The French broad is fucking hot. It drives me crazy. We arrive at the dock with motor taxis and set out to find the right boat. Or ship. Or something in between. The French broad is a Spanish speaker and navigates.
The old hag is with us, too, as is a young boy from the retreat. She really annoys me, something is fishy about her. I hate to tag along under the lead of the girls, but I would not know how to do better on my own.
We find the boat and hop on. I am a bit high and hurt my head. Most of the people are sitting under the coverage, but I feel like sitting in the sun, so I walk to the front of the boat and the others join me. The others begin conversation, I am bored and insecure. Indifferent and worried about my indifference.
The boat takes off after some difficulties – the dock is not exactly masterfully engineered, so the boats kinda bump into each other and sometimes block another from flowing in or out. Parked in. Little kids help to push the other boats aside.
The hag warns us of little monkeys and kids that are trained to steal our stuff. I am intrigued, but do not show it. The young boy from the retreat kinda seems fascinated by it all and swept away by the spirituality of everything. I wonder if he is pretending and being polite or if he really owns that naivety.
We flow out of the Puerto de Whatever and then from Iquitos’ metropolitan area’s little side puddle into the real Rio Amazonas.
The hot French girl fetches the mushrooms from her bag and gives each of us their portion.
They taste like musty and bitter Champignons with a hint of dried fig. Can not say that the taste is very remarkable.
I lie on my stomach, chewing the fungus, wistfully watching the French girl’s back. We are actually at the back end of the ship and she faces forward. I feel the desire to go sit beside her and put my arm around her, but I am not sure if that is the right thing to do. In fact, the thought of doing it paralyzes my body. I can do nothing.
Time moves on and the mushrooms start to do their magic. Colors become more intense, emotions more clear. The French girl looks at me and says – directed at the hag – that I may become less serious with the shrooms. It hurts. I want her. But indifference and coldness are the only emotions I dare to display or act out. What a great PUA student I am, paralyzed, unable to move, ashamed of my desire, feeling too needy for wanting to embrace her. My insides scream, but there is nothing I can do. Even if I wanted to do it, my body would not let me. I am shocked by the lack of control I have over my body.
A bigger ship passes by. Lots of men at the railing. The hag says: The men on the ship want me. The hot French girl says, surprisingly without a tone of ridicule: Yes, me too.
I feel excluded, mocked, deliberately made to suffer. Caught between desire and panic, there is no way out.
I lie on my back. The clouds are more three-dimensional than ever. Most of the experience feels like slightly enhanced reality, but the clouds are awe-inspiring. I want to extend my hand and grab one of the clouds. If for nothing else, anybody should try psychedelics for watching clouds while boating across a river.
Can not stop thinking about her. Impossible. My gut and penis are overflowing with sexual energy and will not let me. Especially after a week of not fapping. And the mushrooms do nothing but reinforce the feeling.
Is this what life is like for everybody? How does anybody fight through this fear? Just how?
I get to swiftly talk to the hag and her body that is riddled with ritual scars. I fake interest and ask how long she has been on her journey. 6 months, she says. 6 months and still that unpleasant.
Pretending to be interested feels like raping myself, but I guess I heard that people are social animals and blah blah. Every pretense is one more attempt to redeem myself. It never leads anywhere, but that does not take away the urge to try.
We arrive at the dock of our destination. We stand up and move towards the front of the boat.
The hot French asks me to hold her stupid coconut. My automatism kicks in and I annoyedly do her the favor. Shit test, Tom, shit test.
We walk off the boat and I feel insulted, think of a better way to have handled it, evaluate comebacks in my mind. I jump down to the narrow wooden pier and take a few independent steps to explore the area.
The hag and the French come down from the boat, too.
The French once more asks me to hold her fucking coconut. I say: What am I, your night table?
I can not suppress that stupid smile that signals her that this is a game. I just do not have the confidence to actually express that I am annoyed, without it being part of an attempt to amuse her. The hag seems annoyed. The French too, but she lowers her head and. A little victory. Feels good.
