Monday, October 27, 2008

A Slippery Slope in Crag-laden Northwest Argentina pt. 5 of 3

Given the precedent set by the previous events on this tour, my rest was better than I could have expected. I was only awoken a few times through the course of the night, and the person behind me was gracious enough to let the little hand hit the six before he started to shout.

"I'm dying. I'm dying. I'm dying," he pierced the general hum of the moving road with his shrieks, "I'm dying!"

My heart jumped up and so did I to turn behind my headrest. There sat a five-year-old boy banging two plastic men together.

"I'm dying. I'm dying," it was kind of cute, I thought. There were other verbs he could be using while banging the men together.

"I'm dying," he gave me a huge toothless grin while his mother, after years of practice, remained quietly asleep aside him.

"I'm dying. I'm dying, " he continued, dissipating all lingering forms of cuteness in his play.

"I'm dying. I'm dying." What a wonderful narrative surmise of my trip, I thought, and it's getting really annoying.

"I'm dying. I'm dying." How long does it take your plastic man to die? I turned around again and chided him.

"Shut up," I said. But this time his mother was awake and she gave me a look that could be read word for word as follows:

"My kid? Shut up? Listen, punk, you shut up! Ha! The guy who made the whole bus stop last night because he couldn't hold it in is telling my kid to shut up? Turn your honky-ass around!"

Well, maybe her look didn't scream that last part, but it was effective enough to make me turn and bear disgrace.

"I'm dying. I'm dying." We spoke in unison, "I'm dying."

Unable to return back to a semi-peaceful state, I stared out the window to watch the sunrise. Ah, yes! When one wakes before the sun rises, he can make the most of his day. He is blessed with opportunity. A sunrise provides both literal and figurative enlightenment. The entrance of the sun allows me to push yesterday's woes behind me and to bask in today's chance to make anew. Yes, the sunrise brightens spirits and fills each day with a spectrum of....wait! Why was the sun rising out of my window on the right of the bus? Even being in the southern hemisphere couldn't explain this anomaly.

"Take 'er really easy, Chris. You don't know what's going on." I thought. But that was the problem, I didn't know what was going on anymore. The best solution at this moment was to sigh and accept. This was a cursed trip from the outset. The realization should have made it more manageable, but it didn't. I stared out the window, I had nothing with which I could pass the time we were heading backwards except for my journal. (At this instant, I'd like to point out that my notebook was more of a Magellanesque tale of adventure than a pre-teenage girl's diary. Well, who am I kidding?)

"Dear Diary," I wrote. "I can't wait to finally get back to my room where I can rest peacefully and dream of all my crushes, omg!" I continued with seemingly endless similes for what my heart felt like. I think I was writing about the way Danny looked at me during third period when a sudden interruption shook my pen. The bus had slowed as a result of the sudden friction applied to it's wheels by the break pads, in other words: the driver slammed on the brakes when we came to an unexpected (yet unsurprising) obstacle in the road. What was surprising, however, was what happened next.

[[You'll unfortunately have to wait a short time for the shock and awe that follows this lingering suspense/angst. Part six of this three-part odyssey will be presented soonafter we complete contract negotiations with a certain Hollywood A-List celebrity who may be playing the role of the Bus Driver. We've already signed Danny DeVito on as the five-year-old boy in the forthcoming crag-laden movie.]]

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Slippery Slope in Crag-laden Northwest Argentina pt. 4 of 3

Alone we sat in the darkest of the Altiplano steppes. My need for use of a bathroom had caused my entire bus to stop where there was nothing but an expansive lack of restrooms. The driver's frustration-fueled forceful stop was sure to have awoken those easily awoken by frustration-fueled forceful stops. The parallel structure of this moment was that while my entire bus was isolated from civilization, I was the lone maverick who was isolated from them. There I stood on the steps of the bus, a solitary bohemian*, segregated by my fellow Passenger, ready to take charge, unaccompanied, peering into the think black yonder. **

I slowly stepped from the bus, which as dark as it was outside, remained even darker on the inside. I was wise enough to know that this caused a problem of physics. I wouldn't be able to see in, but all who were on the window could easily see definition of figures out. I didn't care. Because even though there wasn't a shrub large enough for the Knights who say Ni!, I really, really had to go to the bathroom. So I took in a large breath, gathered myself and ran alongside of the bus. It was hopeless to try to run out of sight, so I analyzed that my best option was to hover as closely to the side of the bus as possible.

Well, I didn't have much time to think so I simply acted. And, picture it if you must, there I sat exposed to my greatest fears. I sure put the "Bare Ass" into embarrassing. But I was relieved! (Pun intended).

Then, like a brick face to the wall, the realization hit that, in my haste, I hadn't prepared myself with paper. I started to grow concerned and began to frantically search around me. Nothing. I patted myself down to find to my elation and/or discomfort that, in my pants' pockets remained the letters from my friend back home.

"Well," I settled the idea in my mind, "If there's ever been justification for this... now is the time." With a great sense of guilt amalgamated with my excessive embarrassment and half-nudity, a large and grotesque allegorical monster crawled inside my chest. My stomach felt better, but my heart rate was askew. Externalizing my palpitation, I jumped up, left my letters for the Alpaca, covered up the hole I dug and boarded the bus.***

Refreshed, yet head hung, I skulked back to my seat. If I had a tail, it would have been hiding between my legs. Enrique showed my a picture he took of me outside and then the bus stopped five miles later at a rest stop for gas and snacks. From what I heard, the toilets were nice...

[[Please stay tuned for part 5 of this knuckle-whitening, teeth-clenching, throat-gagging 3-part series of my adventures through the Argentine desert. Don't touch that dial, I'll be right back.]]

*Note: I'm not Bohemian with a capital B, but rather a bohemian, with a lower case b. I'm American, duh.
**Wow, there are a lot of commas in that sentence.
***I wanted to ensure concerned readers that I did, indeed, dig a hole despite my stress. Also, in my first draft, I had written, "covered my hole", which really didn't sound how I intended it to.