I thought Vlad was full of shit. Or just yanking the tail of another tourist. Guiding must get mundane as factory work. Anything to spice up and here we have a toothpick fish, a glass frog, jesus lizard, decoy spider, a capybara—the largest rodent in the world, tastes better than chicken—and if you close your eyes and imagine a pink bisexual freshwater dolphin may appear. If you give into her seductions, she will drown you. Hopefully, you will orgasm first, but I have never succumbed, Vlad said, clocking our reactions. Told us it was time to get upriver.
In our canoe to the lodge, my wife and I decided to let the group paddle ahead, if the tide didn’t turn or no tidal wave arrived, I calculated we’d be fine finding the inlet, beaching, following the trail into the twilight, even make the buffet supper. Honeymooner’s what can you do? Our vessel had life jackets.
The critters and birds and wind on the jungle roof spun better than any dungeon techno Deejay, not that we get into juice juice juice juice juice juice much. We like a melody, but my wife was swinging her brown hips swirling around a trunk that rose through the green canopy so fat and high as a 25-story tower and I didn’t know what to do so I leaned back and tried to remember her show because nothing this good ever comes again when that fucking bullet ant sunk those venomous pinchers into my pinky toe, well.
I was told later about getting me unconscious into the canoe, upriver, to the lodge, Vlad helped get me into the helicopter, radioed the ambulance flight to the hospital in Manaus. I do remember the bill flattened my savings as fast as any express kidnap. But also, this mad soothing, womblike, underwater moment, all fleshy pink and soft, and thinking when I awoke nine days later that I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I’d live in that dolphin love forever and not care what my wife or Vlad or any doctor or any loved one said or imagined ever again.
David Morgan O’Connor is from a small village on Lake Huron. After many nomadic years, he is based in Albuquerque, where a novel and MFA progresses. His writing has appeared in; Barcelona Metropolitan, Collective Exiles, Across the Margin, Headland, Cecile’s Writers, Bohemia, Beechwood, Fiction Magazine, After the Pause, The Great American Lit Mag (Pushcart nomination) , The New Quarterly and The Guardian. Tweeting @dmoconnorwrites.