Getting Rich

In my third floor office, teak desk planed like a sailboat, I think of Russell, Rasta fisherman, Belize.

Barefoot, he ambled on the sand in a drawstring bathing suit. Dreadlocks shot around his face in all directions—a child’s happy drawing of the sun. I paid him twenty bucks to take me snorkeling at the reef. A bonus: I watched him dive for conch. After slipping to the sea floor he would burst through the surface, hands reaching over the starboard to slam-dunk the shells. One by one, he tapped them loose with his knife, slicing them, stunned and white, into ceviche.

Take me to America, he winked. If I am cold, I will build me a Styrofoam house. Save the avocado pit from your lunch, Miss. I’ll grind it later, eat some to get high. The bud of hibiscus, he sighed, can bring a vision on, too. He told me fruit and fish made him lithe and fast as antelope, and that scientists overlook garlic—the cure for HIV. On the stern of his boat, chipping paint stuck to my skin, everything he said I could believe.

About the author

For most of Deborah Diemont's adult life, the word “traveled” and “lived” have coincided, her maximum stay in any location being three years. She…

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Issue 06 · August 2009

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