The Characters of Iquitos Peru, The End Of The Road.
The water fronts of all the port cities in the world are full of characters. Thousands of authors from Rudyard Kipling to Robert Louis Stevenson, have written novels based on the lives of men and women struggling with themselves and nature in tropical third world locations. Here in Iquitos Peru, surrounded by rivers and jungle, three degrees south of the equator, there is a crowd of characters modeling for their role in my novel. They left it all behind. But what about today? What about tomorrow? What’s next? My friend Johann, one of the Iquitos characters, told me he saw this message in a Walt Disney Cartoon; “Yesterday is history, the future is a mystery, today is a gift,..that’s why it’s called the present.” That’s loosely what my book is based on.
Each character has a story to tell. In some cases the story is already being repeated over and over to whoever will listen. Some of the best tales are hinted at but left untold. Some can’t go back, and the trail ahead is blocked by wide rivers and impenetrable jungle. Iquitos Peru is the end of the road. A few are fugitives from justice, some are fugitives from their past lives. All are attempting to do the best their characters will allow.
How did they get here? Why did they stay? What will they do now? What’s next? That is the story…
How will Mike Collins, the unlikely protagonist hero, and the editor of the Iquitos Bugle, help the street children and those in need: “Hi. I am Mad Mick, oldest and largest paper boy in the world. Welcome to paradise. Would you like a copy of the Bugle? It’s free. Don’t worry, there is no news in it.”
Jerry Jarard is the evil antagonist, and owner of The Red Rose of Louisiana, a house of ill repute near the ports: “Hi, I am Jerry Jarard. Keep those little bastards away from my place or I’ll shock the shit out of them with a cattle prod.”
Richard Ryan Richards is Jarard’s eccentric accomplice. Better known as Teflon, because nothing sticks. “Jerry and I own the legal system here. We do what ever we want. Butter the judge, nothing sticks”
The Cobbler is a gringo shaman, who apprenticed for years with a master curandero. He learned the secrets of how to cure cancer and diabetes using a recipe of plant extracts from the tropical rainforest.
Juaneco is a jungle guide and hustler, blessed with 7 pretty daughters and three granddaughters: “Hola, I am Juaneco. I am a jongle guied. I cry when Jarard steal my customers. Ef there es anyting you need, you ask me. Tha’s one dollor pleese.”
Ahara, Mike’s faithful sidekick.
Urie, creative street hustler. Mad Mick turned his name into a verb. His clients are never hustled, they are Uried.
Ukcoo, a cliche riddled Vietnam Vet with a chest full of bronze stars, and currently a jungle guide professionalle: “Hi, I’m uuukcoooooo. You ever eat monkey? It’s delicious. Tastes like human.”
Barry Two Bears, if you shot one bear, Barry shot two bears…with one bullet.
My character is Captain Will. As the narrator, I’m privileged to insert myself into the dialogue whenever it pleases me to cause the most trouble.
What do you think? What’s your story? Any ideas, suggestions or comments will be appreciated. Please help in this creative process. Thanks.
The Characters of Iquitos Peru, The End Of The Road
Bill Grimes has lived and worked in Iquitos for 6 years. The 6 years before he moved, he visited Iquitos 4 months every year. Check out his writing in the Captain’s Blog. He has published nearly 300 articles filed in the archives about Iquitos, the great reserves, rivers and rainforest. There are articles about his favorite places and what he sees and does in this charming port city surrounded by rivers and jungle. There are hotel and restaurant reviews, packing lists, advice about handling and changing money, stories about peacock bass fishing, ayahuasca, the characters of Iquitos, and lots more.
Please, if you are interested, click this link to read a tribute to one of the great old characters of Iquitos Peru, Our Friend Papa Dan Buzzo;