The man on the bus said he had to tell me. I figured he just had to tell anyone who would listen. And I figured that, as the only gringo in a hundred miles, I was an obvious target. Back home, I was always the guy who the lonely, the crazies, the ones who just needed to talk — I was always the one they singled out of the crowd. I’d shield my eyes, lose myself in a book, whatever. It didn’t matter.
I felt him push in. The old grandmother and her impassable woven sack of — what were they? — nuts or whatever, shooed him away like a fly, but he pushed in. There simply wasn’t enough room there on the bench seat. Not between me, pack on my lap, the old lady, her sacks and the niño slung at her side. There wasn’t room anywhere, but it seems to be an axiom of these rusted old mountain buses that there’s always room for one more. And so there he was, at my side, whispering into my ear….
In honor of my return from Patagonia! This one is actually one of my older stories, written back in 2013 for the Palo Alto Short Story contest. It remains one of my favorites.
So I hope you’ll enjoy reading Jaguar.
(And as always, don’t be shy about pushing that little “Recommend” icon over on Medium.com…)