Friday, July 11, 2008

Pasty Skin Healin' at the Benthic Lab

After being in the tropics for almost 3 weeks, one would rightfully expect my skin to resemble something out of a Hawaiian Tropics add…moist, golden brown, and radiating as if the great fire in the sky had come down and gently covered every inch of my body with sweet, sweet sun kisses…if this is what you think, I am sorry to inform you that you couldn’t be any more wrong. My unglamorous epidermis is a result of sitting in the sterile lab day after day, gazing out of the window at the rain and trying to ignore the blinding florescent light reflecting off of my pasty, insect bite covered legs….dreamy I know. Emily and I have decided that enough is enough. We are putting an end to this. Rumor has it that there is a cable car that goes across the river and leads the science weary to a sort of Shangri-La where sun deprived sickened skin meets healing river water and ultraviolet rays….we’re fucking out of here.

We tear out of the lab to the Swiss Family hut, hell-bent on retrieving our swim suits before the Tormentor notices we’re gone. Then it’s 2 sets of wheels racing down the trail, the Butcher clearing the path of everything that threatens to stand in our way. 3 km later, we turn onto a leaf littered trail and pedal feverishly until it abruptly ends at the cliffs edge where a carelessly hung sign read “2 person maximum.” Across the turquoise river, we see the cable car resting 30 feet above the ground on a tree platform. Slyly peaking at each other, we hesitating only long enough to make sure that the other hadn’t chickened out and gotten on her bike for a swift retreat; we grabbed the ropes and beckoned the car to our side of the river. With arms burning and adrenalin rushing we climbed onto the car and hoped for the best…after all, the worst that could happen is that the frayed ropes would finally call it quits after god knows how many years and we would go plunging into the water 30 feet below where the crocodiles anxiously wait. One last glance at my albino legs and I knew it had to be done….like a personal mantra giving me strength, I sang, ”aint no river wide enough, aint no fer-de-lance venomous enough, aint no crocodile fierce enough to keep me from gettin’ tan!”

A few short minutes later, The Butcher and I were chill-axin’ on the cobble beach, waist deep in a river channel soakin’ up the rays. We lay in this self indulgent trance until the nagging voices in our heads, reminding us of the lab work still to be finished, overpowered the quiet chatter of toucans overhead. As we made our way back up the tree, over the river, and down the trail, we eagerly anticipated returning to our little Shangri-La. Making a pact to not divulge the location of our secret hideaway to anyone we decided that it needed a dreary and un-enticing code name…and this was how the Benthic Lab came to be….like I said, it’s like nerd camp here...


Kerina said...

OMG girl you are too flippin funny! LOVE IT!

Thys said...

Brenda!! I love your blog, I had no idea you could write like that. When you get back you need to think about compiling it into a book. I'll design it for you for a beer or 50.
Sounds like you're having a kick ass time, so party on baby!!


randiaiken said...

Pura Vida! May I ask where you obtained such a glamorous white button up shirt! Miss & Love you.. and no little girl yet.

Jeff said...

hi brenda,
word of warning: I BURNT THE FUCKING HELL OUT OF MY SKIN when i was in costa rica. seriously - it was in like 2003 and my skin is still sensitive from it. so, WEAR SUNSCREEN!!!!!!!!!!
-Jefe x