Each year as I unwedge myself from my seat in the low cost cattle wagon that transports me at heights, distances and speeds that I still find unnatural, knees sore, thighs aching from repeated cramp attacks, neck cricked, most of the benefit of three weeks in the sun obliterated in 11 hours of flight and nothing to look forward to but the resumption of winter, I promise myself that I will never subject myself to this indignity again.
I keep this promise until my account fills with dollars and an email comes asking whether I have bought my ticket. I am unable to say no.
Part of this year’s entertainment was to watch her having a brain scan. Cancun has all the equipment you’ll find in top New York clinics but at half the cost. Whilst I was watching the scan through the window (not the most exciting experience, I have to say, since the patient has to remain motionless for an hour while the scanner makes its ponderous progress along the prone body) the young technician, who was supposed to be monitoring the scan, started to feel himself up through his thin polyester track suit trousers. I can quite understand the boredom he must feel but this was no private matter. He had a purpose. It was clearly intended for my entertainment. Getting the point, I got up from my seat and went to the hospital’s café where I joined Dolores` driver who was waiting for us. I ordered water.
Within minutes the technician came out to say that I was needed to look after Dolores` handbag. Please would I follow him? The driver showed no surprise. He led me to a room where D`s huge bag was sitting forlorn, vulnerable and open on the chair. He closed the door and looked at me expectantly. I took the bag and fled. All I had done was smile at him.
At the end of her one hour ordeal, emerging with her hair let down and looking stunning, Dolores asked the young man how her brain looked. “To me it looks fine, but you should ring the doctor tomorrow”. Given his attentiveness to the job I hoped he was not simply telling her what she wanted to hear. Anyway, it was what she wanted to hear. A load off her mind Dolores’s mood lightened immediately. “We need a treat. Lets go to Wal-Mart”.