My recent visit home to meet my new niece inspired me to make a few changes in my life. I would work a little less than I had been, I told myself, cutting back to no more than, say, 70 hours a week. I would travel more and I would play more music.
Ready to implement these new changes, I took advantage of a four-day Ecuadorian weekend and headed to the beach in Montañita, guitar and five other MPI volunteers in tow.
Blow number one to my newfound enthusiasm for life came at the bus stop in Manta, when I realized that someone had slipped my Timbuktu bag out from under my chair in Puerto Viejo. Passport, wallet (license, debit card, $250 for the weekend), new copy of Friedman’s Freedom and Capitalism, iPod, cell phone, three brand new pair of smart wool socks, and a good chunk of my already pared-down granola wardrobe, gone. Gone too was the nearly complete journal in which I recorded my entire year in Ecuador.
When life hands you lemons, make whiskey sours
My remaining possessions: a guitar, the clothes I was wearing, a pocketknife (with bottle opener), a four-day weekend, and a plan for an open-mic night three weeks from now.
After a solid weekend, blow number two came on the overnight ride back from to Quito, when I was jolted awake by the sound of my guitar crashing from the overhead rack onto the bus floor. Neck cracked, it no longer holds a tune for more than a couple songs. I’m not putting much stock in my superglue-duct-tape jerry-rigging.
Fine, universe. I’ll go back to work.
“Sir I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”