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Vertical Prose


day 6 @ 11:17 pm

Ceiba Tops. listening to the amazon. 12:30 -- just before lunch

Yeah, i´m hungry.

but i´m really impressed with the furniture...
wrought iron... Rebar
that they´ve welded into chair shape
wrapped in plastic cord
soft/firm

ah.
talk about HARSH MY MELLOW.
this morning i woke up before Jim & it took me only a second to know why:
i threw my clothes on and ran back to the botanic garden to grab a leaf of Yagé and Chacruna: two of the four in their local Ayahuasca mixture...
the other is the tall standing, down-facing Datura, called "Toé" here
i didn´t see her around... but i didn´t need any of her right now..
i ran back & shredded the leaves with my fingers into my Absinth bottle.
Jim was still asleep & my orange shirt smelled like cat piss -- all that sweat in the heat & humidity...
so i grabbed my jacket, the camera & my watch to see what time it was:
still before seven: i had plenty of time before breakfast and leaving --
i ran back to the garden to photograph the plants & signs (with names and latin names)
... Plenty of time!
& many other plants too...
cashew..
& a turtle in the pond...
on the walk back to the lodge i passed Guillermo going to fetch more Huito to re-touch our tattoos...
so i packed & met him in the lodge so he could work on me
i then i offered him a massage
layed him on some tables and did the same session i´d given to Ary
-- it surprised me how tense both of them were (for living in the jungle)
... though G was worse than Ary.. i hurt him a few times...
he probably just didn´t feel comfortable
& everyone was waiting, so i had to hurry---
the boat we took today was like the small boats we´d used, but with a fabric canopy and a bigger engine
back loaded down with all our luggage
when we sped out onto the Napo
the back went down so low into the water
the waves were well above the sidewall of the boat...
and then engine was loud
so i got my iPod shuffle and newheadphones back from Ary to mainly block out the noise -- first time i´d listened to it in the jungle.
it helped.. i heard " lover´s spit " and " intuition " by Feist
but by the time Devendra started singing
we´d arrived at where we were going
a village called Mazan.
we got off the boat ( i got a picture of the boat driver i´d admired from the day before... his name was "mardey" maybe? )
everyone was gathered round
kids
-- i started using Kwai´s tecnique of taking pictures of people and then showing them the picture on the back of the camera...
they were all fascinated

Deetmar got his own bike
Judy and Pancho rode on the back of bikes
the rest of us sat double in the MotoCars
--- a model-T ford back attatched to a Motorcycle Front..
or... a Motorcycle-rickshaw..
get the idea?
we barrled along a road that was more like a sidewalk
section paved cement
barely wide enough for one of the motocars,
had to pull over into the grass to pass

the road went from the Napo to the Amazon on the thinnest area of land between the two..
it maybe took 15 minutes... probably shorter (everything seems longer here )
-(lunch and dinner break, lost my pen, had to borrow one from the bar)-
on the way, jim dropped his fan and some guy on a motorcycle rode back up and gave it to us..
we passed a boy carrying a dead cat, holding it up to us to show...
to take home to eat?

Deetmar had a little accident, crashed into a building, nearly
grazed it
just a swath of blood on his elbow
... we both agreed that good living leaves it´s marks
( always end up with scabs )
and Ary pulled out his bottle of syrup i´d noticed him carrying the whole time but had never used..
it was Sangre de Draco... Dragon´s Blood
a sap from a palm... or epiphyte?
he smeared it all over Deetmar´s wounds
and they scabbed instantly.

we walked down a little dirt path to the boat
piled in
and road 10 minutes to our next and last lodge:
Explorama INN at the Ceiba Tops
... a totall different beast than the two we´d been at before.

Electric lights. Air Conditioning. Cement. Big Chlorinated pool (With Water Slide!)
Elizabeth started cheering... i felt the dread creeping--
Ary immediately took us to see the last of the huge Ceiba Trees in the area...
similar in size and energy to the Redwoods..
but standing all by itself:
they have almost been logged into extinction
because they are EXCELLENT for making plywood...

WHAT!?

Elizabeth and Deetmar started talking about how that one tree must be worth $50,000
and i wanted to strangle them both.

when we got to our rooms -- i shattered:
Fucking Freezing Cold AC. ugh.
i panicked and ran.
hating the cement.
hating tourists.
hating america.
i walked...
i´d been having SUCH a good time..
feeling so close to nature out in the jungle...
& this felt SO GROSS
fucking british emperialist BASTARDS everywhere

i found a little cement deck by the amazon and just collapsed in a chair...

and listened.

thought i would write out my anger...
but ran out of time for writing before i even got there.

it was funny, though
i´d been writing a few moments
and looked up: a worker had sat in a chair near by and was watching me
... i must have looked so funny...

i waved good bye to him
and headed back up to the lodge to get to lunch
-- i wondered if i was so crabby from listening to the music
.. i did my best to release the tension
vented only a little bit when i got back to the group

´ Ary ´ , i said ´ This Place Is SO UnCivilized. ´
he laughed.

he took us out back after lunch to see a Tapir
--- this thing was like a huge pig with a small elephant trunk & Capivara feet (like a three-pointed leaf)
eating lunch´s leftovers...
it DID NOT want me to pet him...
wouldn´t let me close to him

i took some pictures though...

they were offering to do laundry here
for $3.00 an item (yeah, US dollars)
so i washed my shirt and pants in the sink i the room
stood in the shower to rinse them
and wore them around to dry them

then took them back to the room and used the AC to suck the rest of the moisture out of them.

after lunch
i went back to that deck to write
but just lay and drifted
listening to the river flowing by
... killed a golden fly that was trying to bite my foot
when i swatted at him i knocked one of his wings off
and he just buzzed around in fast circles on the ground..
i figured it´d put him out of his misery
so crushed his heady with a leaf and threw him in the grass..

