Friday, April 06, 2007

30 posts in 30 days, day 3: three minute mystery

Taking Dreama's suggestion from the last post, I ended up doing a reverse phone number search on Elena's number. (I didn't try it before because I thought that only worked for land lines, not cell phones. Who knew? All of us now, I guess.) This yielded her cellular carrier (Sprint) and the fact that the number was registered to a person in New York, NY. For $15 more, I could obtain the name and address of said person. I started to proceed with the search, but then stopped. It had been three months. Wasn't it possible that Elena's account had been closed, and the phone number reassigned to someone else? Did I want to spend $15 looking up the address of some random person with a new cell phone? Or should I make sure first that the cell phone number was still registered in Elena's name?

I decided that I should call the number one more time, just to make sure that Elena's voice mail message was still on. If not, well, at least I could still call Sprint and see if I could get the old billing information for that number or some such thing. (My days as a Peds resident spending endless hours on the phone with Medicaid and various social work offices were finally paying off.) I called the number, and as it had the past ten-or-so times I called, it rang and rang. I waited for the voicemail to kick in. But this time it didn't. This time Elena picked up the phone.


"Hello? Elena?"

Upon hearing me say her name, Joe spun around in his seat. "WHAT?"

So it was the "best case scenario" after all, in that Elena is fine, and healthy, and most importantly, alive. But I now feel terrible having said yesterday that the "best case scenario" was a family emergency that took her unexpectedly out of town. There was indeed a emergency, down in Florida, where some of her family lives. Several people were in an accident, one was badly injured, and one died. Elena had been down there for two months dealing with things, and was just back in New York briefly tying up her affairs and getting ready to move down South to be with her family. She was leaving for good in a week.

She apologized again and again for not having called us. She said that she had left her cell phone with some friends, who were entrusted with fielding her calls and telling her various contacts what had happened and where she was. Joe thought it was strange that she left her cell phone here instead of taking it with her to Florida, but I suspect it may have had to do with not wanting to pay the roaming charges that may have been incurred by taking the phone out of the immediate network. But I guess those friends didn't really do their job very well, because in all the times I called, I never reached a live person on the other line, nor were any of my messages returned. Elena was chagrined to hear this. She apologized again, and I told her not to worry about it.

She asked about Cal. I gave her an update. She said she missed him. I told her that if she wanted, she could come by to visit him and say goodbye before she left New York. She said that she would like that, and said that she would call and try to come by sometime next week. I told her to call us if she needed anything. We hung up.

So that's what happened. After all that, all I had to do was call her damn cell phone number again. It's a relief to finally know what happened, and hopefully, we'll see her again. I'm happy that she's OK (and frankly glad to be absolved of the guilt of should we have done more, and very glad that I didn't flip out and call the police early on in the "disappearance,"--that's probably the last thing she needed at that point), but sad that she's been going through so much.

Now to solve the mystery of the crooked banister. Somehow, I suspect there is a robot involved.

Currently reading: The latest "New Yorker." Cal joined this new indoor playground in our neighborhood, and we've been going quite a lot because the weather has been terrible for outdoor play as of late. So we go and he plays for an hour or two, and I sit there and watch him. Which is fun, sort of, but he is 20 months old and I am 28 years old, so the intricacies of trying to stack Duplo blocks sort of wear thin after the first 30 minutes. So I thought maybe I should bring a magazine. I figured that perhaps it would be frowned upon to read a magazine at the play place, because all the other moms are all ATTUNED to their kids and ENGAGED and probably teaching them French at the same time, but I figured that if I was sitting right next to Cal while reading it, making sure he wasn't getting involved in any toddler gang violence, it would be OK. Also, I figured that if I was reading "The New Yorker," it would be more OK than if I was reading "Us Weekly" or the like (though really, I wanted to read "Us Weekly") because "The New Yorker" is HIGHBROW.

(Well, all this rationalization and planning was for naught anyway, because I didn't get to read my magazine at all. Instead I built a little Duplo fort.)