Jungle Man.

Scott has a deep tan, and sagging arm flesh.  Faded blue tattoos mark his skin, but other things are more pressing to look at, to explore.  The computer set up in the middle of his modest jungle hut, for example.  What a paradox to the senses.  It shouldn’t fit, but somehow, it does.  I can see the chickens pecking at the ground outside, and glimpse the distant blue sea, hazy in the afternoon heat.  I see the hand-made artwork on the walls~ one painting done by my sister and Sasha, which reads, in rainbow print:  Happy Birthday Scott!  Hope this is a healty, happy year.  I don’t notice until my second or third glance that “healthy” is spelled wrong.  The heat is condensed under this tin roof, and it is pulsing out of my skin, which is dripping sweat after a long trek down the treacherous dirt road.  The smell of ganga fills the air, as Scott loads another bong for Brigitte.  Here they are not called “bong hits,“ they are called “bongs.“  In the middle of this (not quite) sprawling jungle hut there sits a computer stand, a black HP computer, and a tangle of cords beneath it.  Purple hammocks hang on either side.  Opening the small refrigerator, I find two bottles of grape Gatorade.  I take one, gratefully gulping down the contents.  Now I can talk.
A traveler with stoned, red eyes sits in a chair near the hammock, where I take up residence.  His name is Micheal.  He is an archeologist, a student from Austria.  He tells me, in a happy, traveler sort of way, that he actually does big digs, and employs state-of-the-art technology to further his craft.  “People are alvays sinking zat ve use zese little brushes to look at seengs,” he explains, mimicking an archeologist dusting off a tiny find.  “But really, we use zee most up-to-date techno-loe-gee.  You zee?”
I am looking into his stoned eyes, and thinking that he reminds me of my brother.  Though his vacation is almost over, and he has to return to Austria in several days, I envy him his tan.  He has a beautiful tan.


2 Responses to Jungle Man.

  1. Brynn says:

    Oh Scott! That painting by Brigitte… those hammocks…. Sarah- ask him how often he leaves his hut. I re-read an group email I sent out awhile back. I believe he only leaves that hut 1-2 times a week. His life is lived there with full contentment. Minus his children, whom he misses dearly (but with the fading nostalgia that 13 years creates) he does seem content doesn’t he?

  2. Ben says:

    It sounds like you are getting round and about. (That reminds me, Yes is playing at the Moore this upcoming Wednesday.) The computer in the middle of the jungle sounds like a computer commercial.

    The poem was a nice change of pace in the blog. Why not try as many different changes as possible? It’s a great way to learn.

    And you wanted us to correct and critique, so here’s a small mention. Is the Austrian’s name “Micheal” or “Michael”? And archaeologist needs another “a”. (Your word is listed in my dictionary as a variant, so it’s a matter of personal selection.

    Anyway, keep writing. And traveling. And enjoying.


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