Four Days in Panama
Geckos and frogs sing me to sleep at night. A herpetologist’s paradise. And a herpetologist it is that has invited us to stay. In her home. If we don’t mind the snakes. Next to the ice cream. In the freezer.
The house is set off the road. In the village. Down a grass path between fences. Concrete. Rented for $40 a month. A couple of bedrooms. An outhouse and a shower several yards away. Water comes in from the stream. Clean and clear. Above the point. Where it will get contaminated.
We sit into the night. Listening to stories of snakes. And the venomous ones. That have taken lives. Because of the distance. To the hospital. Snakes are her life’s work.
I shake the bugs from my bag and shower looking over the concrete wall. At the mountains. Showering outdoors. Is wonderful. I wish the little black and white monkeys. That she’s told us about. Around the house. Would sit on the edge of the shower. So I could see them up close.
The real world of snakes. And the mystical world. Collide in the national park. There was a severed finger. At the site of the plane crash. On the top of the mountain. Where Omar “If I fall, pick up the flag, kiss it, and keep on going” Torrijos died in 1981. Locals living near Omar Torrijos National Park believe. That their populist leader still lives in the jungle. He’d be 80 now. And they defend his land. It’s likely that they’ll continue to do so, with faith in the unseen. Long after he would be 111. Omar vive.