I had some great visitors at the hospital. It's funny because at first I didn't even want my parents to see me, let alone people from high school or places I worked at in Charlottesville. I'm so glad I lightened up because the hospital is indeed a lonely place. I told Ethan one day I really needed him to show up at the time he specified instead of later because I wanted someone to walk in my room who I actually knew. I told him: "you know all I do is watch the clock and when 9am comes and goes I just feel forgotten, except by doctors, residents, interns, and fellows". But don't get me wrong, Ethan was there for me, ten-fold after that, bringing wonderful coffee from Higher Grounds (our fave place when we met, which had a stand in the hospital -- I hadn't had a Black Love in 10 years!) and spending time sitting with me. Sometimes he would stay past midnight, after watching Olympics or reading some of the Patti Smith book to me.
Some of my first visitors were a blast from the past. I met Pete and Lex 20 years ago, I can hardly even believe it as I type. I was lucky enough to score a job at Bodo's Bagels in 1990, after I flunked out of Virginia Tech (uh, the first time). Bodo's was pretty much where every young person wanted to work. As a customer, it seemed like its own secret club, the employees were always having fun, and it paid really well for a food service job. At the time, there was one location, now there are three. The owner would never franchise it outside of C-ville (quality control), even though he was probably asked daily by businessmen. It was a smooth running money-making machine and still is (we eat there every time we're in town). Even when the line is out the door, you get through in less than 5 minutes.
Pete was one of my managers, super friendly, funny, a rock n' roller (bass player) but clearly in command. I reconnected with him on Facebook a year or two ago and he is still amazingly hip, writing screenplays, going to concerts (every month it seems, I'm so jealous), reviewing movies, talking about music. I mean, I just don't know anyone else so culturally literate. I try, but Pete's got it.
Lex was one of my idols. She had, like 13 hoops in each ear (if I remember correctly) and adored The Beastie Boys. She knew the words to every song. She dyed her bangs with Kool-Aid. She kept a safety pin on her socks so she could pin them together as they went in the washer, which I thought was brilliant. She loved all animals and had a horse, and kept a Dr. Pepper on her nightstand for when she woke up. We went to the first Lollapalooza together in 1991 and at some point I passed out (sun poisoning) near the port-a-potties (indeed). I'm not sure if she did. Luckily I was able to sit on a chair for Jane's Addiction, red and dehydrated. I had the worst blisters ever on my shoulders a week later, but -- that was when I saw The Rollins Band perform & have loved Henry Rollins ever since (though not any of his music since The End of Silence). Lex & I went up to the original 9:30 club in 1992 to see Henry and an unknown band named Tool opened up for him, promoting their EP Opiate. That changed my life too. I remember this friendly Hare Krishna named Robin seemed to be a little sweet on Lex, but we lost track of him. Lex was tough, as soon as Henry jumped on stage she moved right up front (the stage was probably knee-high), feet planted and elbows out. The girl knew how to defend herself in the pit. She actually got sweat on by Henry I was so envious! Me, on the other hand, got totally pushed to the back, and about halfway through the show, had to go downstairs and watch it on the closed-circuit television (wimpy, wimpy, wimpy). I'm still ashamed. I want to say we also saw Fishbone together at Trax in C-ville.
I did work with Pete again when I went back to Bodo's in 1995 (after actually getting expelled from Tech) and met Ethan, but I lost Lex until Facebook brought us back together recently. To finally get to the point of this whole story, I was in the NICU when I saw 2 people outside in the hall. I didn't know who they were at first & I think I was getting moved to a chair to sit up for a while. I must have looked ragged. The guy came closer...PETE! Then the woman...LEX! Oh my God! Lex had a Bodo's bag with my favorite bagel (I keep it a secret but it's a cinnamon-raisin with plain cream cheese and bacon). I couldn't believe it, that they had gotten in touch with each other and we're actually here in my room. It was so nice to see them, tell goofy stories about "the old days" and about what we're doing now. It meant so much to me. I hope to have another Bodo's reunion some other time when we go back to C-ville. What awesome people.