Pacaipampa, Peru

[Excerpt from a personal travel adventure.]

...Finally, one good gentleman gave up his seat in the cab and crawled into the bed of the small truck where there were now seven pieces of live cargo - four itinerant teachers, Alex, Lorena and I. Together we were to endure the long journey down the mountains, in the dark and in the cold. Tightly assembled and unable to move, we in the back and six other souls who were crammed into the cab, including Lorena's bewildered grandfather, began a roller-coaster ride of unfathomable discomfort and blind to the mortal danger that lurked along the narrow road’s precipitous shoulder. To make matters truly terrifying, the driver raced down the road at excessive speeds, prompting Alex and others to bang on the side of the truck to get the driver's attention and plead with him to slow down. I had already given in to the inevitability of my death this night and was beyond haggling for my personal safety. Bump after bump, turn after turn, sitting upon the steel bed of the truck, my spine bounced up and down in a parry-and-thrust with my pelvis. My head snapped to and fro. My bare foot grated against the inside of the tailgate as a teacher’s shoe pushed innocently against it. But, I was having the time of my life. After all, this was it. I was convinced there was no tomorrow and that can be quite a carefree feeling. Lorena and I were finally finding a few things to actually laugh about together. Plus, the crystal-clear equatorial night sky was so full of stars I found it easy to dodge despair by simply staring up at the supremely-defined Milk Way. In all my tropic travels in Capricorn and Cancer, I have never seen such a spectacular display by the Universe.


Miami, FL 33133, USA

©2020 by Tom Grasse