Monday, August 19, 2013

Yeah, well, you got me talking, so here I go...

There are two things I want to say about this trip that hint at how generous the universe is. The first occurred when after the second trip one of my guests said he had bought too many presents for friends and that he needed to unload some things. He gave me a bag with several tee-shirts, some aspirin, bug spray and so forth--which I divvied up among my team. But then there was a beautiful metal container of something called Bag Balm. It's something you put on cow's udders so that they won't crack and hurt when you milk them in cold regions of the country.
   Who the hell could I give that to? My team isn't very sophisticated and I could only imagine explaining what it was to one of the women: She'd open her blouse and tell me to apply it to her nipples for sure. Not okay.
    So I wound up keeping it with the idea of throwing it away. And I kept trying to imagine why a guest would bring a pound of cow udder softening ointment. I mean, if you had a million guests in the Amazon, how many would bring that? None. None.
    But then I developed a nasty sort of indent on my right calf below the wound just where the sneaker hit my swollen ankle. And you know what? Nothing in the huge med kit I carry would work on that damned thing except Bag Balm. So thank goodness that the universe tapped one of the 11 people in the world who have Bag Balm on the shoulder and told him to bring it to the Amazon because someone was going to need it.
   That's a universe that sees what's coming down the pike and gets it handled ahead of time. Amazing.
    And then there was the sneaker incident. Before all my trips, after all the packing and preparation is done, I go out and treat myself to a pair of new sneakers. Generally New Balance or Air Jordans. Not fancy, just $50-$60 buck sneaks. That's the official last thing I do before it's time to go, and I generally do it on the afternoon of the day before I leave for Peru.
   So I went to the place where I usually buy sneakers, but they had no size 11s in anything I wanted to wear. So I went to a second place. Same thing. Out till next week. Third place, same thing. It was like a conspiracy. So I wound up at Academy Sports and darned if they didn't have single size 11 in Air Jordans, Nikes, New Balance or anything else. All they had was a single pair of regular looking 11 1/2 wides.
    Madeleina told me to keep looking. I told her we were in the fourth store and that was all I was gonna do. So I bought the sneakers that were way too big for me--and don't you know that just two weeks or so later when my leg started to break out it swelled up to where I needed 11 1/2 wides?
    Who's running this universe anyway? And if they know I'm gonna need those sneaks and so make all the regular size 11s disappear on the day I'm shopping, well, couldn't they also arrange for nothing bad to happen to my leg?
    No. That's selfish. It should be enough that the universe saw I was going to need the oversized sneaks and sort of forced me to get them. That should be enough for me.
    Thanks, universe! You certainly work in wonderfully mysterious ways! Glad to be part of it.


Kuchinta said...

Love you for your optimistic outlook, always, Peter!

Dag said...

It turned out to be good to meet you and to some extent to get to know you. I look forward to developing a further acquaintance next time you're in Iquitos, assuming I can make a go of it here myself till such time as then.

I'm unclear about how things are going for you, re. your leg. I hear various stories, that Miriam has gone to Lima to tend to you in hospital. I assume you made it to Texas and have found successful treatment. My best, regardless.

Peter, thank you for lending me the Elmore Leonard novels. It made a few days here even better than my usual good days here. Here's a link to a puff piece on E.L. Hope it helps you pass a few easy moments during what I assume is still for you recovery time.

My best from Iquitos.

Dag Walker.

P.S. I find I have to post this to your blog. Hope I'm not embarrassing you with this public note.

Good to read that your leg is as saved as it is. Makes for a great read and will sometime later make a great novel, I think.

Dag said...

Whoops. Here's the link to Steve Malanga, City Journal, "Elmore Leonard, Cowboy."

As you know, the Internet sucks here. Hope the link is convenient.

phoenix said...

makes you think about free will, doesn't it?

Dag said...

Hmm, I think about free beer and pizza.

I think about more Elmore Leonard novels.

Have two pieces up that are sort of about you. I'm a working class guy. No ayahuasca stuff at all. Not for your crowd here. My own reader is illiterate.

In Iquitos news, the little fat guy who wanted to beat you up is in hospital with a severe attack of diabetic shock. The white haired guy, Adrian, is laid low with malaria from the jungle trip recently. Such is life.

It's pretty good for the most part if one can keep on smiling through the rough patches.

My best.


Best of luck.