All good things must come to an end, and nothing ends the blissful dream of peace quite as well as failing health, and even Jalco, so unquestionably humble and deservingly eternal had to reach its final act… Burro Love When asked about souls met on travels, there are always some that stand out more than others; some that I fall in love with for their exemplary livelihoods, aspirations, and struggles. I am in love with the human condition, bringing me to the paths of souls in past articles and like Jason. “I think you’re a great person, and I admire your dedication to being a hermit crab!” He chimed when I was feeling low one day, referencing a joke from a day when I bit his arm and latched on, much like pet hermit crabs, for crossing the direct path of my meal while I was hangry. If anyone ever needs a dose of hope or simple uplifting exuberance, Jason is the man to ask. He lives life with an appreciation for anything and everything, disdaining balance skewed in the favor of things-less-fair and striving to see all equal and well. Dastardly ingenious, there are few things to stop or hinder him, and he sustains a passion for all things musical, anything pertaining to bikes and aeronautics, and everything different. I was blessed with just over a month and a half of time with him, where I like to think I took a greater sense of ease from his indirect teachings simply by sharing his companionship. But like I’ve said, all good things must come to an end. Mexico tested my body more than I’d like to admit, but nothing was quite as severe as the little friend I caught at the tail end of December. We named him Nubbins, Nubbins the parasite. I woke in the morning feeling somewhat nauseous, and the symptoms only progressed from there, increasing in severity and frequency. I could not eat or drink for eight days straight, and what food I did manage to keep down never digested, it only festered in my stomach to be willingly vomited intact 12 hours later: my digestive tract had shut down. A constant fever plagued me, as well as substantial pain, weakness, and severe dehydration. As it progressed, I could see my belly swell from the parasites inside me tearing at my insides, and my hip bones began to protrude at the end of it. I was faced with the reality that I had to leave, or risk dying from dehydration in what was formerly a perfect paradise. Jason and Erik fell ill too, but not nearly as sick as I was, and I would not let them see me so sick as I truly was when they were otherwise okay (but I spent all my time sleeping and vomiting, it was hard to hide). Jason would walk to the store and buy me clean water, the only thing I could remotely consume, and often it was solely a buffer to dry heaves. And so life in the Jalco house, our simple, blissful, beautiful paradise, was abruptly ended by the obvious choice to seek medical assistance. I struggled to sleep on the back of his bike for the hour’s ride to the nearest bus that would deliver me to Mexico City where another friend would take me home. I feigned my eager smile to bless our goodbye’s embrace, what a goodbye, and reminded myself of the cranes back home: how they can only sing louder when the winds howl louder at the tops of mountain pass migrations… it’s always a calming thought I sat alone on top my Pelican case as a seat, convincing myself I was made of tougher stuff while I desperately clung to a smoothed rock, a former gift, amongst the gossip of foreign tongues that offered no comfort in the solitude and uncertainty.

For those wondering, by the time I arrived in Mexico City the fever had broken, I kept some food down, and I guzzled water, clean water, with zest to rival a ShamWow. Apparently though, the vast majority of the immune system’s fortitude and resilience resides in the digestive tract, and it was only until recently that I was able to obtain a healthy weight once again and fight off opportunistic infections that would, otherwise, never insult me. Never underestimate the water where you travel, and never assume your traveling partners are of the same train of thought.


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