#29 So I Bought Him a Humidifier – No Free Lunch

Days after #26 The Lucy Episode, Mr. Humidifier announced that we were going to Jamaica with his two business partners and their girlfriends for a long weekend. It was a free trip from their client to a self-contained hedonistic resort with no cash, just pooka shells and teeth from long dead sharks. I did not want to go and said nothing.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch and there was nothing free about that trip. When we landed in Jamaica there was a long bus ride to the resort, so we chartered a small plane. Except for the fact that we landed a few feet from a small airstrip, I never knew where I was.

I know where I wasn’t. I wasn’t at a resort with air conditioning. Much of the power on the island was out. The food was hot from gas heated steam tables and the drinks were warm. We were baking. Even the pool was hot, maybe because very drunk men were peeing into it.

On the first night I was horrified when the men in our little band of six went scouting for drugs. Mr. Humidifier admitted that he tried cocaine for the first time that night. I hated drugs. So little Miss drug monitor me was stuck in that oven, and angry enough to try to sleep on a very short couch.

After three days of relentless heat, some in our group were sick and Mr. Humidifier developed red blotches. Finally, finally the weekend was over. We took the short flight and got to the airport where yes, they were overbooked. The men immediately vaulted over the desk trying to bribe a supervisor resulting in another twelve hour wait. At last only four seats opened up for the six of us. One of the women drew eye liner on a shark’s tooth and put it into a backgammon cup with two pearly white teeth. Mr. Humidifier drew the blackened one. The others ran for the flight before I could ask why I had to stay behind. Best two out of three?

The airline herded us onto a sauna of a bus into Montego Bay. It was the first time in my life I was sure I was going to faint.

We were deposited at a hotel where they provided one room for the men and one for the women to wait for flights to open up. We got our own room. We’d been living on dinner rolls for days so we wandered a few blocks away and found a coffee shop for food without steam. Back at the hotel a housekeeper walked in on our make up sex. Could the weekend get more demeaning? Hours later back at the hotel we got a call that a flight had opened up, another sauna bus ride to the airport, where we waited again for several hot hours.

Everyone, and I mean everyone was testy by now. We went through customs with a group carrying large coral sculptures and had to duck to avoid getting sliced in the face. The man in front of us who spoke little English had his pocket knife taken from him. His grand daughter screamed that it was the only item his dead father had left him. They did not give it back. Probably a good idea, but what about the weapons of coral?

The plane was filled with the same people from the resort who continued partying on the flight back to JFK. We limped home in my little car having lost two days of work, and nearly the will to live.

Mr. Humidfier was still hot and the red blotches didn’t go away. Turned out he had the chickenpox from his son from the #26 Lucy Episode. Two others from our little group landed in the emergency room. 

I’ll write about the year that followed, when I was oblivious about the signs of cocaine use by the man in my life. Just a reminder that when he developed nosebleeds, I bought him a humidifier.

I’m sure it’s a perfectly fun place, but thirty years later I’ve never been tempted to go back to Jamaica.


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