San Juan

In the hotel lobby, two Americans disappear themselves in a cloud of bug repellant. Kelsey and I stand back until the smoke bomb clears and the convent’s fans distribute it to our lungs. The concierge tells them again and again not to worry. The mosquitos that are making people sick are in the jungle. They are not going to the jungle. We are not going to the jungle. We’ve called a cab for the navy docks. We’re getting off this island.

Tonight we will stand above the shoreline drinking beer and daiquiris and local rum, surf close by and a thunderstorm in the distance. No one minds if we are going to walk back to the ship in the rain. Last night ashore. There are a couple beds set along the path from the restaurant. White canopies. Damp. No pillows. They are empty now, but we can rent them by the hour, the sign says.

—Thanks to the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UAF (2014)

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