September 15, 2010
Iganga Town, Uganda (Mum’s resort)

The water steamed immediately. On the wood paneled walls, against the rocks and the metal pipe pushing out the wood burned heat. We set our vinyl covered cushions on the slatted bench and chatted quietly, sweat pooling on my upper lip, the center of his chest. Just barely visible in the square of light lurking at the door.

The vinyl cushions, much like my metal earrings, proved a bad idea. After a few minutes they both had to be removed and santa and I retired to our chairs in the cool night air. American idol droned in the background, someone screaming because they were that good, someone else bewildered that the noise they were emitting was not appreciated.

Glasses of water later, tea, roasted nuts, we returned to the dry sauna. Santa demonstrating proper technique in the flinging of water. Conversation wandered but always pivoted on heat.

“we’re not practicing for hell,” santa quipped as we cinched our sheets, just beginning to cling to us, and headed out for another breather.

This time the respite was longer. More water. More lounging.

My first time, I followed santa’s lead and this time we headed to the wet sauna. It was like a hot wet blanket thrown over your head or a houston summer day. More than texas, it conjured up this morning’s asthma attack. But I sat patiently, lowered my head as instructed and stayed on the low tiers while santa climbed two rows up…and then, shortly after, joined me below the searing cloud of heat.

Near scalding water dripped randomly from the tile ceiling and by our second round in the wet sauna we were both exhausted.

Football (err…soccer) replaced bad music on the wide screen television and the breeze floated rain and tidings of sleep into the lounge where we recuperated.

Back at my gate the relaxation fell away. Knocking proved fruitless. As did banging. And clanging. I scaled the fence enough to peer over and scan for the guard. Nowhere. Aussie’s phone is dead and rain pelted me lightly.

“any ideas?”

Nothing new except back to his place…only the scandal of that kind of platonic arrangement would be far reaching. We negotiated…what time to leave, who is where when. We didn’t even make it to sleep arrangements with all the concern for lurid stories and tarnished reputations.

An anguished santa was saved as the guard, 15 minutes late, finally emerged and unlocked the gate as if I’d just arrived.

Relaxation destroyed but scandal averted.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply