The Falls

I didn’t know if I could do it.  My heart hammered my ribs.  Pee burned the drop space between my bladder and the seat.  “Denise you can do it.”   Right on its heals, in between the thuds, “Oh God, I can’t wet myself.”   I turned lizard cold.  I squeezed my legs together. “Did I really want to pee?  Was it fear or excitement.”

The white hard plastic seat bumped against the barely covered bones of my ass as gusts of wind bounced the liquid in my bladder. The dry powder smell of the rice grain bags mixed with the musky sweetish sweat of the workers curled up my nostrils.   I needed distraction.

The China blue sky tickled the corner of my eye and drew them both out of the glass bubbled window.  For a time, my gaze drifted between the cotton wool layer of clouds as they drifted above the heads of broccoli like trees and the rivers winding like silver slug trails.

Suddenly, the pilot’s “Ha, we made it” and I tilted forward.  Bits of food inside my stomach levitated slightly as he took the plane into a slow descent.  Looking out, I saw a little brown streak of dirt widen into a road.   After ten minutes, our wheels bumped.  I climbed out and immediately ran for slats of wood with the word “TOILET” written in red paint.  I grabbed the door while unbuttoning my pants, sat down and sighed as I heard the splash down and then trickle.  Relief made me smile; a little breathing and a rumble rushed my eardrums.  My fingers shook as I tried to slip in the buttons.

I rushed onto the brown dirt road; the open aired, wet breeze slipped up my nose and the sun rays licked and licked.  I looked up at the emerald green trees, at their majestic brown veined trunks.  Amazed, I could hear the roar of water.  Pounding.  Pounding.   After five minutes of walking, mist turned the air into a silver gray blind.  I walked faster; the ground shook.   Slowly, it all parted to reveal a gaping chasm with a sheer wall of white froth mixed with tea red water.  Slices of yellow sun bounced as the foaming water fell straight down before crashing into rocks.  I held the rail hard as I peeked over the edge, resisting the suicide tug of gravity, to see the water hit and rise high in a shower of gems.

Kaieteur Falls, “the world’s widest single drop waterfall.  I had arrived.  My heart slowed.  Peace surrounded the roar.  I dragged my hand along the rail and walked to the edge of the river that fed the falls.  Years of running through the steamy jungle turned the water coca red.  I let my toes sip at the cool wet and I stopped.  A sawed off tree stump sat in the shallow pool.  I sat down.   Up close, the leaves on one side were crayon green, banana yellow, and dirt brown.  The breezes rustled through them creating a sleepy lullaby.  Rocked by these sounds, my eye lids drooped.   I shook my head.  I could not let go of this beauty.

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