Journal, February 24, 1976 PM

We’re here in Managua, made good time. I started this journal right here in this vey hospedaje {small hotel} room (perhaps even sitting on the same cot). The cot I’ll sleep on tonight has a foam pad - this place just keeps improving!

We got up late this morning & had to run for the bus, but since then it’s been smooth going. The borders were pretty fast, & we got here by 7 PM. Everyone thinks Jan & I are married or lovers traveling together, at least the natives who call her señora {Mrs.} invariably. We had a sweet, sweet muskmelon for breakfast, with coffee, & bought 2 small ones for tomorrow. I was the first one in line for reservations for tomorrow, but the first bus doesn’t leave ‘til 8 AM, & we got seats in the middle - shit.

A drunk just finished singing outside my room wall. We hear the cars clearly too, so it could be a rough night. Jan got bit up by sand fleas last night, & is leery about her bed here too, as the bedclothes are only semi-clean. She doesn’t have Peace Corps healthcare, so I guess it’s logical she should worry more.

<What’s it going to be like seeing Sofia?> I got a letter from the family Castillo Murillo saying she had been around their house quite a bit lately. I was reflecting this morning on the bus what a pleasure it will be to have someone to put my arms around & hug freely - touch affectionately without feeling out of place & unnatural. I can’t hug Jan yet, though now it is clearer than ever that I’m closer to her than to anyone else in the family. We just never learned to show our feelings, that’s all.

I mentioned my idea of writing articles for papers or magazines, or short stories - as a moneymaking scheme - to Jan at the Nicaragua border today. She immediately pinpointed the major drawback (like she’d run the same mental path only farther than I) - the risk of rejection and more rejection from publishers & public. She says her ego is too fragile to handle all that rejection. I’d find it tough too & really the chances of scoring quick money that way are slim and none. <Sofia’s got me trying to get money ahead.> This next week maybe I’ll become sure enough of her to reassure myself it’s not all a little foolish.

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