Originally published in Santa Cruz Waves Magazine.
Maybe I should bring a gun. The thought crashed through my mind without warning, dropping uncomfortably into the pit of my stomach. I glanced at my blue backpack and the fake yellow daisy tied to its strap. The idea of packing a gun into it, or more importantly, pulling a gun out of it, seemed ludicrous.
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
– Rudyard Kipling, If
Click here to read the full poem.
How I wish I could take my own advice, and not set myself up for disappointment. It’s those damn expectations. They get me every time.
It took 24 hours of nonstop traveling to get from the mountains of Guatemala to the coast of Mexico. Twelve hours on a shuttle from Antigua to San Cristóbal, one of which was spent looking for an English girl who couldn’t speak Spanish and thus couldn’t describe to the driver where to find her hotel. I hated her white powdered face and the smack of her lips on a sickeningly sweet-smelling strawberry breakfast bar. As I hated the driver who broke the zipper on my board bag as I told him not to touch it. And the Good Samaritan with the sad practiced smile of a martyr who was working with communities to reduce infant mortality, and thus thought she deserved the front seat. Twelve hours on a shuttle, I hated them all.