Reflections of a Machine Gun Nature
Hard to concentrate with the noise of the street, a lit carribe in my hand, already sweating the days heat away in Tarapoto. Getting my backpack together in my hotel room, I was greeted by a baby lizard of some kind crawling out, hopefully the first and last. I look back on the week of lost and aimless travel with a mixture of grimaced regret. Yet it slowly gives way to thankfulness. Thankfulness for the amount of time available for 1pm beers and reflection....on my trip, of my life....where will all of this fit in? Will I look back upon these last two or so years as The ones of gold? Of insane, ridiculous, grinding adventure like some fairy tale of tropics and icebergs, of angels and demons? Demons hardly.
It sucks worse than a famished leech that I have been cameraless, but now after two weeks the sting of shame or verguenza
of getting worked over has subsided. After 8.5 months of travel I thought I was immune, invincible, with an impenatrable shield of knowledge on how to maintain on the South American road. All it took was two smooth criminals, gelling and smoother than butter in 90 degree humid heat. One of them I didnt even get the pleasure of seeing. With my head turned for half a second, the camera, where once sitting on the restaurant table where it shouldnt have been, was gone. I hope its sale on the black market went to feed a family, and the hand of the thief who snatched it decays into an arthritic claw that he cant even pleasure himself with, the bastard.
I rode back to Tarapoto in an coombi or mini bus yesterday from Yurimaguas, the place where ferries are caught and ridden for 3 days to Iquitos. Iquitos (big past tense) WAS on my agenda because its stories of jungle boom and beautiful indigenous women who starve for more than just food permiate every Peruvian pore and sector. Due to time constraints, it is on my agenda for next time, and I will say no more about the fabled jungle place. The ride back was through a baby mountain range shrouded in tropical folliage. The road was still being completed, at this point completely unpaved and choppier than drunken footsteps. As the light of Mondays sun escaped, the surrounding jungle and its shreds of ghostlike white mist were put in contrast to the black sillohettes of my roughly 10 other Peruvian passengers. Despite a few words here and there, I really did not make an attempt to talk with any of them; yet still a strange connection was felt in that small, hot space, as we sat there together for about 4 hours, heads and shoulders bobbing with the ebbs and flows of that violent dirt road whose color was that of rusty blood.
Shit, maybe its just my sentimentality finding the surface of my skin at the end of this journey. Early last year, while taking what would be the last look at my parents for 8 months through the other side of an airport metal detector, I seem to have developed a touching or sickening reservoire of sentimentality. A reservoir built to spill. Blessing or curse, trendy, cool, gay or not, I really dont care, I just like being able to feel it. And I usually feel it after doing something altogether good and character building, and then having to leave it. My cherished America Del Sur, this is me trusting in all things temporary, and holding to blind confidence that someday will hold the promise of return. A plane is waiting for me on the tarmac, and gonna be flying Pablo Escobar style over the most dangerous part of the country in terms of coca leaf growing. Im out.