Intermission: Left without my own devices in the waiting room

In this column, I discuss my break from a trusted work companion:

This week, I underwent a uniquely stressful and anxiety-producing experience: I delivered a beloved work colleague, friend and entertainment companion to a place where she could receive specialized treatment.

Standing in line, waiting to check her in at the facility, I imagined how I would get along during her operation. How would I manage without her assistance with my work? Without her recommendations for movies or podcasts?

I paused to consider how I had taken her for granted. I rely on her for so much of my life — it’s amazing how only in certain moments do we really stop and consider the others who mean so much to us. My ability to work — and entertain myself — would completely halt in her absence.

In so many ways, I realized in that moment, she is my lifeline. I wondered how long the operation would take, and so when it was our turn to be checked in, I asked a worker — a so-called “genius.” He had dealt with patients like us all morning, but he was trying to put on a friendly face. He said the procedure should take about two hours.

My colleague is smarter than me. She executes hundreds of tasks a day for me, and she barely even sleeps — in fact, when she does need to sleep, it’s usually because I have failed to give her the attention she needs. Now, it was my own endless demands on her — over years — that had finally caused her to need the treatment I was leaving her now to receive.

Two hours. Could I live that long?

When I arrived at the facility to pick her up, I was relieved that she was now OK. I was then met with the bill for the procedure: $29, plus tax. For the care my colleague received, it was worth every penny.

A new battery truly makes an iPhone feel brand new.

Moments before the worker had told me I would be without my phone for two hours, I panicked. I frantically opened my Messages app to text my wife, Katie, to alert her that my phone would be off for the longest stretch it ever had been — and to tell her I loved her, and possibly goodbye. Anything could have happened to me in those two hours.

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I produced a story by Meg Walter in this episode of the "Strangerville" podcast:

Last week was Duncan's adoption day (how has it been a year already omg you people are getting so old). I totally forgot about it because I was in the process of working eleventy million hours so it was really bad timing for a milestone.

Then Matt texted me and was like "if you loved Duncan you would invite me and Ollie over for dinner tonight and throw a huge party and feed us" and I would have been annoyed with Matt's attempts to manipulate me if I wasn't already in the middle of drafting a text to him that said "what time did you say you were coming over tonight to install all of the baseboards in my basement" despite the fact that he definitely never agreed to do that.

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