September 28th, 1989
Hyatt Hotel, Delhi, India
Call time is three hours from now but I don’t think sleep is on the agenda. I’m finding it difficult to keep up with the time changes on this trip, plus yesterday’s excursion to the Taj Mahal was exhausting, albeit absolutely worth it.
After a relaxing morning lounging in my room, Laney and I met and caught a tuk-tuk to the market where David and I had our chance meeting.
“How does it feel being here again?” Laney asked as we weaved our way through the crowded market.
“I like this market but nothing will ever top that day with David. What do you think of this?” I asked, picking up a white, cotton shirt.
“That thing is filthy,” she said, squirming.
“I don’t care,” I stated. “I love it enough to buy it.”
“It’ll make everything in your suitcase smell awful.”
“I’ll chuck it in a plastic bag and wash it when I get home.”
“I hope the shirt David bought you wasn’t that grubby.”
“For your information,” I said, “It was clean as a whistle. So there.” Then without meaning to, I added, “I can’t wait to go to London with him again.”
“Uh,” I stuttered, “I think I’m just a bit nervous about seeing him again.”
“When are you seeing him?”
“Late next week of course.”
“He’s coming back to London already?” she asked.
“No, my next trip is a four day LA,” I said matter-of-factly.
She stared at me. “You just said something about London.”
I laughed. “I know.”
“But you’re going to Los Angeles?”
“You never told me that.”
“I thought I did.”
“You did not.”
“Sorry, I thought I’d mentioned it.”
“No, you never mentioned it.” Her tone was more than accusing.
“Ok, ok,” I said, throwing my hands in the air. “Sorry,” I said, unsure why I was apologizing.
We didn’t speak for a while, which felt very awkward but I was determined not to be the one to break the silence. I was racking my brain trying to figure out why Laney had reacted the way she had, when suddenly, she said, “Let’s go for a champi.”
“A what?” I asked.
“Champi,” she smiled. “A head massage.”
“Just ok?” she asked, with a scowl.
Perhaps in another climate my reaction would’ve been different, but in today’s heat, with sweat trickling down my back, I glared at her. “How would you like me to respond, Laney?”
“I was just kidding.”
I was surprised but mostly relieved when, a few minutes later, she linked her arm through mine. “You’re going to think you’ve died and gone to heaven when you experience champi for the first time.”
No, I thought, I’m going to think I’ve died and gone to heaven next week in Los Angeles, when I “go to London,” again, with David.