UNITED STATES—Un breve poema de la desesperacion, (A Short Poem of Despair)

-Donde esta la basura? (Where is the garbage?)

-Donde estan los cerillos? (Where are the matches?)

-Ya me doy cuenta de que estos misterios  (I realize this silly mysteries

me tienen hecho ya un esperpento, make me a wretch)

Graydon Miller was confused to say the least. This research trip had been planned for months. The destiny: Honduras, to visit and smell and see with his own bloodshot eyes the jungles and valleys and Costa Norte where Sam Delaney, the banana titan, had once rode a mule across the country, and Joe Holly, the self-styled, Louisiana born revolutionist had had his greatest exploits.

After the plane took off from Los Angeles, a sense of calm and joi dvivre flooded him, it lasted until they were 20,000 feet over Irvine. It was there, in this passenger laden capsule, that the peace and joy were instantly revoked. Graydon realized he had gotten aboard the verticalized aluminum banana without his cellphone. At the last minute, worrying about a pair of clean socks, this crucial detail of taking his cellphone was neglected. An abrasive curse escaped his lips. His cellphone! The family he knew in Honduras, the person who was driving him to Trujillo, his contacts in various libraries and archives… all tragically out of touch.

“I will arrive in Honduras a stranger,” Graydon lamented.

Graydon fell into a pit of despair. What an irony for this this person who still memorized phone numbers, who felt that when the great unplugging came, he would be more than ready. And he was ready. Just not here, and now, deep into the banana project. He felt the sting all at once accrued from all the actors in the world who ever uttered the line, “Death, where is they sting?” This staggering dearth of cyber lifelines, occassion by leaving his cellphone at home, left him devastated. It was as if the conditioned dependence on the device had opened a pinhole in the cosmos, which could suck your soul right out into nothingness.

The arc of the plane was irrevocable: it only zoomed forward in what seemed perfect stillness. Graydon Miller knew better than to despond. He was overreacting. One thing was certain: they weren’t in Hollywood any more.

To be continued…