Twenty. Tears for the Wedding

It was on a new continent that I pushed past the hustle and bustle of the main streets and followed the line along the shore. Further from the town piles of rejected drums lay like scattered rocks by the roadside. The Garifuna are famous for their drumming. On a boat to Caye Caulker a man had advised that the only good accommodation was three bamboo tree houses hidden away in a small bay further south; he kept repeating, “Go to the tree houses, go to the tree houses.”

Veintiuno. Alice Part 1

When the woman I was making love to turned into a pig I knew that I had become too cynical. I watched her face fill out, her cheeks lose their definition and her nose turn up at me to form a perfectly cylindrical snout. Her skin became rough. It became pockmarked and covered in fine grey hairs and then her mouth widened and opened up to reveal a coarse and unclean set of teeth.

Then her ears retreated, grew longer into sharp points that flopped over like a dog’s ears. And her eyes too lost their shine and their beauty. They contracted and sank into the skin and they became red and as fired as a madman’s. I watched her and I laughed and cried for atop of this perverse metamorphosis was her hair, untouched by the transformation and spread loosely across the pillow: a blonde wig on the head of a pig.

It was the one hope for my salvation.

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Veintidós. To the Interior

I needed to venture beyond the safe confines of the Gringo trail. I had spent Christmas in Utila with an incongruous group of travelers and I was getting frustrated that the trip was turning more bar hop than adventure hop. A flamenco dancer from Amsterdam and a group of university students from Cork were my group then and we gathered nightly in the one or other of the two bars which had ‘Pirate’ in the name.

Veintitrés. High Lands

Alone again, and I had all the time to look at the room. It was unseasonably hot and I switched the fan to circulate the heat from the walls. It started slowly, each blade cutting the air in steady breaths until it spun into a whorl that swept the hair away from my face. The light was off and from the window, dusk shifted a red and orange hue across the walls. I looked out and beyond the river. The silhouettes of corn terraces scanned the valley, black mountainside beneath red shimmered light, a dying sun that left colours in the water like blood on oil.