindy's friends. The young lady said she was "dating," Cindy. I played it cool.
We sampled 6 of Keith's beers (mmm I love the IPA), 2 mixed drinks and nachos.
The dogs hung out in the car.
Dog park.
Our next culinary/lubricating stop, Japan. Sushi with Cindy's "boyfriend." They held hands, and exchanged an awkward hug.
Plaza next. We met up with some of her other friends. We chatted outside on the patio. The weather was perfect for our personal day.
We were hungry again.
Baby burger. I wanted baby burgers.
"I'm sorry miss, we don't have them."
"Well could you cut my burger in triangles? It's so much more cheerful."
It arrived in triangles. Presentation is so important!
We hit I-Hop on the way home. Extra bacon for the dogs. They were still in the car!

Cindy has been a real rock of support for me, in a way I very much needed over the past 9 months. In August, I wrote a blog called "Shattered," about my crushed and scattered heart. She picked up the fun piece and took care of it. Today, I got it back, and I paid her back in spades. It was Funday Monday. Yeah, so much for crappy Mondays.

Debbie's been holding a couple pieces, too. Hope being the biggie. Determination, not bad either. Remember her call? She wanted a friend for a tough marathon. Good time to pay her back. (Race report to follow.)

I don't have children, my brother lives in New York, and my parents don't visit too much. So my friends are my family.

Like Cindy, I had to take a personal day last October. I had gotten a hostile, hateful facebook message. I went home and my phone started ringing. My friends were reaching out, because they'd heard I was having "mascara issues," at work. S.O.S. "Save Our Sophia."

However, I made one call to my friend and former photographer, Colton. We have a special connection, not just because of work, but because we both worked in State College, Pa. We have a lot of friends in common. I'm the only person he trusts with his beloved dog, Montana. At this point, for me, he was the only person who could give the emotional support I needed. He was there for me and understood.

Back to the present... well sort of. Two weeks ago Ben and I were brewing his Uber Saison. It's always a jolly experience. I cooked brats in beer (So delicious) and some of our friends came over.

The phone rang. Colton. Hmmm.. he works on Saturday.
"Hey Colton are you off? Come over, Ben's brewing!"
"Um, Sophia I'm in the hospital."
My heart stopped. Colton has an extremely rare form of hemophilia. Only 300 in the world and most are in India.
"Do you need blood?"
Ok. A little dramatic, he was in the hospital, but on a serious note, I was ready, if that's what he needed.
"No, but I have to be here for at least 2 days. Could you take care of Montana?"
I went to the hospital, got the key and brought the dog back to our apartment.
I've watched her a lot, but it was clear she knew something was wrong this time. She sat by the door a lot.
The phone rang the next night.
"Oh Sophia, it's Danielle, you have no idea what I went through to get your number."
Colton's girlfriend explained his phone had died in the hospital (don't tell hippa) and that she'd had to scour his old bill to find my number. I've had 5 numbers this year, and she had an old one.
"Can you pick me up at the airport? This is just so hard. We don't have any family in Kansas."
"Yes you do Danielle. I'm your family. Don't ever hesitate to call."



Paybacks, oh yes, paybacks are Heaven.

Muddy Hugs,


Lee said...

If you guys need any help drinking that beer, my number is

sophianchor said...

You are always welcome Lee! We're brewing again this weekend. You running Free State?

Lee said...

yep, middle distance version and excited about seeing everyone.