Home sick. I curled into bed at 11 last night, then proceeded to cough until something like . When I got up, still hacking and spitting, J told me to take the day off. E checked my peak flows, and I wound up taking a hit off an inhaler before popping a Claritin and going to sleep in the hammock for half the day and reading, half-dizzy from heat, for the other half.
When I came into the common room, S was there, gesticulating. “They’re slaughtering a cow out there!” and they were, as those of us who went running to find out saw. It was an impromptu anatomy lesson and a spectacle all rolled into one. They skinned it, gutted it, took it to pieces. We watched, avoided the children playing with a severed tail, took pictures. Again, the refrain: los gringos! And we are, strange and foreign, with our English and our cameras and our money. Gringos.
I tried tonight, played a round of spoons, lanced a boil on a toe, hung around and listened to the music on the portico. And I am now lonely, staring into a star-filled distance. R lurches by me, looking tired, but I have been paralyzed by fear tonight. I am an intrusion. All illusions are gone.
Sitting here on the hammock alone, one foot dangling, watching unfamiliar stars through a gap in the trees, drinking rum and precious precious Coke is not the way to improve my mood. No-one here will care for the silent companionship I need.