Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peru-The Lessons of Fear Chapter 2: Sojourner

    The lights of the van parted the darkness. Everything around me was unfamiliar, but I felt secure in the warm grey passenger seat. Our driver Foruco spoke of the aggressive crowds at the break in Mancora in front of the hotel and I cringed. I tried to reason to myself that with my tenacity I would still manage, but I wasn’t very convincing. He spoke with a thick Peruvian accent, but his English was easy to understand, although, I have to admit, I wasn’t really listening. I sat with my hair pulled up in a loose bun to free my neck from the heat. I was taking in the sights, sounds and smells that surrounded me. I wondered how many other times in my life I would do something like this, travel to a remote location in search of the unfamiliar ecstasy that foreign waves brought me. Many, I concluded. Like I said, I am tenacious and usually find some way to get what I want and need. 
    The voices of my company hummed familiarly in the background. I wondered if I was being anti-social for putting my thoughts into my notebook instead of into their conversation. Foruco had turned the light on for me so I could see my journal.
    “You don’t have to do that” I said, trying to be courteous, but with a hint of caution. 
    “Don’t worry, I won’t read it. I don’t like reading.” he responded, glancing at me out of the corner of his hazel eyes. 
    “Huh” I laughed. Good, I thought. 
The van wove quickly but safely around trucks as we passed through cities still busy with locals chatting at restaurants and kids running wildly and barefoot. The light beamed down on me, lighting the front cabin of the car. I was done writing for the moment, but was nervous about reaching up to turn it off, fearful that I would hit the button the wrong way. I flipped through the manilla colored lined pages of my journal so the light was not on in vain.  The pages easily opened to Scott’s note. 
    If I read it, I thought, it would put the light to good use. I opened it. His familiar script like handwriting standing out before the words themselves. I refolded the letter and placed it back in the journal. I wasn’t ready yet. I eyed the car light for a sign or direction as to which was the off button. I reached up, shifted the button left and the van went dark. The only things visible now were rough outlines of the trees that lined the highway and the reflector bumps marking the road.

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