We had been driving all day from one end of the country to the other. It was for the most part still a lush and rural place, with high plains, wild flowers, and a good number of cows. I thought perhaps that those were coffee plants which, when affixed with thick wire, had been formed into a roadside fence. But I was unsure. I did not know coffee plants could grow like that in such open terrain.

It was a country that loved chickens. Each dwelling we passed had a small chicken hut beside it. A farmer had spelled out POLLO in large stones on his property. We could see it over a cliff’s edge. And there were of course stray chickens everywhere.

We were tired from looking at such interesting things all day and, in that state, arrived at the coastal resort where vacationed business school students. They had many fine green trees at this resort, the leaves like bright plastic imaginings.

“This is my friend Ari,” said my gregarious acquaintance of business studies. “Ari is like the smartest person I’ve met. You two will get along. Ari has read like every book. Name a book.”

“Anna Karenin.”

“Ari has read that book.”

“Have you?” I asked. I had not at that time read it and was very impressed.

Fish eyes make you smart, a girl had told me, so I ate both of them that night. Two days later, on a different part of the coast, we spent all night dancing with whores.

Advertisements