Sep 11, 2006

WAITING TO EXHALE
ROATAN, Honduras: After breakfast – slabs of avocado with an omelet veneer – my dive buddy Nathan and I kayak across the lagoon.

Anthony's Key Resort maintains a dolphin study center here. Sittin' on the dock of the bay, we peer into the enclosure. Soon a half dozen mammals swirl below, eyeballing us with equal frankness. The baby is so excited, she corks to the surface, smiling, again and again.

We're both raring to dive, but have to wait until the 2pm class.

In the meantime, we snorkel. And snorkel and snorkel and snorkel. By lunch, the back of my calves are scarlet.

Whoops. I forgot: my malaria pills increase the risk of sunburn.

As the skin tightens and aches, I invoke Tim Cahill's essay Malaria for comfort. "The febrile stage lasts around two hours and is followed by ... intense sheet-soaking sweats ... headache and a feeling that the synovial fluid around every joint has been replaced by a mixture of sawdust and ground glass," he revealed in Pass the Butterworms.

No doubt, I'm better off pinked than parasited.

Still. Ow.

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