Standing around with the crowd bores me and I find it hard to tolerate the anguish I feel in the hot French’s presence. Reality is colorful and discomfortingly emotional due to the mushrooms. Tremors in my gut. A few hundred meters away, fruits are being sold. Food, my solution to everything; even the more justifiable when it is healthy. Without a word, I walk over to buy apples and grapes.
I feel ashamed. With all those intense and clear emotions, I feel exposed, vulnerable, unmanly. Mad. The little girls at the fruit stand giggle and I am sure they are making fun of me, me naive druggie. I try to not show too much of myself, but the drug makes it hard.
It takes me some time to pay, as I do not speak Spanish. I walk back indifferently. The hag takes some grapes with her disillusioned confidence. I feel like refusing, but feel it would not be cool to emote over it and risk losing my cold facade. Indifference is safe.
A walk and a chapel
We talk about the beauty of it all. I wish I could enjoy it. Seeing the beauty of the world, feeling the sex of the girl, but not fucking her is difficult for me to swallow. I wish I was normal. I wish I could just do the right thing and have her and enjoy the fullness of the moment with everything I need.
We are on some kind of Island. It looks tropical. Like some caricature of a Fidel Castro led Cuba. In my elated and yet sorrowful emotional state, I feel a deep wish to visit some kind of chapel. Like the one I saw on Hawaii once, where people sang together. That was beautiful. But I see no chapel.
The girls start leading us to explore the vicinity. They walk into some kind of miniature touristic shopping mall. More of those idiotic talismans and paintings and sculptures. Not with me. Without a word, I leave the group and take a stroll along a broad street instead.
The street transforms into a small pedestrian path that is used by motor taxis as well. It leads me into a little village of huts, which is quite neat. It is quiet and peace fills me as I walk there.
I feel like invading the privacy of that village. As if I do not belong there, as if I should leave the people alone. But I also feel the arrogant hubris of a careless explorer and my fear of offending someone somehow excites me.
Here and there, I see some people. They do not seem to care much for me. Some greet me by nodding their heads, but most do not. I figure that city people tend to romanticize country life. City people and liberals think that the whole world is just one big fucking family. But it is not. That is just a symptom of a codependent lack of boundaries, to let anyone in. As I walk here, the gazes of the people are sceptical and tell me I am not welcome here. And that is fine. It is natural. It is how it should be. I am not part of their family, not part of their tribe. I feel guilty for having left the others.
I slowly start to search for a way back to the harbor. Not too difficult, the village layout is simple. As I come closer to the paved roads, more people look at me. Some staring contests. And even more open distrust and curiosity. It is really interesting. And frightening. How fucking alone I am. How every idea of belonging to a tribe that is not my own is just a futile daydream. How all those leaders and politicians make me feel welcome only to vote them. But let people live their own selfish lives and let them keep their healthy boundaries and they will be careful to let anyone in. Unlike our multi-culturalistic Western please-come-and-mingle attitude towards outsiders. Please come and mingle, please come and rape us, because we are worthless white scum.
From far away, I see the French broad and the boy. I walk towards them and wave indifferently. Glad they are still there. She also waves in another direction.
When I arrive, she confronts me and tells me that we are a group and belong together. She tells me I can not simply walk away.
My instinct is to tell her that I can do whatever I want, tell her that I do not give a fuck about her holy fucking group. I am not a sheep. But my emotions will not let me. It is too important to me to keep up a facade of some kind of correctness. Leaves me with making an annoyed facial expression and looking to the side in mild shame. I hope I impressed her with my independence. On the other hand, trying to impress her makes me quite a slave really. Even so, I hate to be told what to do by a woman. It feels degrading and if I had the balls, I would put her in her place.
They found some kind of pastor. He will take us to a chapel. Cool.
It is really astonishing how Christianity has spread all over the globe and even managed to convert the locals in remote places like these. There must be something appealing to it. Perhaps more appealing than worshipping airplanes. How much more open these people are to the idea of aliens. Curious, is it not.
