Honey, don’t forget the Steely Dan

Getting on the plane to fly to the Nadi airport. Photos by David Lansing.

I packed and took a last minute look around my villa to make sure I wasn’t leaving anything behind. Christopher had told us that the Royal Davui always asks their guests to leave their luggage outside their doors and come down for a final cocktail while the staff sings the traditional Fijian farewell song, Isa Lei, partially so housekeeping can meticulously go through the cleared-out villa while the guests are still on the island.

“We almost always find that people have left something behind,” he told us.

“Like what?” I asked him.

Well, he said, yesterday a young couple who had been honeymooning here for a week were drinking a final glass of champagne while the staff sang them the farewell song when a member of housekeeping had quietly come up to Christopher and showed him a dildo. The couple had left it under the mattress.

“Should I give it to them?” asked the maid.

“God, no,” said Christopher. “Take it down to the dock where their luggage is waiting and slip it into one of the suitcases.”

So that’s what happened. But it got me to thinking—what if it wasn’t theirs? What if some earlier guests had left it? Or what if it was the wife’s but her new husband didn’t know she’d brought it, which is why it was under the mattress, and housekeeping slipped it into his luggage instead of hers?

“Holy shit,” the guys says when he gets home. “What the fuck is this doing in my suitcase?”

“Why are you asking me?” says the indignant wife. “Why did you bring a dildo on our honeymoon anyway?”

A lot of variables here.

Anyway, I very carefully went through each room in my villa making sure I’d packed everything.

Saying goodbye to Siteri.

I was the first one down to the Banyan Bar. As Siteri was pouring me a glass of champagne, I asked her if she was sure she wouldn’t like to go back to Los Angeles with me. She laughed and said, “No, Mr. David. But thank you.”

When Marguarite came down, I asked her to take a photo of me and Siteri together. I’m going to miss her. Who will make my banana pancakes for me every morning?

The staff gathered and sang Isa Lei. Then they came by and shook each of our hands. Lots of hugs all around.

Around three, we went down to the dock. All of our luggage was already on board. Christopher came down and said, “Uhm, ladies, I think one of you left something in your room.”

“Oh, god,” said Marguarite. “What?”

It was a nautilus shell, a parting gift from the resort. Not a dildo at all.

It took us half an hour to cross the bay to Pacific Harbour. No one talked on the crossing. Katie sat on the bow of the boat, her eyes closed, the wind in her face. At Pacific Harbour, a van was waiting for us. We drove about fifteen minutes down the highway to a tiny little dirt runway where our little two-engine plane was waiting for us. The pilot weighed first our luggage and then us, and then directed us as to where he wanted us to sit. He had me in the front, next to him. After we were all in and buckled up, he changed his mind. He told everybody to get out of the plane. He put one of the girls in front and put me in the back.

And then the engines were started, the plane accelerated, and we were in the air. Flying low over the water, Davui, off to our left, slowly vanishing, and the Fiji mainland, dead ahead, rushing up to meet us. The trip was over.

Tags: ,