e c l e c t i c a
s p o t l i g h t a u t h o r
William Reese Hamilton
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Lengua del Burro
"Para visitar mi puta madre," I hear her say. "To visit my whore of a mother." Well, I think to myself, I wonder if my kids will talk of me in such colorful terms?
Hunting the Whale
"Carajo, Pendejo!" Elizabeth swears at the driver in her best street Spanish. She's naturally furious that he did not obey the unwritten law of this road. Not to honk could mean injury or death.
So we chase Ricardo's phantom out across the Llanos--that broad, seemingly endless flatland where Venezuela raises most of its cattle, a plain of low scrub, scraggly grass and few people. Ahead, up the sun-drenched road, cattle appear through waves of heat, then a single red-shirted vaquero trotting his horse along the shoulder, rounding up strays, moving his herd.
A Small Town on Dark Waters
Without drums of diesel fuel, the electric power plant shuts down. No light, no water, no refrigeration. I'm OK with heat, but I do like a cold beer and a shower. In the summer, Maroans collect the scanty potable rainwater from their roofs, bathe in the river's dark waters and flush their toilets (be they so lucky) with a bucket. Without refrigeration, the meat, foul and fish are served freshly killed, heavily salted, or more likely, spoiled. Usually in a rancid stew.