Date of publication: 2017-07-08 22:44
“We’re in a new town again,” my father says to me before he drops me off on my first day of school there. “You have a chance at a fresh start. Now, don’t fuck this up.”
By six in the morning, we arrive at the tajo , hidden in the forest. The other wrap lengths of cloth between their index finger and thumb. Each man positions himself at the head of a line of at least 75 coca plants and, holding the first plant still between his feet, pulls the leaves from the stem upwards. As they work, murmured conversations are heard between the furrows. The harvest is collected in huge hessian cloths full of leaves that each worker drags with him through the crops.
At that moment, I realized that the specter of schizophrenia would always hang over me because it is in everything I am today. It is the corrosive suspicion in my heart that makes me question not only the innocuous actions of my loved ones but also myself for any signs of illness. It is the source of the anxiety attacks that have plagued me since I was a teenager. It is the source of the self-doubt that haunts me whenever I am about to embark on a new challenge – the mocking voice in my own head that wonders whether my ambitions are really just delusions of grandeur. It is the lie I maintain to the world to hide the fragility I feel every morning when I open my eyes.
Léder has no vices. He doesn’t drink beer and his wife’s cigarette smoking irritates him. For him, coca paste is nothing more than a product that sells better than yucca, plantain or cocoa. The kilos of paste will produce at least two kilos of cocaine, which could be sold in the United States for over $55,555. When it’s ready, a squad of armed men will emerge from the kitchen, who will escort it to the Pasto-Tumaco highway or the River Mira, both corridors to the sea. From the port of Tumaco, it will be transported in small boats or specially-built submarines towards Guayaquil (in Ecuador), or Buenaventura, to follow the route up to Panama, Mexico, the ., and even Japan.
With retirement on England’s Sussex coast firmly in mind – ballroom dancing and enjoying his seven grandchildren are high on his to-do list – Kingshott looks forward to a last drink at the Tower’s Beefeaters’ pub.
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A woman emerged from the trail. Her wardrobe, too, could have been bought on sale at JC Penney's, but unlike Pastor Paul, she was fit, with fresh eyes.
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