Friday, July 04, 2008

The Medicine, the Medicine

There are days and there are days. Yesterday and today I received 11 emails from former clients who've been on trips to Peru with me. I've only had about 100 clients altogether over the last 11 years, so that represents a huge percentage. And I was sitting here with my kid Italo--my fantastic kid Italo, the brave, the courageous, the decent--and he was looking over my emails and he knew three or four of the people who'd written me, people who had been on trips with me and him, back 10 years ago. And he was astounded: Dad, how do these people even remember you? That's a long time ago...
And I respond: Yeah, but the medicine we give them keeps working. Forever. It's good medicine. You've had it, You know...
Yeah, but I'm Peruvian. I know it keeps working but does it really keep working on them? On white guys and women?
It's good medicine. I can't explain it any better than you can. I just think that once you open certain doors they never close again. And through those doors come threads that some people pick up and find valuable to their lives.
I guess so. I know what you mean. I just didn't think the average white person born in the US would get it.
They wouldn't. But then the average white/black/Spanish person born in the US isn't coming on my trips.
You can say that. If I didn't know how to do canoes at night and you sent me out to the river in a dugout canoe at night, I'd probably kill you. Man, that's scary. Fun, but scary. That thing goes over, you're lucky to get out alive.
That's why I tell them not to move. I don't want accidents.
But what if there are?
Oh, hell, Italo, I don't know. I hope I can swim out and save them.
But if it's a big anaconda?
Oh, man, don't even got there. These are guests, after all. THey don't even want to think about that.
But do you?
All the time. That's why there is always an extra canoe and a loaded shotgun at camp. We hear the word, the scream. we'll be there. Me and Juan.
Do you really have the guts to do that?
I fail at half the things I try in my life. That's not one of them. A snake is just a snake. I'm used to them. I've never been afraid of them and I'm just lucky I guess.
What if you don't kill it and it gets part of you?
Man, you're thinking about my worst nightmare.
So you're sometimes scared?
Not in real life. But in my imagination, I'm scared all the time.
Okay. Just so I know you know fear.
More than you know, I know.
Thanks, Dad. I'm gonna start the barbeque now.
Cool. Thanks for being my kid. You make me strong. I love you.
You got a couple of ranks coming in the next life dad. That's what we're preparing for in the next life, right?
What are ranks?
Accomplishments. You're doing okay, dad.
Thanks, buddy.

1 comment:

daisyduke said...

days like that make it all worthwhile...