Muerto (Death by Mosquitoes)

Iquitos Travel Blog

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Clear sweet water, Deet won't do it.

“Es él muerto?”

I jump out of my seat and gape at a Peruano man standing in his
canoe in the rain.  I brush mosquitoes from my face.  I thought mine
was the only boat around for miles, but here’s this man in a canoe
pointing to the front of my boat.

“Es él muerto?” he says again.

He looks worried.  He’s standing in the rain in his canoe, pointing.  It’s
not just any kind of rain, either.  It’s rainforest rain.  It’s coming down
harder and faster than you’ve ever seen rain.  It’s thick. It has sound. 
It’s coming down so hard, it hits the surface with such a splash, it’s
like it’s raining up.  I look to the front of my boat, to Mark laying on
the fishing platform in his raingear.  Rain bouncing up off of him.

Where I am, in the relative dryness under the thatched roof by the
wheel, are a million mosquitoes, buzzing about their good fortune of
shelter and food.  I’m doing my best to put mind over matter, to kind
of hum at a frequency sympathetic to theirs and confuse them enough
to stop the frenzy.  I’ve always tried to make a point of ignoring them
and going about my business.  It is not working.

There didn’t have to be mosquitoes.  Really.  It depends on the
water.  Black, tannic acid, no mosquitoes.  Clear sweet water, Deet
won’t do it.  When we were back in Iquitos planning the trip, we knew
this, but we wanted to come here.  We packed the boat, threw the
chickens on the roof, and took off. We meandered around
adventurously and wound up here, with a guy standing in the rain in
his canoe pointing to Mark, laying on the fishing platform in his
rain gear to escape the mosquito fest under the thatching.

“Hey, Mark,” I call. “What’s muerto mean?”

Mark sits up on the platform.  “I don’t know.  Dead, I think,” he says.
“Why?”

I look back out at the rain falling in an unbroken curtain, like looking
out from behind a waterfall, no sign of the Peruano man or the canoe.
“No reason,” I say.  I brush at the mosquitoes.

Dawn on the Amazon
 
moscovich says:
i think it would be "esta muerto" or "murio" nice story
Posted on: Nov 20, 2007
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Clear sweet water, Deet wont do i…
Clear sweet water, Deet won't do …
Iquitos
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