Art by Tom Swanson

Blog:Hong Kong Flu

5/22:  Julio summoned me with his weird looks and a movement of his head.  “What’s up, bro?  You need help,” I asked.  No answer.  I rose from the table.  He was bug-eyed and silent.  Following him to the room next to mine, he motioned into the room from breezeway.  The door was open but something made me stop short of the door; he wanted me to look so I took a small step and leaned forward to keep my body out of the way if anything came out the door.  Something told me I’d see a dead body but she was standing up on the bed, eyes closed, arms in the air reaching toward the fan; it was obvious she was high on something.  I stepped into the room and asked if I could help.  She laid down and didn’t say anything.  I told her I could help her with permission and asked again.  ‘Yes’, she wanted help.  

Did you take any drugs?  

Yes, coke.  

How much?  

3 ounces.  

‘Coca Cola or Cocaine’?  Of coarse I thought she was referring to blow but it was likely she meant 3 grams (there are 28.5 grams in an ounce).  

‘Cocaine’, she answered.  Julio had left and returned to where he could watch us..  I told her I was going to take her pulse and reached for her hand.  Fast pulse. I looked around for clues and put her hand down when I saw the bag with the other baggies in it.  There wasn’t anything left.  An empty bottle of some clear alcohol sat next to the bed.  I took the glass bottle and baggies outside the room and told Julio what I knew.  He was looking pretty stressed but had to go back to reception after I said we might have to call the paramedics.  She mumbled that she had a strong immune system.  The next time I took her pulse I noticed a stack of papers with handwriting them poking out from her leg and reached to slip it out.  Her pulse was all over the place and weak.  Scanning it up, down, up allowed me to pick up a few keywords and I focussed on those sentences.  The word body was the second word I noticed:  the sentence read something to the effect of  ‘even though I hate her, my mother can make arrangements to recover my body’.  This is when I understood and my thinking became very clear.  I had a moment of peace where I faced the decision to let her go if she was actually going to die or to try to get help help.  Ultimately I knew it would seriously fuck up my buddy’s day to have her die in the bed,  That’s when my pulse started to quicken and I got shaky for a minute, rushing out to reception with the letter and telling Julio that she was trying to commit suicide and we needed paramedics fast.  The rest isn’t worth writing except for a few interesting notes: 1) Because she was coherent enough to answer questions, she was able to refuse an iv.  2) Because she’d been due to check-out of the hostel and the manager wanted her gone, it appeared there were only two options since she was incapable of getting herself out.  The first was to go with the police.  The paramedics said that trying to kill yourself is a crime in Costa Rica.  The second option was to go in the ambulance but they required payment first.  $350 to go to Cobano.   3)She didn’t have the money and didn’t want to spend any…  This dreadlocked bitch wanted it for free.  She was somewhat with it, so I cautioned her that going with the police would likely be extremely expensive in a country like this.  I’d torn into her bag and found her passport and a money.  Anyway, no surf for me.  But I had a nice salad and a ferrero rocher, thinking of a buddhist story I’ve written before…  A man jumps off a cliff to escape a hungry tiger.  Clinging to a vine, he sees that there’s another tiger waiting below.  Noticing a strawberry growing from the cliff’s face, he stretches out and plucks it.  How sweet it tasted.

We’re live on earth for a limited time.  Might as well eat some a little chocolate if we’re lucky enough to be able to.

 5/23:  I was doing morning yoga in my room when I glanced up to see my former neighbor walking outside my room.  She walked about to where my door was then turned around and headed back where she’d come from.  A bit of a foul mood came over me.  She’d gotten all the time and energy I wanted to give in the past few days.  A couple of days before she tried slaying herself she’d gotten sunburned and scalded her feet on the road.  It was then that she’d asked if I’d ride my bike to a restaurant and get her shakshuka.  Sure.  I went and got the meal.  But now I only went outside when she’d walked back to reception.  Yep, she was there but didn’t see me so I walked around the back of the building and went next door.  Julio wouldn’t answer his door so I walked back to reception to go about my business.  She came straight up to me, facing me directly, smiling and locking eyes with me, looking like a fucking Mouseketeer with her fluffy little dreads… and blocking my way.  And then she thanked me and told me I’really helped and she was feeling better.  I responded and went around her.  She followed and asked if she could take the spare bed in my room.  The day before, as she lay in bed trying to figure out how to get care for free or cheap, I thought ‘this bitch is on welfare back home for sure’.  Just the type to be on the dole.

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5/24 My neck is completely trashed; I hurt it in Pavones weeks ago and have had quite a few other hits to it in Santa since.  I hit the lip of one wave and got pushed off backwards, going out to the flat and basically landing flat except for my head which whipped back.  Neck muscles tensed and a  strong headache announced it presence as soon as my head hit…  That ended the session right there.  There have been plenty of neck injuries from mountain biking, jiu jitsu, and whatever so the area may be a little compromised.  My performance in the water had been generally terrible mostly for 2 weeks or more; I was catching some good waves but my paddling was labored.  After this many months of surfing and training I should’ve been rocking.

Basically a lot of my body is in pain.  My forearms are hurting badly enough some days to make me fidget and squirm.  Spasms go through my triceps anytime.  I’ve been good about doing some yoga and foam roller but am thinking that the roughly 13 months of traveling has taken it’s toll on me.  My diet is lacking Omegas right now, and maybe I’m low on a couple of other nutrients, but otherwise I can’t figure out what’s up.  I’m looking forward to the US for some physical therapy. 

5/28: Upon waking in the wee hours I note that my neck is more jacked than yesterday.  My achilles in the left leg has a sharp pain and I doubt I’ll be able to jump rope.  I’ve had a rash that popped up two nights ago; I felt like I was being eaten alive but it was just me breaking out; back, sides, a little on the chest, stomach, and arms.  It burned and itched like nothing I’m used to.  What the fuck is going wrong?  I’m kinda falling apart.  I haven’t surfed for a week, have been eating more salads, haven’t had more than a sip of alcohol for 6 weeks, and am going to bed as early as 8:30.  A week ago I was considering changing my ticket to get back earlier just because it feels like this part of my CR travels are done.  Ready to change diet, climate, see the trainers/physios, etc.  Still enjoying good company and riding the wave of creative juices for Exogenista and the new business website.  A little sushi at with Danny and Luli at Akiro tomorrow night to celebrate there new location, a few farewells, then a visit with an old Oregon friend in San Jose and I’m out for a bit.  This blog is now caught up. 

Oh, I have dengue…  I was worried it was MS or something really fucked


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