We imperceptibly advance from youth to age, without observing the gradual, but incessant, change of human affairs; and even, in our larger experience of history, the imagination is accustomed, by a perpetual series of causes and effects, to unite the most distant revolutions.
The Progress of Geology 1813
So Dad started running. That stupid, obstinate man would have run through the forest. Futile. One minute I was sat with him and Tamsin on the truck, (who takes a nine year old to the jungle?) then I was pulled out of the cab by the man waving that gun. Four of them – all shouting. I remember crying and Tamsin holding me to her and Dad saying it would all be fine
“Go on!” he urged, smiling, as the truck drove off.
He woke up where they dumped him, then started walking or running. Perhaps.
He never stood a chance.
My father would have been logical and calculating but then utterly single minded. Like in everything he did. On that morning, eleven years ago, our world suddenly turned upside down and we were left on our own. All this time later and I can still remember our conversation about dug- out canoes and hammocks. Then I just remember being terrified. They all had scarves covering their faces. I started crying and Tamsin hugged me. Shouting and guns and Dad:
“I’ll see you soon – don’t worry”.
Then the truck drove off with the men laughing.
What was he thinking, taking me to Peru? Was it safe? He was so selfish. Once he had decided to relive his youth, there was no stopping him. Like deciding to run. Once that idea had sprung into his confused mind, there was no going back. I don’t know if he could have made it – even given his ‘driven’ nature. Over a hundred miles of jungle? Madness.
I have got to think about things on this train journey. The past colliding with the future. Death brings clarity and I must make the most of this crystal moment of calm before utter devastation starts. I’m adding this even before the story begins, as we have now come full circle. I’ve got time to not worry about anything practical. When I see the church and mourners that’s when the blackness will begin and I’ll be lost.