Monday, January 14, 2008

Getting Time to Get to Peru

I've got a trip coming up. I leave on Tuesday, January 22. My first guest arrives in Iquitos on January 25. The remaining eight come the following morning. I'm getting jittery. One of my guests, with whom I've had a lot of email contact, wrote me a note today; for some reason I told him the truth. I usually do but the subject of jitters has ever come up before. Here's what I wrote him:

You know, the prep time, the three or four days before you all arrive, is when I'm at my best. Just me and my team, running errands, checking things, figuring things. We sit in my hotel room, have a bottle of Jim Beam and maybe a bottle or 7 Raises (7 roots extracted into cane liquor, sweet but deadly), and Inca Cola and snacks like stuffed potatoes and rice balls, and count hammocks, check mosquito nets
for holes, inspect the medical kit to look for holes, check the
shotgun, count blankets, towels, pairs of good jungle boots, flashlights, batteries, spare bulbs, and a thousand other things that need checking. Get drunk, have a party, and work from 6 AM till Midnight making sure we've not forgotten anything. Those three days when I am there with them before you all arrive is like getting set for a rock and roll concert: Sound check, material check and party. And no partying till the check is Okay'd by me. And then all hell cuts loose. We've fit 35 people into my
hotel room sometimes when things get smoking. I live for that vibe.
It's so freaking scary to have you all coming down, the adrenalin rush is
awesome. What if we fuck up? What if we're not on our game? What if one of the women on the team has a new boyfriend and doesn't come? What if Mauricio, our 68-year-old wood cutter hurt his arm? What if there is a strike and there are no riverboats leaving when we have to leave? What if they hate us? What if they hate the jungle? What if they all die when they drink ayahuasca? What if we don't see an electric eel and one of them drowns? What if one of the guests grabs a snake he/she is sure is a constrictor but is actually a venomous bushmaster? What if what if what if???
We go through it like a football team: and then, suddenly, it's
game day and we're supposed to look all smooth and composed when we meet you at the airport at 6 AM a week from Saturday. "Hi, I'm Peter Gorman....", I say and we're all just scared to death and we hope you don't know that's bullshit.
So here's to looking smooth and you're the only one who knows we're
more scared of you than you are of us....


Kuchinta said...

I'll bear that in mind when we meet in July ;-)

Safe travels,

John said...

I, and my adoring wife, are two of the victims, and your anxiety is my adventure ahead! Can't wait. Can't wait. :0)

suesun said...

Take good care of my friends (J and J)!!! For some reason, i know that you will.....

Hummingbird said...


Blessings and blessings, and a smooth flow for you and your group of workers and participants...

I'll send you energy daily!


The Grudge said...

Have a great trip! Wish I could go with you.