From the Cutting Room Floor

(excerpts from early incarnations of The Coward’s Guide that do not appear in the published version):

      We had eaten the fruit that Rosita packed for us, and the bean tacos, so we sat in the jeep wagon for thirty minutes, listening to rain hit the roof and staring at the blurred windshield. Then the clouds broke and the downpour stopped as abruptly as it started. Everything smelled fresh, but the wet clay mucked up my sandals. I was frustrated without paint to work with. Pencil and paper seemed inadequate.

_ _


     Bells chimed from all quarters while vendors stacked tomatoes, pineapples, limes among exotic fruits and vegetables—guava, tomatillo, chayote and jícama. Chiles hung suspended at every opportunity and hovering over it all was an aroma, dense and seductive—hints of peach and mango, over-ripe yet beautiful, somehow foreshadowing death or rottenness, like a Japanese flower arrangement.


                               more to come

                             Cantina in Zihuatanejo