loaded with buckshot. We are passing a joint
back and forth.
Every day the river is wider. We are drift-
ing into a vast delta with islands of swamp
cypress, freshwater sharks stir in the dark
water. The guide looks at his charts. The fish
here are sluggish and covered with fungus.
We are eating our stores of salt beef and
dried fish and vitamin pills. We are in a
dead-end slough, land ahead on all sides.
And there is a pier. We moor the boat and
step ashore. There is a path leading from the
pier, weed-grown but easy to follow.
“And what is a dead road? Well, señor,
somebody you used to meet, un amigo, tal
vez . . .”
Remember a red brick house on Jane
Street? Your breath quickens as you mount
the worn red-carpeted stairs. . . . The road to
4calle Larachi, Tangier, or 24 Arundle Ter-
race in London? So many dead roads you will
never use again . . . a flickering grey haze of