Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Pirates of the Caribbean c.3

Chapter Three: the difference between 22 and 42

After Negril, I was looking forward to a relaxing evening without the disco Pasha, or Dexter St. Jacques firing on my girlfriend while I wasn't looking. I had some fine Cuban cigars to enjoy, and some beers in the minifridge in the room, so it was kick back and relax time.

While Beck showered and manicured her nails, I sat on the balcony with cold beer in hand (not a Red Stripe, but another Jamaican brand which I found very palatable), and smoked a wonderfully aromatic Montecristo Habanos cigar. The air was pleasantly cool, with a mild sea breeze blowing through the breezeway between our building and Building 3 across from our room. An occasional bus or car would pass by on the lone highway to Negril, but aside from this, it was very peaceful. Sheer bliss!

After a while, I'd ran out of beer in the minifridge, and decided that while I smoked the last of my cigar, I'd need to enjoy just a little more beer along with it as I reflected on the beauty I'd witnessed that day. I slipped on my slippers and made the long trek to the nearest bar still open, which was a good walk away, listening to the sea crash upon the shore to my right as I trudged along.

Draft beers, while included with the package, were still only about 8 ounce glasses. That being said, I decided to order, umm, three! One for the long trip back, and a couple more to wrap up this glorious evening! A swig of beer, and puff of cigar, and it was back to the room!

This proved to be somewhat of a challenge, holding three beers, a cigar, and staggering a good distance back to our place! My feet were aching from wearing my flip-flops all day, and blisters had started to form on the tops. Amazing what a few grains of sand can do! This made the walk even more difficult. The amount of alcohol in my bloodstream wasn't probably helping, but it wasn't like a night of Jagerbombs either. I could manage, I convinced myself.

Still, I'd walk a bit with the cigar in my mouth, chomping down, then stop, retrieve the cigar, take a breath, swig some beer, and continue on. The cigar smoke would sometimes catch me off guard and I'd inhale some, coaxing some coughing from my lungs. I'm not a smoker, I just like cigars. Not supposed to inhale them anyway, but, this was proving difficult.

I polished off one beer as I passed “Thumbdick” and the other Roman statuary, which freed me up to get the cigar out of my mouth. Damn, what a long walk! I continued to waddle along, slowly sipping on another brew, and starting to feel somewhat light headed. I attributed this to the cigar and the long walk, along with what was possibly a little too much beer! No problem. This was going to be my last drink for the evening. What a glorious day!

I made it back to the room, and felt a definite urge to use the toilet. I shooed Becca out as she primped, and she made some snide remark about not to go“dying like Elvis” on the “throne”. I was becoming very, very aware that I wasn't feeling good. At all. I placed the remaining beer on the sink, and vowed that I'd had enough for the evening. That one will have to go to waste.

As had happened to me once before when I was sick from drinking, I felt an unnatural urge to lie on the cold floor, which relaxed me. Beck shoved open the door to find me sprawled across it, and descended into sheer panic. I pleaded with her that I was ok, but she would hear none if it. And, since I really couldn't move, I was starting to agree with her. I was fucked up! Like a "soup sandwich", as my buddy Bill would say.

I pulled myself from the floor, and made my way to the bed where I collapsed again. Becca had become frantic, and I seemed to be a tad disoriented. All of this just weeks after my bout at Rumors where I'd missed a gig in the Emergency Room dealing with a Vaso Vagal! Not again! I tried to convince her I was ok, and just needed to rest, but she protested. She tried to call to get help, but was unsuccessful. Her panic was making it difficult to concentrate for her, I suppose.

“Here!” she ordered, “you call!” I was worthless, and just kind of stared at her as though she were kidding.

“I can't.” I said rather incredulously. I was a mess. At that moment, I knew something was wrong. This was something I couldn't handle.

“Well, then I'm calling 911!” she screamed. I chuckled, which only incensed her.

“That's only in America, honey,” I laughed. She wasn't fucking amused. I took the phone and managed to call the front desk, and let them know I needed immediate medical assistance. I was told there would be a charge, about $250 for an in-room visit, and that they'd page the nurse. No problem, Mon.

The news of their impending arrival calmed Rebecca's nerves some, but I didn't feel any better. In fact, I was overwhelmed with the intense urge to hurl. Which I did. With a vengeance. Becca described is as the most unbelievable eruption of vomitus she'd ever encountered. She thought she saw a shoe emerge. Impressive might not be the appropriate description. Horrific is better suited.

Within an instant, I felt so much more relieved. It was as though a weight had been lifted off me. I bolted upright from bed, and immediately expressed how much better I was feeling. Becca was surprised, amidst the repulsion she was experiencing. I took the soiled towel and bedspread quickly to the bathroom to relieve her, as well as for the soon to be arriving MD, as Becca had just explained everything to the staff nurse who'd phoned in for a report, and alerted us he had been dispatched.

Not too long after that, the initial relief began to fade, and I was again feeling ill. Nice while it lasted, but I can't say I was surprised. Slowly, I laid back down on the comfy king sized bed, and tried to shake it.

“You ok,” Becca inquired with a gentle, motherly touch in her voice.

“Well, I was, but now, not so much.” I said. Damn! Thought I had this licked! “I just really want to rest.”

“You can't!” Becca stated. I shrugged her off.

“Naw, I'll be fine,” I said. “Just need to relax. The worst is over.” I said, trying to rest. But Becca would have none of that.

