I had a work party at the Lindon Aquatics Center. Porter had previously committed to do a speaking engagement, so I called up my sister-in-law to see if I could bring my niece with me in order to avoid looking like a total loser (plus she's rad, and I love her to pieces).
Around 6 o'clock this evening, I went down and picked up Mares. I talked to Porter on my way down and he seemed perfectly fine. Mares and I headed to the party and we had a grand time. She ate two giant snow cones (going for the 'Fun Aunt of the Year Award' over here) and we went around the lazy river probably ten times. She eventually got cold and we decided to head home.
A little after 8:30 p.m., the two of us stroll into the ladies' room so I can get her out of her wet suit and into her clothes. She quickly became fascinated with the hand dryer, so I let her play around with it. I could feel my phone vibrating in my bag, so I took it out and didn't recognize the number calling me. I ignored it and then checked my text messages. I had 6 of them. I don't even have 6 friends, so I was super excited. My excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realized that 5 of them were from the number that had just called me and one was from my mom. (Not that I don't love texts from you mom, it just put a damper on that brief moment where I felt kind of popular)
I scrolled through the messages and learned that this person contacting me was the man who had organized for Porter to come speak. Turns out Porter hadn't shown up and he was over an hour late.
My thought process at this point:
1. Where in the crap is that kid?
2. I'm going to kill him if he blew this off.
3. That's so unprofessional.
4. I should probably stop Mares from unrolling all the toilet paper in that stall.
5. That's not really like Porter, he's always very on top of these things. He takes this inspirational business seriously.
6. We aren't in a drought are we? Because now Mary has turned on all the sinks in this bathroom.
7. If my bathroom toddler management skills are any sort of predictor of future parenting, I'm probably going to suck as a Mom.
8. What if something terrible happened to Porter?
9. OMG he's probably dead in a ditch somewhere.
10. Why did my parents move across the country? It's too late in D.C. to call my mom and find out what I'm supposed to do here.
I ended up calling Porter seven times in a row, despite this guy telling me he had already to contact him. The call would go straight to voice mail or ring for days. I then called my sister. Then Porter's sister. Then my brothers (not to find out where Porter was, but to see if we were still planning on hitting up that new Disney Pixar movie this weekend. We are totes still on). I text Porter's friends. I didn't really know what else to do, so I packed up my favorite teeny tot and we headed to Provo.
On our way home, my stomach started to churn. Something HAD to be wrong. There was literally no other explanation. I pulled over to the side of the road and decided to call the police.
I should add that I haven't exactly had positive experiences with the law here in Utah. Granted, my interaction with them has been limited (this being my second encounter, you can read about the West Valley City Police Department and all their glory first if you would like...it will probably enhance your experience reading this post). Also important to note, I am extremely grateful for the men and women who risk their lives to protect us. Unfortunately, these stressful times dealing with police make much better stories, so that's why I'm writing about it.
I looked up random phone numbers for the Salt Lake City Police Department since that's the last known place Porter would have been. This wasn't an emergency, so I tried some random number.
Me: "I actually don't really know. I can't get a hold of my husband who works up in Salt Lake. He was supposed to speak at an event tonight and didn't show up. He's not answering his phone. Is there any way I can find out if his car has been involved in an accident or anything like that?"
Random PD Lady: "Can you tell me the address of where he works?"
Me: "Ummm, I don't actually know it (minus 5 wifey points for not knowing this). He works for Goldman Sachs. Is there anyway you can look that up?"
Random PD Lady: "Sure. So is it Goldman as in G-O-L-D-M-A-N and Sachs as in S-A-C-K-S?"
I literally laughed out loud. I know, it's immature, but really? Goldman SACKS? I sort of wanted her to look that up. Imagine the pornographic search results. Freaking hilarious. Wait, my husband could be dead, time to be an adult.
Me: "No, it's Sachs as in S-A-C-H-S." Hahaha, sacks.
Random PD Lady: "Ooohhhh (giggle), I found that address."
