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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 04:59 pm:   

I'm catching a redeye tonight for Dallas, then heading south. I'll likely be out of computer contact. Maybe not. I don't know. I should be back in a week, but it might take longer to get done what I have to do. So...talk whenever.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 05:19 pm:   

Have a safe, fun trip.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 05:46 pm:   

Have fun.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 06:38 pm:   

I'll try, but I ain't going for fun. Y'all take care.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 07:21 pm:   

I'll modify that then to "successful".
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 07:40 pm:   

Okay then. I'll modify that to "Kick his ass!"
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Huw
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 08:31 pm:   

Have a safe trip.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 07:26 am:   

I hate this fucking polluted, murderous shithole. Everybody's packing, gangs predominate, the rich travel about with armed bodyguards. I didn't know we were coming here, and it was a bad surprise. Last time I was in the capital, I came close to being robbed in the weekend market next to the soccer stadium. Some guys were trailing me, at any rate. There's a sinister feeling to the streets, or maybe it's just my paranoia. But according to people we talked to there was a gun battle earlier today near Colonia Palmira, the wealthiest neighborhood in the city, a few miles from here. So I'm staying in tonight. There are all kinds of American franchises in Teguz. Tony Romas, Fridays, Wendys, Burger King, KFC, etc, etc. They recently passed a law that franchises are tax-exempt for their first ten years of operation. Aren't American corporations fortunate? I mean, what a lucky break! Anyway, we avoided the franchises and ate at a little restaurant that specialized in these big shishkabobs and pupusas, which are kind of a Honduran calzone. Now here I sit in the hotel bar, my natural environment, with a friend's laptop and a drink. The bar, however, being part of Teguz, also sucks. Half the people in here look like cops; the other half, I'm fairly certain, are hookers. We're next door to a casino, and they come here for a break. The hookers, not the cops. They're all wearing sunglasses at night--the cops, not the hookers. Most of the cops have that cold Latino macho villain thing down. If you lived in this hotel, it'd be like living in a B-movie. Tomorrow, thank Christ, we're out of here.

They started playing CDs, Latin pop, and so I put on the earphones and am listening to Chris Whitley. Man, that guy was good. There's a line in "Living With the Law": "...They got a romance made for doing time." It reminds me of this bar. I'm also half in the bag. Probably going to bed soon. In the morning we're off to La Ceiba, and from La Ceiba to Miskitia. It'll be grim, but not end-of-days grim like Teguz. No matter how apocalyptic the scene, it'll be more alive than Teguz.

Tequila is good, especially the expensive blue kind. The bartender just bought me a shot. I don't believe I've ever had a bartender buy me a shot before in Honduras, but then I don't usually stay in the good hotels. We're only staying here this time because we wanted to seem prosperous to the assholes we're dealing with. Anyhow, the bartender...I wonder if he's trying to set me up, if he slipped something into the shot. See? Paranoid. But this is a country where Columbian coke dealers have been operating as the good guys in the post-Felix devastation--they have really fast boats and no fear of being outgunned and it's in their interests to help. Paranoia is inevitable.

Thanks for the good wishes. I'm off to the airport.
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PM
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 08:24 am:   

If you need an air strike just say the word.

Take care.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 09:58 am:   

"I hate this fucking polluted, murderous shithole. Everybody's packing, gangs predominate, the rich travel about with armed bodyguards."

At first, I thought you were talking about Dallas...:-)
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Huw
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 01:29 pm:   

So did I!

Hope your next stop is more pleasant, Lucius. At least you had some good free blue tequila... ;-)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 - 09:26 am:   

Stuck in La Ceiba......which beats the hell out of Teguz, but still ain't where I want to be. We may be here through the weekend, and I need to get back by next friday.

I have a certain affection for La Ceiba. First of all, it's the jumpin' off place for Roatan, an island fabled in story and song--my story and song, anyhow--and secondly, it's a pretty cool place, tropical sleaze abounds, the bars are for real people mainly, the whores and the cops are funkier, gentle breezes play among the palms and when the wind dies white men sweat like old cheese. It is the absolute classic banana town. Standard Fruit de Honduras, a Dole subsidiary, has its headquarters here. Not much tourism, except for the usual run of backpackers, pedophiles come for the kiddies, and people on their way to the Bay Islands.

Weíre staying with a guy, a useful guy albeit somewhat deranged, who is/was a successful professional man up in the States (doctor, lawyer, Indian chiefóI donít know whoís reading this and donít want to compromise him). Heís typical of a kind of ex-pat down here. Has a compound behind a high whitewashed wall topped with broken glass, with guard dogs and automatic rifles (paranoia has become the la turista of the 21st century), and several young indigenous women who serve as cook/maid/sexual providers. He owns a largish boat and has done us favors in the past. If you let him, heíll talk your ear off about conservative politics, yet down here he lives as a liberal, even performs some acts that might be considered revolutionary. Iíve never figured this out (maybe itís a cover thatís become a reflex), but there seem to be quite a few people like him down here, kind-hearted assholesóor could be thatís just how I see the human race. The house is nice, if a bit tropical austere. Every wall whitewashed, cheap metal twin beds that squeak when you lie down and sound like Ornette Coleman when used for anything except sleep. Unvarnished wood floors downstairs, pigeons and chickens wander in and out. The living room is the only part of the house thatís decorated. Some locally produced water colors hung about, a few easy chairs, a gun rack, a TV always tuned to the weatheróitís sunny now, but thereís a fifty percent chance of thunderstorms, and I can see clouds moving in from the Picos Bonitos, the hills that hem the town in against the ocean.

I went down near the docks last night and walked along the Avenida de la Republica. It was like old times. The street hasnít changed that much since I first came here thirty years ago. It was thronged with drunks, whores, vendors, farmboys in new stiff blue jeans and straw hats, the odd gringo, sailors, etc. The air was hot and glossy black, the asphalt shiny with rain, and the bars with their open facades (roll-up corrugated metal walls instead of doors) looked like rows giant tv sets all tuned to the Party Channel. I had a couple of beers, talked to some folks, but my heart wasnít in it. Iím ready to go to Miskitia.

Weíll be heading to the boat soon. If things are ready, itíll be quiet this end for a week. If not, Iíll post tomorrow.

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