“WAKE UP!” she shouted, jabbing me sternly in the side of my ribcage, jolting me.

“Ow! Gawdammit!” I protested.

“You can't sleep!” she said.

“I'm fine,” I assured her.

She delivered another blow to my side.

“Deron!” she shouted!

“Will you fucking quit that!” I begged. Jesus! What's it gotta take, I thought?

“No!” she said. “I can't let you sleep.”


“Because!” She said, jabbing me once more. “Now, get the fuck up!”

“Chill the fuck out!” I said. Damn she's mean sometimes!

“No, God Damn it, now get up!” she said. Now I was getting a little pissed off. But I could hear the fear in her voice. “Please, Deron,” she said, “please just sit up!”

As I collected myself, the doctor arrived along with the nurse, and a towing a tall IV pole. Much like everyone else on the island, he inquired about my condition with that famous Jamaican accent, which was almost humorous. God knows, I wanted something to laugh about.

I must say, the doctor was excellent, and his bedside manner was first rate. Better than Rebecca's. He took good care of me, and tended to my condition quickly. He assessed quickly that I was probably dehydrated, and they decided to start me on an IV. I wasn't really looking forward to getting more needles stuck in me, not on vacation, but, what the fuck are you going to do? Grin and bare it.

And, as I say, he was a wonderful doctor, and made the whole episode very manageable. He's as good as any MD I think I've dealt with stateside, and his English was probably just as understandable, if not more so!

I suppose the assessment was I was a couple quarts low, but nothing too serious, so they went through a couple bags of saline to top me off, and along with that included some kind of sedative. As that began to kick in, I was ready to fall asleep. Ah, this feels nice, doc!

They took Mastercard, which I fortunately had room for, and the tally was just over $500, including the medicine administered and a simple test to rule out coronary event. Considering my ER visit to Gateway a few weeks prior was in the neighborhood of $6,000, I think it was a bargain. And if Gateway is looking for good doctors, I've got one to recommend in Negril.

They left, and Becca was greatly relieved, and I slipped away into a deep, extremely restful sleep.

I felt great the next morning. Absolutely no ill effects whatsoever! We grabbed some breakfast and coffee, walked on the beach some, and tried to figure what the hell happened to me the night before. I've most certainly drank more than that in my life, and never had that happen! But it could have been a combination of things, I suppose. We also came to the conclusion that I had chicken curry, which I'd never eaten before in my life, and perhaps I had an allergic reaction to it? I know I'll pass on it if I ever see it on a menu again!

We decided to hit the pool bar when it opened around noon. The pool water was pretty chilly, but several of us had braved it anyway because there's just nothing cooler than sitting at a pool bar! It's one of my biggest pleasures when on vacation. I always make sure the resort has a pool bar, as I love to relax half submerged while downing my cold beers, occasionally dunking under the cool water.

One explanation for the chilly pool was the cloudy, overcast sky above. Gray clouds had rolled in from the bay and had cooled things down some. Another was apparently they'd practically drained the pool last night, and were still in the process of filling it back up. Needless to say my nipples could cut diamonds as a gingerly waded across the pool to the bar, and ordered up some beers to take the chill off.

Couple guys sitting next to me at the bar struck up a conversation, as they were apparently on the flight down with us, and the smoky bus ride to the resort as well.

“You guys from St. Louis too?” he asked. I nodded. “I remember you from the bus,” he said. I'm pretty hard to forget, I know.

“Yes, we're from the Metro East,” I said.

“So am it. Troy,” he said, referring to the small town off I-55 just east of our hometown.

“No kidding!” I said. “I'm from Granite.”

“Wow, I grew up in Granite,” he said. Get the fuck out! I'm in a different country on an island for Christ sakes, and I end up sitting next to someone that is from Granite City! Small God damn world.

He went on to tell me who he was, and his name was vaguely familiar. I was acquainted with some of his older siblings, as it turned out he was closer to Becca's age. In fact, he even went to the same Catholic school as Becca! Astonishing!

We chit-chatted and attempted to keep warm, which the alcohol was beginning to assist. We also made small talk with some couples around the corner of the bar, and everyone share a shot together. The party was on! Yeah Mon!

A whole gaggle of young women waded into the pool, and kicked everything up a notch as they were all on a good afternoon drunk and celebrating. What, I don't know, but you don't really need a reason in Jamaica. Whatever it is, everyone will celebrate with you.

They pounded shot after shot, and Becca was egging them on.

“Bodyshots!” Becca exclaimed to hoots and hollers. The wait staff weren't too thrilled at the notion. They could see this getting out of hand very, very quickly, and discouraged them from attempting. So, instead they just kept pounding away shot after shot followed by hoots and hollers, having a good time, and drinking the afternoon away. As did we all.

And, I was feeling great. That IV last night really recharged my batteries! I need to do that every time I go drinking! Just stop in at the ER, say “put in a few pints”, and I'll be good to go!

Becca and I decided to retire to the bedroom, as we were both feeling frisky! We made love in paradise, again, and fell asleep in each other's arms. And slept. And slept. And slept some more! Right through dinner and into the late evening.

At one stage I woke to see how late it was, and decided, since Becca was still snoozing away, I'd better just quickly try to fall back asleep and sleep through the night, because if I get up now, I'm up for the rest of the night. So, I shut my eyes and drifted back to sleep.