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Vertical Prose


day 13 @ 10:53 pm

beautiful morning
awake at 6am..
this could get habit forming!

but will i get to sleep on time tonight?...

i got out of bed
stretched a bit
talked with jim..
he´s still feeling ill...
so i gave him a stack of electrolyte packets
and made him a bottle full of Marshmallow infusion..

then went out into the city to see if i could find an internet cafe..

all closed..
so
bought jim a big bottle of water (2.5 liters)
then ate a plate of papaya
and got him a glass of orange juice..

when i got back upstairs..
he was asleep.

i went back down
and out

across the street
the internet place was open

(wait, let me explain something...
for some reason
only our hotel
has a flock of people selling stuff outside of it
they all tell you their names
say
"don´t forget me, i am John (or Anthony or Mark...)"
"maybe later!?..."
ugh..
this morning i used my New York skills and just pushed past them with no eye contact and a mumbled
"no, gracias")

i was the only one in the shop
and the boy gave me a computer with a broken USB port
so i grabbed the one next to it..
that had USB2
oh joy!
moved all my pics from the camera to the computer
and downloaded the FTP program again
and got them going..

all of Day 12 photos up
so... some of machu pichu..
then it started with day 8..


i went back to the hotel
stopping in the bus, saying hello to Guillermo (oh!) and leaving my stuff there
and sat with Judy and Walter and Pancho and... Christina and Regina
sat and ate omlete chunks
and Coxinha things
but they were just malformed little drum sticks..

then rushed off to pee
and get on the bus

we went to the former Temple of the Sun
now the "Convent of Saint Dominic of Cusco"
owned by the Vatican.

but Walter took us there as the Temple of the sun
and i got angrier and angrier as he explained what the spanish did

fucking Catholocism Christianity Power Monger Fuckers.

they had left some of the Incan walls..
stripped them of gold
and painted over them with their stupid tired stories of bullshit
blah blah blah, died for us, blah blah blah suffer

however
the Peruvians cleaned all that shit off a few years ago
and the incan walls seem so strange in there..
among the colonial walls, such less precision...
and among the modern (republic) structures..

Walter showed us how the walls were formed perfectly
and interlocked in the center to hold together..

in the huge earthquakes they´ve had since Spanish Dominiation (over 8 on the scale)
much of the colonial shit has fallen
and the Incan hasn´t.

...
Walter showed us the depiction of the Milky Way and the Southern Sky..
and explained to us
that Qusqo was built in the shape of a Puma
and this temple was the genitals
and if you looked at it from the sky
you would see.. it looked like the genitals
and it was meant to shoot the seamen of life up into the sky

Yeah!

love them Incas...
though they, in turn, destoyed and assimilated the cultures before them..

the way of the world...

we left there
and went to a local market
walter gave us all things to buy... in Quechua.
telling us nothing about them
the assignment was to go into there
find them
find out what they are and how they are used
and then bargin for them.

he assigned me Waka Chudo
and Cherimoya... which i haven´t eaten since i was living in Indiana..

the market was pretty fucking amazing
but i was pronouncing whatever it was Wrong.

i quess i was saying Chutu instead of Chudo..

i ended up getting a very large piece of bread.
then went looking for whatever else they had..

got an empañada for day of the dead kinda stuff..

found a lady that wanted to sell me powdered San Pedro Cactus for 3 soles
asked her where the Malva was
and it lead me down to another section
where i found walter
and he told me i had the wrong thing
but said: you´ll find it over there.


i bought the malva
then went where he pointed: the butcher section.

the smell of the tripe and hooves and slabs of flesh got to me really quick
and i walked up and down the aisle looking at things
eventually approaching a woman who looked quite bored, reading a paper
"tiene Waka Chudo?"
she looked around
lifted up a section of the news paper
and said "si"

... it was a mouth.

so i said i wanted it.

one sol was half the mouth, cut down the center.
upper and lower jaw bits, teeth, fur
tongue removed.

she asked me if i was going to eat it
i said..
yes..

she wanted to know if i wanted it shaved first..

no..that´s alright.

she put it in a bag
and i felt kinda dirty..

walked up the aisles
started taking some pictures..

then bought a buch of chocolate
some dark, some milk
some 100% incan chocolate
some 74% organic peruvian chocolate
yeah..

then went to the buss
...
we had our show and tell..

