Costa Rica :: Part 12

This story is being told as a series. Here’s a link to Part 1

Part 12

At some point, I slept.

I woke up some hours later, in the pitch black: all the outside lights of the resort had been shut down. It was pouring; the rain falling so hard and loud on the metallic roof that it was like being inside a drum. I became accustomed to the steadiness of the beat. I slept again, and woke to the softer sounds of drizzle falling on the roof and jungle undergrowth.

Still dark, the predawn morning was anything but quiet; a cacophony of birds, bugs and frogs sang to greet the coming day. And then, there it was again, the sound that had awakened me: howler monkeys, moving this way in the trees. They sounded almost like large dogs barking overhead. We’d been told they can be heard for miles but I could make out the change in tones as they moved closer, swung almost directly overhead. I stood by the window, looking up through the dense trees, hoping to catch some sign of their movement above. Only the sound told me they were still nearby.

Later that morning, some of the women in cabins on the other side of the resort told me that the monkeys had actually jumped on their roofs. Their neighbors had the pictures to prove it.

It was too early for breakfast, but I got up and showered anyway. It was nice to be clean, such as it was. Cleaner, anyway. The water had a distinctly rivery smell. I had a new appreciation for how spoiled I am at home — that we take potable water for granted … that we actually bathe in it — and how thankful I am to be so spoiled.

I was dressed and brushing my hair out when behind me in the mirror, like a scene from a horror movie, two long spindly spider legs — as long as my fingers — waggled from a crack in the door jamb. I froze in place, my eyes wide, as they wriggled there, then withdrew. Fine, you stay in there, I thought, and propped the door open so that my view of that space was obscured. If it came out again, I didn’t want to see it.

Having come to that peaceful arrangement with my roommate, I sprayed myself with repellent again, and went to wait on the porch — in the rockers I hadn’t imagined I’d sit in — to see if coffee service would come, or if it had been rained out entirely. The mosquitoes were clearly unfazed by the repellent, coming after me like they’d never eaten before, and I put on a heavier layer. In a little while I headed toward the central dining area, to refill my water bottle (dispensers temporarily empty) and see if I could beg an early cup of coffee.

Some of the others were up early too, with similar thoughts. We waited together for the dining hall to open, watching the sky lighten, the jungle showing more signs of awakening life, the enormous spiders sitting in wait in their webs for their own breakfast to arrive.

Copyright © 2010


~ by lorakceel on May 9, 2010.

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