As anticipated, Tuesday turned out to be a pretty busy day. Uncommon for this retiree. Knowing that I was to pick up LJ from surgery and attend to her $5 dog's need for the first part of the day, sleep came hard. Sadly, when you cannot sleep, it never come with an explanation. After taking something about 4 AM, I slept like a drugged baby until about 9:30, when I leaped out of bed thinking I'd slept through my responsibilities, but naught. I got a text message from the Lovely Jules, that the pup had been walked, fed and was good for several hours. I made coffee and began my leisurely morning.
At about 11:05, I was standing in my kitchen with 2 freshly cracked eggs in a frying pan and 2 slices of toast in the toaster, when my phone rang with an unknown number. I answered and the called asked if I were LJ's friend? I was going to say something like it depends what day of the week it is, but chose a simple, yes. It was Arrowhead Hospital calling to tell me she was ready! Shit, shit, shit! She told me about 2:30 and it was 3 1/2 hours early and I'm not showered or dressed or fed! Those were my thoughts, I replied, I can be there in about an hour. She said, okay, I'll just keep her until you get here and hung up. I scrambled the eggs in the frying pan, butter the toast when it popped up and started showering while still chewing. Got dressed for a long day and was at the hospital, that by the way was on the other side of town, all within 45 minutes.
LJ looked .............wounded. She had crazy eyes from anesthesia and absolutely no sense of humor. She started nodding out on the ride home. I arrived at her house and delicately helped her out of the car and got her inside, while she asked for ice water with plenty of ice. We got her settled in on her favorite couch and turned on the TV. We talked a little but LJ was wiped out and fell asleep, a good thing. I stayed about an hour and a half but I could sense that she really wanted to be alone.
Of all days for LJ to have this event scheduled, I had an old high school friend in town and had known of her presence for about 2 months. A girl that I had dated in high school was here for a wedding over the weekend and I was straining at the leash to see her. We were quite an item 45 years ago. I told LJ where I was to be and she was okay with me leaving her. I got into my car that was safely in Julie's garage hiding from the record breaking storm we had just experienced. Nice and dry I called Sherry, my friend from the past. I told her I should make it to old Scottsdale in about 30 minutes, not realizing how far it really was. About 40 minutes later, I entered the lobby of the Chaparral Suites and looked for Sherry. Nothing. I tried her cell as the desk clerk asked if he could help me? I gave him the one finger up, wait a minute, international sign. When Sherry answered I waved him off with yet another international sign. I told Sherry that I was in her lobby and she said she was too.
Sherry approached me while still chatting with me and I saw a girl from 45 years ago, with the maturity of a woman. Here is something that I don't remember. Sherry was about 4' 10" tall, that's all. She seemed like a midget. It was really freaky! It was as if we had been placed into a time machine and it was still 1965, but WE were aged 45 long years. We looked for a place to lite. Sherry suggested the hotel's coffee shop, but it was closed. We left the hotel and got into my car, looking for a coffee shop, or anywhere we could get an iced tea and sit. First stop was the Good Egg, but it was closed, who knew they stayed open until only 2? In the same little strip center, was a Cupcake shop. I looked at Sherry and said, WTF is a cupcake shop. She said, we'll see, won't we? We were the only people in the joint and I was worried they were closed too, but the high school girl that worked there, put down her cell phone long enough to ask what we wanted. We asked for 2 iced teas. Nope, no iced tea! The choice of drinks were Coke or Diet Coke? We ordered 2 diet Cokes and she said, $5. These were the cute 8 ou. plastic bottles. We sat and we talked for 4 hours. In all that time, only 2 other girls came in to buy a cupcake. How do they stay in business?
We talked about our lives and where they had taken us, Sherry was married and has been for 40 years. I went through me 3 wives and Sherry was a good listener. I was always fond of Sherry's parents. Her mother, a charming woman that seemed to like me too and her father, that was divorced from her mom. Her Dad was an immigrant from Poland and had a number tattooed onto his arm from the German concentration camp. I still remember the stories he would tell me, as a 18 year old boy. Henry, her father was way cool, but it turned out, not so good a father. Both of her parents are deceased now, as are mine.
Sherry and I had the distinct privilege of going on a honeymoon, along with a couple of friends of ours that got married. I thought it was quite romantic, but Sherry doesn't remember it that way. There goes another notch from my belt! We sat there in the cupcake shop watching a wonderful storm go through our valley, but to Sherry it was just rain. They get lots of that in Chicago.
I left Sherry about 6 PM and drove through our storm traffic all of the way home. I tried checking on LJ, but she didn't answer. I decided she was asleep and I was pretty right. I watched TV for a few hours and went to sleep about 11 PM, early for me. I was awakened about 3:30 AM for a reason I was not used to. I was freezing! That's right. It got so cold outside that the overhead fan was chilling me out. Now THAT'S something we haven't experienced here in the valley of the sun for a long, long time...
I just got an email from Sherry. It said, "Home safe and sound, 78 degrees in Chicago and sunny."....................... Hell, I doubt that!