Ruda (for Metche and Jim) -- a good luck charm.. and you can wash the floor or your hair with it.

Chutu (Elizbet and Deetmar) --- bread. the fine grain. the larger loaf (the one i mistakenly got) was poorer grains.. mixted with spices and raisens to mask the flavor

Asnapa (for Judy and Pancho) --- a blend of many fresh herbs for making a soup or something..

Twilig (for Bob) -- ok, that wasn't it's name.. i don't remember... but close!... it was the beans of the Lupine flower!... ground up and fried with cheese ..

i forgot the rest of them...
Judy and Christine got a bag of boiled corn..

we ended up giving most of it to Guillermo

and headed off to a Chapel of Mercey Christians?
i don't know
i got so pissed off
infuriated
i tried to just let it go
Jim (d) and i stood outside while a man explained the church's riches..

walter showed us a little hole of some crazy fucking preist who never came out except to carry a wooden cross around at midnight..
painted all the walls...
one room Heven.. the other Hell
blah blah blah

i was burnt out.

we walked around
i bought another Chakana (the incan cross)
and went to eat at a chicken restaurant..
then back to the Hotel.

i checked in on Jim..

sleeping..

he woke after a little while
and we talked about the day
then he went back to bed..

and i went out to explore the city.

Tobias Schneebaum, when convinced to come back here in the documentary made about him a few years ago, was walking through narrow streets with high walls..

Walter told me it'd be in the old city (the puma..) and pointed up hill
so i decided i would go there..
first, to delete some of the photos off the computer i put them on yesterday..

but that cafe was full.. so i couldn't get there..

so i walked up high stairs..
and..

all of a sudden
was out of TouristVille..
into a small street
channeled streets
i was drawn
fascinated
i walked
up and up
on and on
narrower
ahh, here beside the Sun Temple!
these old walls..
the canals through the walls.. i sang into!
the old ruined foundations
glass doors protecting
look at that..

the little kids
everyone staring..
the kids at the tourists
the tourists at everything..

narrow streets..
an interenet place

i sat down to see if i could find anything about Gay Cusco..
blocked by a porn blocker..
my gmail too..

so i moved to another computer
and that worked..

i found lots of stuff for Lima..
only a few listings for bar/restaurants here
..i jotted down their names.

and got obsessed with silverdaddies..
eventually
the internet locked up..
not just in that store
but the entirety of Cusco..
Out.
cell phones too

(ok Mercury...)

so i paid the proprietor
and asked him if he knew where the Plazoleta Nazarenas was..
he explained in spanish
four blocks straight up
!

alright

so i walked
getting distracted by all the beautiful streets and people and doors..

got to the plaza
quite empty..
found the address: 221...
for Fallen Angel.

i rang the buzzer
and a gay boy answered the door
not speaking english
he got a girl.. not gay.. who did not speak very good english
then a Very Gay Guy game out from the back room and started talking with me..
telling me how ther Is No Gay Life here in Cusco..
which is funny
because the city's flag is a rainbow flag.. but with one extra colour than ours...
a light blue between the blue and green..

he jotted down on my map where the cafe's and restaurants were..
but not real discotects...
a sauna... but not REALLY gay.. but gay men go there..
Ok..

this bar was amazing..
like a coffee house i used to go to in Broadripple when i was 16...
colours everywhere
textures..
statues
art..
beautiful ambiance..
i took a few pictures
but it was very dark in there..

i walked out
and headed up to the older part of the city
on the hill

the streets got tighter
and more vertical
stairs
with cannals
blue doors
balconies

high incan walls
sod, sometimes..

i talked with some... Australian guy?

who told me Boliva was boring
but this town was beautiful..
...

i walked towards the plaza San Blas
on the upper level
saw a bunch of hippie kids selling their wares

beautiful chain work
.. i had to talk with them mostly in spanish..
but found out they made this all by hand
it was pretty cheep
so i bought a choker..