I like the pastor or whatever he is. He seems like a cool confident man with nothing to prove. Like you often see them among immigrants. Unintellectual and yet manly. Small man. T-Shirt and shorts. I feel better now, not being the only man in the group who has any presence of masculinity. He leads us and the women follow. I walk near the front, too. Now it feels right, the men are leading. Now the group feels less like a dysfunctional family. I wish I had had such a man as a father. How different could my life have been? Well, who gives a piss.
He shows us around. There is a kind of maloka and a house and a lake and a forest and a village.
We walk over a bridge above the lake towards the forest, to look at some trees. It starts to rain and I hate it; if my shirt gets wet, it will expose my somewhat fat body.
Back to the bridge. I try to jump over some mud, but I slip and bury my sandals in it. The others laugh. Well, better than puke.
The rain becomes milder and we take a walk through the village. The walls are full of political graffiti. Parties promising whatever they promise, in this ugly rural shithole. Partisanship seems to be embedded in human nature. I ask the pastor what the parties promise, but he does not speak English. I ask someone to translate, but nobody really cares to. How depressing, to be dependent on women and a boy to speak to another man. They will only translate what interests them. I feel powerless, alone and disrespected.
The girls take photographs. I find it silly. The boy poses for the French to take a picture; I stand behind him and indifferently use my hand to give him a pair of bunny ears. I bet I am impressing the girls with my indifference. That part is easy. Showing desire would be harder. Easier to express nothing than something.
We walk back up to the house at the chapel. The rain is getting stronger and there is a small flow of water falling from a rooftop. I use it to clean my feet while the others move on. The French girl comes near and we are alone. There is a colorful parrot above me. She says: It is looking at me. I feel afraid. Could I do something? No, my body would not let me. I forgo this chance for intimacy and indifferently say: You think so? Then I go away and turn my back at her. It hurts.
The rain is intense now and the others hurry to not get wet. I act indifferent. I slowly take my camera out and take a photograph of a tree in front of the Amazon. The girls urge me to follow them. How I hate female patronising. Poor Tom, poor Tom, you do not know what is best for you. Come, you stupid little boy, do not get wet, oh jeez, you will get sick, don’t you know?
We walk inside and evade some further downfalls of water, which are pretty strong now.
It is not a real chapel. It is simply a kind of Christian settlement, with that maloka and a house. We are shown the house from the inside. Little cute girls work in there and they respect the man. I would like to fuck one of them, if I were not so afraid.
In some room, they sell souvenirs. The girls are all over it. The boy wants to bring one home for his girl-friends and stupid family or whatever. I am bored to death. On the other hand, I find it cute. Little girls wanting to look pretty. I see one particular piece that would look good on the French. I consider telling her that she should take it, but I am not confident enough. The man looks at me and notes that I do not seem to be very interested in souvenirs. I say I am not.
Sadness is coming over me. The French has become indifferent to me as well. Shit. I look around and see people living their lives confidently. What am I doing here? Tell me. What am I doing here? But at least I do not pretend to care about all their bullshit. About their souvenirs. About their affection.
We call motor taxis and drive to another harbor. I share one with the boy. The motor taxi is driven by a young man with that indifferent manly expression; only that for him, it is real; while for me, it is a pretense. We pass families. Fathers and sons. They all have that indifferent manly expression. My sadness turns to sorrow. I can not help myself but think of all the things I may have had, of the way my life may have felt, had a father shown me that kind of world, shown me how to be that kind of man.
Memories of weakness, of being away from home, of losing with girls, of having no confidence, they all come up now. The sorrow alternates with rage at everything and no one. I try not to show it.
We arrive at the harbor. I take a piss. We wait for the girls to arrive. We meet some German girls with guitars. They have that girlish joy and brattish confidence about them. I think hey, someone who speaks my language! But then, Germany is the land where I experienced all that bullshit in the first place. The familiarity feels wrong and I myself feel like a disruptive force to their joy. They do not really care for me. Fuck this shit.
