Journal, April 8, 1976 PM

I’ve been doing it all day, writing down things I had no intention of writing & then having to scribble them out. <I guess I’m nervous about seeing Sofia again.> The more important a person is to me the more nervous I get about seeing him. I feel I’ll show myself inadequate - figuratively piss my pants or spill my drink all over me! And then there’s the other side: Is she as good and beautiful a person as I’ve imagined her, or have I just imagined I saw in her the qualities I wanted to see? But what-to-fuck, I’m goin’ down there!

In honor of starting the second volume of the journal, I am going to take a drink of a bit of wine made from a fruit called marañón, and describe what it tastes like. Well, it tastes strong and sharp, & doesn’t really have a distinctive taste other than that. It reminds me a little of some dandelion wine we made at home once. It didn’t quite turn out, but was it alcoholic! I detected a kind of a funny flavor in this marañón wine, but now I think it was only the plastic glass. I’ll go get a glass one.

Yeah it was just the glass, but Lord this stuff is strong - got me feeling woozy after 2 shots. I’ll save the rest for Jaime & me on the road. At 6 {AM} I’m on my way, Costa Rica or bust!

I’m in San Salvador of course, at the usual 4 Colones boarding house. I dropped off the tattoo-er in Sonsonate on the way in this morning. <I got 200 Costarican Colones from Banco Salvadoreño {the Salvadoran bank} (at 3.404 per Salvadoran Colon), and bought Sofia her shell necklace, & Doña Carmen her carrying bag.> I also got Doña Carmen some Salvadoran towels - she always raves about mine. It’s sort of a thank you for letting me stay there when I come, & being so good to me.

I got a letter from Gert Verberkmoes in my mailbox today. She’s all set to plant her garden, & extra happy because a neighbor’s tree that used to shade her garden finally succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease. That’s what keeps her alive, 75 years old, but always looking ahead to the next job, & the next little bit of excitement that’ll come her way. She wrote me a while back, worried I was throwing my life away - giving up a chance at law school, & now getting involved with a woman down here. She makes everyone’s problems hers, & the interest she takes in them, keeps her vital and active. How very alive she is!

I went out to Steve Pamperin’s after supper at La Florida {restaurant}. I owe him for a phone call, over $40, but can’t pay ‘til next month. My money’s all committed this month. I didn’t expect the bill back so quick. He was heading for a bank function so he brought me into town (& introduced me to a nice young secretary who’s looking for a novio {boy friend} from Cuerpo de Paz {Peace Corps}!). Steve’s so good, but so conservative that he shuts himself off from a lot of things. He better watch out, or that secretary will latch onto him & marry him though!

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