At this point, I'm super confused as to why we are looking up Porter's address. Can she help me get in touch with someone he works with? Because I literally don't even know the name of his boss...
Me: "I'm getting pretty worried, is there like a missing person alert I could do or something?"
Random PD Lady: "Of course, just call the non-emergency dispatch."
Ok, great. Should have done that to start, but I'm an idiot. Now I call the non-emergency dispatch. I will skip the pleasantries and get right into it our convo.
Non-Emergency Dispatch Lady: "When was the last time you saw your husband?"
Me: "Well technically not since last night. He sort of works a crazy schedule."
Non-Emergency Dispatch Lady: "Do you know what he is wearing?"
Me: "I don't, but he would be in a dress shirt and slacks. I don't know if that helps."
Non-Emergency Dispatch Lady: "Can you provide a physical description?"
I so badly just wanted to say, "Yeah, he's ridiculously good looking." But I withheld. Once again I have to remind myself that this is serious and Porter could be really hurt.
Me: "Yes, he's white. He's about 6'1'' and 180 lbs. He has dark hair and blue eyes. He's also missing his right arm, I probably should have led with that. It's like completely gone, so there isn't a nub or anything. Nubs kind of freak me out, but his is a clean cut at the shoulder."
I can feel the word vomit at this point, so I stop there.
Non-Emergency Dispatch Lady: "Ok, great. Any identifiable information?"
Are you serious right now? How many dark haired, blue eyed guys with only ONE ARM are out there? That's about as identifiable as you can freaking get! I'm sure she probably has a script or something she is following, but usually that information stands out.
Me: "Is only having one arm not identifiable enough?"
I probably should have been more kind, but I was legit on the verge of a panic attack now. Mary is singing "Let It Go" in the back seat, and it's about the only thing keeping me calm at this point.
Non-Emergency Dispatch Lady: "Well that could help, but does he have any scars or tattoos?"
That could help? You are trying to tell me that a tramp stamp would be more helpful than the fact that he only has 3/4's of his limbs?! Now I'm getting sassy. To her credit, she was seriously being so nice and trying to keep me calm, but I wasn't having it anymore.
Me: "Well he has a scar on his head, but that's covered by his hair. He has another thick one on his neck, but he is probably in a collared shirt and a tie. He's also probably in slacks, so you won't be able to see the long one down the back of his calf."
Non-Emergency Dispatch Lady: "Ok, well we will focus on the missing arm in this case then."
Non-Emergency Dispatch Lady: "I need you to gather a couple of photos of your husband. An officer will be contacting you soon. You may want to call around to hospitals to see if he has been admitted for some reason."
Is this real life? Porter can't really be hurt. I have no idea what I would do with myself if something happened to him. Mary and I continue on our way back home. I rolled up to the Golding residence and immediately ask my brother-in-law, Dale, if he had heard from Porter. Nothing. I go inside and ask Mo if she had heard from him. Nothing.
Now the panic really starts to set in. Shout out to Mo right here because she stayed completely calm and immediately got on the phone. I started calling hospitals in and around Salt Lake. The answer was consistent, no Porter Ellett had been admitted. Mo was trying to get a hold of people who also work at Goldman Sachs.
I'm on the phone with yet another hospital when Porter starts to call. I hesitated for a second, preparing myself for a random person on the other end of the line telling me something tragic has happened.
Except the exact opposite happens. I answer, only to hear Porter laughing.
"I'm totally fine," he tells me, "I got lost trying to find where I was supposed to meet this group out here in the middle of nowhere so I didn't have service."
You mean to tell me that you have just been driving around for hours, lost, and didn't think to notify anyone? I have single-handedly (no pun intended) instilled unnecessary fear in our loved ones lives because you didn't pull over to a gas station and ask to use a land-line or something?
Now that I knew he was alive, I wanted to kill him. I can't do that though, investigators would be able to identify him too quickly for me to get away with it. Those blasted identifiable scars would give it all away.
Until next time,