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October 24th The doorway to the rabbithole....


And so the days went by and the work kept coming with the promise of that deposit that never came. 9 weeks into this adventure and we were broke in India and by Indian terms. Which in Western terms means in deep shit. After 24 hours of non-stop editing to hit a deadline Mr. T, as I will call him from now on, was exhausted and sick. As was I. After a vomit-diarrhea-fever-cold sweat extravaganza we decided it was time to go to the hospital. Yes honey, we were in the hospital in New Delhi, it is like nothing you have ever seen. It looks like a combination vintage store on La Brea Ave. and a soup kitchen down on San Pedro Street. I have never seen poor or sick like I saw in this place. As we walked into the Dr.s office Mr. T started to look faint and ran out of the office into the bathroom, barely making his run, he projectile vomited all over the bathroom door. The Dr. was taking my pulses, because in India they do 2 pulses, your veins and your arteries. He took one look at me, heard the vomiting down the hall, and said in a firm voice, You must be admitted at once!!! This is dengue fever. Very very dangerous. You do not have much time and you will need a blood transfusion. WHAT!? OK, that was the scariest news I had gotten since my Mom came out of the closet in 95. Next thing I knew, we were rushed from the Dr's office to the emergency room to a private room and before I knew it we were laying in a bed with an IV up our arm. The room had no windows; it was like a 1942 mid war hospital room, something right out of a movie. Karan, my dear friend, came in. He was worried about us but had some awkward news to share. He said; be very careful with what they put in your IV, these people are very good friends with hospital. They want to steal your stuff! I heard them talking in the office! Don't say I told you, but be very careful, they want to get rid of you and not pay. Mr. T was half gone but his eyes widened with disbelief. For a split second. I felt sick, and it had nothing to do with the dengue fever. Now we were broke ass, sick and persecuted foreigners lying in a hospital room with no windows to escape from. All right, I thought, this has gone far enough I think? I looked at Mr. T and said; we are not sleeping in this place, so you better work and get all the fluids you can because we are going home honey. He looked at me and fell right back to sleep. The door opened slowly, the nurse walked in with a big smile on her face, it was right out of a David Lynch film; she was carrying a tray full of needles. She lifted my arm, made sure the IV was in place and started to prepare a needle. I looked at her and gasped, what is that? I said. All she said in her broken English was, Dr. say this good for you, thank you please. Thank you please. Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! ~Instincts~ I took one look at her face and knew I should leave the hospital right away. She was oblivious to the whole situation and just followed orders. I looked at the needle, as it was about to enter my IV and said to her. I am allergic to everything, everything. No, no, no. You cannot give to me. I need to talk to the Dr. Please. Allergy very, very bad. Just as the needle was to enter my tube she stopped and looked at me scared. She said. I bring you Dr. OK? Thank you please. As she exited the room I woke Mr. T up. T! T! Wake up babe, we have to go. How you feeling? He could barely articulate, OK I guess, He replied in a tired voice. I saw his saline bag and it was almost empty, as was mine. I pulled out my IV, started to get up and felt faint. But the option of staying in that room much longer started to seem perilous. I helped T get dressed and off the IV tube. The Dr. took so long we had time to get out without any intervention. In fact he probably never came to our room or showed up when we were gone. We exited the hospital and took a rickshaw home. Defense Colony please, I told the 13-year-old boy driving. The rickshaw ripped through New Delhi like a thunderbolt. I felt safe in the rickshaw, something was definitely not right, but we were away from the hospital room and free to move about the world onto safety. My mind was made up; we were leaving India that same night if possible. Mi mind was racing a 1,000 miles a minute making a plan. I was already saying goodbye to all the cows lying on the road, to that strange stench of cow dung and fire, to the scary marketplace by the park where a man sold his wife as skewers. Ah, I sighed in relief just thinking about that 17 hour plane ride back home. Nobody sighs in relief at the site of a 17-hour flight. But I did just that. It’s amazing how perspective is relative to circumstance. As we passed each spot familiar I said my goodbyes. This was supposed to be a trip into self-discovery land, but I guess I shall have to come back for that. We arrived at Defense Colony, got out the rick, went up the dark stairs. It was already past midnight. T was weak but felt a bit better, enough to get on a plane and sleep his way over to a safe hospital in America. As we opened the door we saw an unexpected site. Roger, the Director of the fiasco, was sitting in the living room with 4 other guys. They were waiting for us. They looked at us and acted surprised. Roger came close and said, Oh My God I am so glad you are finally home. We were worried about you! Apparently someone warned them we had left the hospital. Think they got a bit paranoid? Anyway, Rogers’s speech went from bad to worse. Mr. T as usual was trying to make everything ok by ignoring all the information that had been given to us by Karan at the hospital. He kept apologizing for being sick. I was in awe at the level of obliviousness. I mean was I the only one seeing we were in danger? All four assistants and Roger followed us to our bedroom, which was locked. I wasn’t sure if they were trying to keep T from falling and being helpful, or they were going to gangbang us? We opened the door and Roger started telling us a cockamamie story about when he had some dangerous stomach virus that nearly killed his ass, and how he HAD to keep working. See, my problem with these people was they were so round about to say everything. You didn’t know whom you could trust anymore. Could we trust Karan and everything he said? Did he also have an agenda? Everyone else did. Roger finished his pathetic -The show must go on- story to which T replied. I cant help you man. Not today. Roger was flabbergasted at the denied request. He stared blankly at us for a moment and then asked in the slimiest of voices. Well, could you at least lend us your computer so we can keep working? That would be wicked man. Sure, said T. We both walked into our bedroom closing the door behind us. You’re going to give him the computer? I asked. Yes. But wait let me disable the burner. That way they can’t take the cut-list. There was no Wi-FI at the apartment so they couldn’t email the list to themselves. USB’s were not around yet either. So we were pretty safe only disabling the computer’s burner. I walked out and handed them the computer, they seemed so grateful. Karan was sitting at the dining room table seeing all the action and giving me looks I couldn’t understand. I went back into the bedroom and after a moment I walked back out and into the editing office. I sat at the other computer, which had the Internet connected to it and started looking for flights home leaving that night. Roger nervously looked back at me every few minutes. I knew something was up. The silence in the office could be cut by a knife. The editor could barely figure out how to use the program. He was just buying time. Suddenly Roger got a phone call and left the office to go out to the balcony. T came out of the bedroom and followed Roger. A minute later he came to get me at the office. I followed him in silence. We stood beside the darkened balcony listening to the plan these people had in mind. ROGER: Don’t worry about them. They are here now. They left the hospital. I know. But, We'll steal everything tonight and get rid of them in the morning. Don’t worry about the money. T looked at me in disbelief. We silently walked back to our bedroom while Roger begged for time and mercy from, whom else? Evermean! She was having a ball screaming at the pathetic so called Director, and come to find out, her lover as well. Wow. The thick plottened. We walked into our bedroom and T was flabbergasted. He looked at me and said; everything you said is true. Them not paying us, stealing our work. Wow. I can’t believe it. I hate to say it but I told you so. I didn’t say that. It would have been a kick in the nuts. We needed a plan. And fast. The phone conversation was nearly over. What were we going to do? Confront him? Run? I voted for the second choice. Run cantina, RUN!!!!!