The boat we take is a less traditional one this time. Looks like an ugly swimming bus.
I take seat where nobody can see me. I start to cry and sob and rage. The rain outside mutes my emotions.
I hope that the French may turn around and have compassion and that we may connect. But she does not seem to care to even look in my direction. Oh, well, even the more reason to be angry. Angry at whom? I do not know and that drives me mad even more. There is nobody to be angry at but the world itself. But I can not fight the world. I do not dare to be angry at my dad, I respect him too much for the little he gave me. I feel ashamed of the thought of blaming him. I do not want to be an entitled bitch, as he may call me.
So there I am, in a boat, sobbing and raging and crying, hoping that nobody tries to help or ask me what is up or whatever. Hope that there is no surrogate momma here to pity me. Pity, what a disgusting feeling.
We arrive back in Iquitos. I storm off the boat without consideration. Did I pay? No, I forgot. The hag sees me and shouts at me. I ask her to pay for me, I will pay her back. She does and comes off the boat, tells me how stupid that was of me.
How I fucking hate women telling me what to do. I feel like smashing her face, and yet. I do not know why, but I am afraid of women, even if they are smaller and weaker.
We split. The French does not give a fuck about me. Fine, I give neither.
I share a motor taxi with the boy. I tell him a little about my feelings regarding my father. I feel ashamed. He tries to encourage me and be positive and say hey, look, there you got something good out of it. It enrages me. I do not know why. Feel like it is an obligation to be cool and fine from now on. Besides, who is that young chap to tell me anything? He is almost 10 years my junior.
Arriving at my hostel, I feel only one overwhelming desire. I want to see Peter Gorman, sit with him at his table at the cafe and enjoy the male company. So I do that.
I sit there with Peter Gorman and another dude and say little. The blonde girl from the retreat is there. Peter Gorman suddenly says he hopes I will never buy an automatic gun. He sees that rage in my face. I feel ashamed. Ashamed for imposing my angry self on those people. I alternate between angry eye contact and lowering my head in shame for not just leaving these people alone.
The blonde starts bugging me and asks me why I do not reciprocate her affection. She sees my pain and caresses my leg. I should feel comforted, but I feel that she is only out to manipulate me and make me her little slave. She smiles warmly at me and I gaze back into her eyes, wanting to be appreciated as masculine. She seems insulted. She says that I treat everyone normally but her. It is not true, of course. I treat all the bitches the same. And yet I wish I could allow some connection. But allowing connection seems like giving up manhood and the desire for sex. Or maybe, the need not to get hurt. Frankly, I am helpless – but too confused to recognize the extent to which I am helpless.
The French is also there now. I do not dare to cry in front of them, but at some point, I decide to focus my gaze on my lower arm. It is the arm of a man. Hairy and bony. A woman would enjoy these hands taking care of her. I am a handsome man, but it is of no consequence. It is useless. For my mind is that of a scared abused baby. I keep falling in love with the idea of the man I could be, keep looking at my arm, keep pitying myself for the potential lost.
At some point, the French stands up and leaves. She coldly asks me whether I paid Peter Gorman for the magic mushrooms. Again, I feel insulted. Stupid bitch. Do you think I am not man enough to stand by my word? Of course I paid him. I wanted to. And yet your public inquiry makes me look like an asshole.
Eventually, I go home. Bye, all. My visit here will soon be over.
Back at the hostel, I go straight to sleep. Two girls come home from their daily explorations. The ones I heard talk yesterday, too. They fucking annoy me. I decide I can no longer tolerate it and go knock on their door loudly. Girls, can you please be quiet? I want to sleep! They say yeah. I say thanks. I do not believe them. I seriously think everyone is out to disrespect me and make me look like a fool. That is why I find it easier to not even express a wish. Then I will not have to endure people walking all over it. If they ignore my wish, I know I will not have the balls to insist. But surprisingly, they keep quiet.