“Things are a little crazy right now,” I tried to explain about the mess. My idea of crazy must be on a whole other planet from what was going on in Venezuela. I mean it was like Mad Max meets The Hunger Games down there. In an oil-rich/cash-poor country with empty grocery shelves and a president in denial, life had gone from difficult to a death spiral. There were not enough printing presses in Venezuela to keep up with the inflation. People were killing each other in the streets for toilet paper. I may only be slightly exaggerating. I only knew what I read in the papers and from Abraham’s essays. In his last paper I learned that he had been employed as an engineer. His specialty was hydroelectricity. Apparently Venezuela was powered not only by oil reserves but by water—except that there was a drought and levels in the reservoirs had fallen. Whole sections of the country were without power. The president called upon Venezuelan women to stop blow-drying their hair—as if that might fix the problem brought about by decades of mismanagement.
The country was in an apocalyptic state of affairs—yet I couldn’t have this woman with me indefinitely.
“Only for a few days,” Abraham sought to reassure me. I had the distinct impression I was being taken advantage of, the same feeling I get outside Starbucks when the bums ask me for change. Just because I buy a coffee doesn’t mean I need to feel guilty about it.