January 15th, 1990
This is not the kind of trip you return home from, feeling tired. Lagos is a destination where you’re forced to relax because there’s sod all else to do. Fortunately for me, Laney is here, otherwise I’d be pulling out my hair (in clumps!)
Spent most of the day lounging by the pool. The Golden Oldies (aka “the rest of the crew”) were nowhere to be seen.
“What are you reading?” Laney asked.
“An absolutely delightful book by,” I held it up. “How would you pronounce his name?”
“Kaz oo o ish i guro,” she said. “Japanese, obviously.”
“Well done, clever clogs!”
“Don’t clever clogs me, you couldn’t even pronounce it and how do you know it’s a he?”
“His face is on the inside cover. See?” I said, showing her. “He won the Man Booker Prize.”
“Hmmm”, she uttered, clearly uninterested. She reclined on the lounger, put on her sunglasses and pulled the brim of her hat down to cover her face.
I turned to page one o six and picked up where I left off.
“It’s much hotter than I thought it’d be.”
“I know, we’ll get a tan if we stay out all day.”
“We can’t stay out all day,” Laney said. “We’ll get burned to a cinder.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Not really,” she said.
I shook my head and started reading page one o six again. A minute later, Laney interrupted the silence. “Do you have suntan lotion in your bag?”
“Yeah, do you want some?”
I turned to page one o eight.
“What number is it?” She asked.
“The page number?”
“No,” she laughed. “What number is your suntan lotion?”
“Oh, I think it’s thirty.”
“I usually use at least forty.”
“Hence your flawless skin,” I said, scanning the page to find the last passage I read.
“Is it waterproof?”
“Are you sure?”
“What’s your book about?”
I sighed and placed the book on my stomach.
“It’s about two girls who go to Africa.”
“Really?” She asked, removing her hat. “How interesting. Tell me more.”
“Let’s see, well, they’re really good friends but the night before they leave for Africa they get into a disagreement over, what else, but, men.”
“What else, indeed,” she chuckled. “What happens next?”
“One of them stays awake all night fretting over their friendship.”
“She feels bad about how she acted with her friend.”
“Did her behaviour warrant that much angst?”
“The character believes she has a tendency to over analyze things, especially after she expresses her opinion. Something she’s not used to doing.”
“She sounds like a spineless wimp!”
“Quite the contrary!” I declared.
Laney perched her sunglasses on her head and sat up. Her look was curious and I tried my best to keep a straight face.
“Is that really what the book is about?”
“No,” I said, cracking up laughing.
“I didn’t think so,” she laughed. “It was all starting to sound rather familiar. You little rascal,” she said, slapping my leg, “winding me up like that.”
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist.”
“That was good, you had me there, for a minute at least.”
I laughed. “Kidding aside, I think you’d enjoy this book, you should read it when I’m done.
“What’s it called, again?”
“The Remains of the Day.”