somebody else’s journal. It was in a pile of stuff brought from the old Gringo House in Lima to the new one. I hope I am not violating anyone’s privacy by publishing this.
….One of our team, Apoteoso Arco-Balena ( I suspect that was not the name that his Whitefish Bay , WI parents gave to him either in the hospital, or at his baptism or christening) spoke hardly a single word of Spanish, and his only language,English, wasn’t really intelligible unless he had been off of hallucinogens for at least 48 hours, which, alas, never happened on this trip. He did discover, however, a new species of hallucinogenic moss (or so he claimed, he was usually on several questionably obtained drugs at any given moment and I don’t know how he could tell the difference, unless maybe it’s like those wine experts who can detect the same chemicals present in blackberries, currants, and cowhide that are present in a single sip of wine), that heretofore had only been used in aboriginal religious ceremonies, but which Apoteoso claimed made a reasonable substitute for breakfast cereal, his favorite brands not being available in the Andes.
Apoteoso generally tried to make up for his lack of Spanish by attempting what he called “interpretive dances” which he claimed was better than learning Spanish, as “music’s the universal language, dude–even a guinea pig knows that.” He was unfortunately limited, though, by only having a poor quality (but loud!) boom box and a single cassette tape which consisted of Mama Mia, Afternoon Delight, and Rock Me Amadeus. In general, most of the Andinos thought he was crazy, and when the locals in Cochapata–half out of fear, half out of compassion–offered to lock him up in the local mental facility (“no criminals! not since the new alcalde had them shipped away! We promise!) the rest of us thought that it would hardly be polite of us to refuse this offer. Besides, in spite of his quirks, Apoteoso was devilishly handsome, and was generally getting first choice of all the chicks when we got to a new town, and I would be lying if I said that the rest of us weren’t a bit frustrated and jealous….