-- then went walking.

the jungle smelled SO SWEET
the cocoa... the Chocolate Trees were blooming!
little white flowers growing from the trunk, a large pod hanging..
oooooohhhhh--- it smelled SO GOOD!
... walked through a soccer field to get some sun... & musquitos...
i couldn´t stop to spend time with the trees or i´d get eaten..
so i just walked a while
and breathed the sweet air
forest cleaning me off..
when i got back to the lodge i felt much better
& it was time to go on our excursion..
i had an Inca Kola and waited...
then got my sadals

Ary pointed out the Datura on the walk to the dock
but it wasn´t blooming
he told us stories of a friend of his
huge guy who was really into ... experimenting with the plants
wrapped and tapped the sap from a datura
and was gone for three days
constantly taking too many plant mixtures and flipping out:
lived with his parents
and scared the shit out of them.

we got in the boat and went back to the place we´d left only hours before
the dock at the amazon side of Mazan
got in the motocars
and headed back to the Napo side (where the actual village was) on the same MotorizedRickshaws

we ate a leaf-wrapped coxinha! rice ball with chicken inside...
a fish/yuca tamale kinda thing...
and fresh pineapple that Ary cut up for us...
we walked through a market
salted meats with parts of the hoof and fur still left so you could see what animal it was...
and all sorts of fish
didn´t smell too bad
but was hot as hell

Jim and i hurried through
while the rest (it was only us and Judy and Pancho and Deetmar that came on this trip ) stayed to buy fixins for Ary´s salsa
when everyone came out
we sauntered down the street
to the dock
saw pigs getting weighed for sale (squeeling their heads off)
trussed up by two tied feet
two men holding a pole with a suspended scale hook..
the pigs didn´t like it..

it looked like men were building a levee or something..
the rivers always flood, of course...
we walked down the broken street
bought some sweets (mmmm, flour)
and then stopped at a DVD store.
yeah... who in this town had TVs and DVD players?
the shop also had engines and tubing and hardware..
and pop culture t-shirts (Gorillaz)
Ary had been telling me about a peruvian movie called Holocausto Cannibal!
and they had it there (well, the sequel) so i bought it... for 5 soles (DVD-R)
i figured Nayland would get a kick out of the camp value at least...

and still, Jim and i walked away first
he was pretty sure one of the boys was putting the make on him..
but we had no idea how homosexuality works here.

we got back in our rickshawas
and headed over to the bigger town in the area:
INDIANA

it was a pretty amazing journey
the road had Maybe 5 inches to spare
and those guys never fell off...
they must have driven it a hundred times
but damn..
if we would have come off the edge of that cement it would not have been pretty..
and we did have to pass people sometimes..
just pull over into the grass..

i took pictures of the people and places we passed..
the bannanas and maize felds
houses
catholic school kids in uniform
jungle...

Indiana.

two lane big boulevard with flowers down the centre
.. the drove us near the main squre and dropped us off by some Turkeys who were strutting around. very blue heads..

i took a picture of a plaque that explained that the founder of this town had lived in Indianapolis and studied there.
came back here and started this town as a Model Village for the Amazons...
--- never far from home
i tried to explain what "Hoosier" was
and then got really giddy
and tried talking to all the kids
telling them how i was from Indiana
..
the kids flocked around us
and Ary gave us more vender food:
a fried Knish type thing with carmelized onions and boiled egg...
and a tamale with nearly the same
SO GOOD!

we walked down another blvd lined with trees that had been sculped into shapes:
cones. toucans. triangles. spirals. U...?
sat at a bar with the millions of kids around us
and drank huge beers.
after the first sip, we started singing
"show me the way to go home"
and the kids loved being photographed and shown their pictures...
they started gathering flowers and giving them to Judy..
and the night was coming on.
so we headed down to the dock

and rode back to the resort with the sun setting in front of us..
beautiful colours...

i went to the lodge to write
but no luck...
it was all conversation with the ladies that didn´t go with us

then dinner
til now...
it´s late
i´m tired
and i want to go to bed...



--
judy (CO,IL) is july 12th
Judy (TX) is march 2nd
Christine (NY,VA) is may 31st
Regina (NY) is November 16th...


Judy said i could sleep in her room coz AC does the same thing to her as it does to me
so i´m off to her room now
still cold, but the AC turned off, just the fan going.

ahhh... ball point pens smell bad
but christopher O´Riley´s "Hold me to this" is nice
last song of tonight:
" the tourist "
 

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