You know this particular fish from some James Bond movies.
The plane ride home is a time to reflect. You've spent the better part of 48 hours, hiking, canooing, driving, over some of the most difficult jungle terrain you ever imagined on your way to an airport that's nothing more than a shack with some ceiling fans, and you look forward to going home. You stare out the porthole window of the 757 and watch the snow-capped peaks of the Andes pass you by as the plane rocks and rolls from up-drafts. The turbulence sends chills up and down your spine, but it also makes you feel somehow alive. You feel good because you've accomplished something unusual.
In the Amazon Jungle you were taunted by spider monkeys who swiftly moved in packs of 200 or more, swinging from branches only inches above your head. A family of howling monkeys growled at you while protecting their new baby. A tarantula blocked your path on a narrow trail as you and your guide tried to get back to the lodge in the dark of night. A piranha bit your finger as you pulled it in with fishing line and hook. The bite stung and drew blood. It also caused the guides to laugh out loud while shaking their heads. "Who's the silly gringo in the Indiana Jones hat?"
Now you're home to the daily grind (yes, writers live the grind too!). You went straight to the ortho surgeon from the airport only to learn that you snapped a tendon in your right foot during the many hikes through Peru's mountainous jungle and that now you need an operation that will lay you up for two months. "You didn't hear something go POP?" asked the inquisitive doctor. Not an easy thing to accept for someone who jogs and trains with weights on a daily basis. Not to mention hiking, flyfishing, drumming for my new band, etc. I can't bear the through of sitting for more than a five minutes. But like a Russian travel friend of mine likes to say, "Hey, what can you do?"
Here's what I do: I have an email into my fixer. I'm already setting up the next adventure. Until that time, I have the galley proof of The Guilty (the third book in the Jack Marconi series) to get through, plus the first draft of a new Dick Moonlight novel, Moonlight Weeps. There's an article or two I will be writing, and one being published next week about my adventures in Africa from Living Ready Magazine. I'll suppose also be taking time to heal from my surgery. I'll be healing all summer long. Which also means I can't drive. Oh no, how am I going to get around?
Oh well, welcome to Vincent Zandri's real world...From the jungle to the frying pan.
One step backwards and I become a permanent piece of Machu Picchu history.