then a younger guy with long hair and i started talking
.. he´s peruvian
but from the desert..
had a bunch of fossilized shark teeth
i bought one
and asked him to do some knot work on it...
he said it would take him an hour...
and would i meet him back here?
then he was hesitant..
and invited me to his house..

so i followed him
up stairs..
, winding alleys...
to a door
opening into a compound
on a cliff
his house
up a spiral staircase

his room was all windows
and i could see the entire city..

i stood in mountain pose for a while
looking out..
took some pictures..

noticed a Rainbow in the south.. over the city of rainbows..
the Centre of the world..
Qusqo means "navel"
in the cross.. it is the hole in the center...

now?

after petting the cat
and massaging the dogs (the husky´s name was "killa" --- "Moon" in Quechua ... if i had a dog i´d want a Husky or a Mikita)
i told Carlos, this guy, that i wanted to wander around while there was still light
he said he´d be done in an hour
so i left..

beautiful colours...
i just photo graphed things..
the net was still down.

i ate at a little kabab house
a guy from Barcelona
kinda cute
lots of veggies and meat
too much to eat
i took it back up to Carlos´ place...
but he wasn´t done.
he undid all his work and started over..

so i left him again
and headed down to the Sauana..

i passed Elizabeth and Deetmar on the way
and scared them by saying hello
i was extatic..
talking to them made it clear
(chewing on coco leaves)
telling them to go see that area i had just come from

i was going across town
and the air got worse
things were newer... touristy..

i searched..
and could not find it
up and down the street..
was that it?

Caliente Duchas! 24 ahoras!

... no..
i walked in the building and it looked like someone´s house... with a market in the courtyard?

i walked out..
into another courtyard..
once again

someone´s house..
outhouse..

no..
i asked people
they pointed me the oppsite direction
i looked
.. i found it!

and there was an ad for one of the gay-owned restaurants on the wall
so..
i went in.

28 soles for the sauna/steam room
3 soles for a towel
1.5 soles for a bathings suit.

men and women
one guy obviously gay
all the rest
older, chunky men
with their girlfriends or wives..

in the steam room
a big chubby guy sat right next to me!
i was so excited
but he didn´t speak english
nor i spanish..

so..

from the steam room to the sauna
wanting..

it´s no good..

room filled with het couples
nice
talking..
this is the first time i´ve ever been in a heterosexual sauna..
but for Heartwood..

oh... and wales..
well
i mean
in a city!

strange
to hear them all talking away
trying to get into the flow of the language..
to understand them.

the big chubby guy´s name was Thabok
and he was entertaining the whole room
telling stories
rubbing his belly a lot
squeezing it
and wiping himself everywhere constaly with his washcloth..
a woman started using the salt scrub
so i did as well
in my yoga streatches
if felt so good
from there to a cold water shower: Spanish Duche
back to the steam room, back to the sauna
resting..
Thabok left...
another round
and me too...
back to meet carlos to get the necklace...

but
being the explorer that i am
i decided to take another route..

the narrow winding roads turned into dirt
quiet
no cars
i welcomed the clean air..
but i couldn´t find a road leading left..
i walked a long time
finally found some stairs..
so went up..

huffing and puffing..

more stairs
ok..
no
this road isn´t right..
more stairs

i was about to die

more stairs..
ok.. ENOUGH
i turned left and staggered down the street..
i was very high up now..

some security guys..
in spanish
asked me where i was going
i did my best to explain
they told me i was almost at the top of the mountain
and asked if i´d like to be escorted to where i needed to go
... so as not to get lost

i said yes..

we spoke our broken languages..
a very windy path
FAR back down..

Carlos wasn´t on the square
so i went back to his house

he had finished it
and was making dinner..

the house was filled with people

mostly germans, austrians and a swiss girl...
one peruvian guy besides Carlos
and one Brazilian from Bhiah...
telling me how much i needed to go there... in Portuguese..

i talked with them all a while
then left and went to an internet cafe
... the net was working again
so i wrote the first half of this
and wrote some guys from the www.perubears.com site
we´ll see...

then they were closing
and i had to go..

it was raining
so i caught a cab home..
 

Vertical Prose