It was raining outside, a rain that looked to be an endless characteristic of this green jungle world, and I was sitting atop a crooked stool in an open-air bar with no name and little roof above. The warm beer was a national make, Black Snake.
The so-called street outside was mud, holes, trash, chickens and pigs.
I had just stepped off the rickety bus, a brutal 19-hour ride from the airstrip at Riesgo Grande. My canvas bag sat at my feet, and I smelled like onions and mangoes.
I’m not here on vacation. There’s a job, to drive a small case of nitroglycerin three days through the mountains. There are two possible outcomes: I’ll die poor, or I’ll live rich. The latter is the least likely of the two, by a long jungle mile of leeches.
She dashed in wet from outside, a tall, dark girl in a blue dress, and I squeezed the Black Snake. I was in love again, just the second time in my 48 years.
(To be continued, or not.)