Roy lowers the camera. He looks at his hands. Before his eyes his hands are growing dense hair and his nails are turning into large curved claws. He had turned into the orangutan! He leaps onto the grass. Pushing the earth away with his powerful paws, he runs after her with the other males. There are several females ahead, but he takes after her, her alone. Her firm pink behind framed by fur flashes in the grass. Her head is pressed to her body. She looks back and continues to run. She senses rustling in the grass close behind her, and the broken branches crackle beneath the weight of his body and his footfall. She hears his frequent hot panting. That’s all; she surrenders. She bounds aside a few times to where the grass is softer.


“Have you gone completely nuts?!” Carmen pushed Roy away and straightened out her shorts, which he had attempted to unbutton. “This isn’t the place for that. There are animals all around!”

“Yes, including ourselves,” Roy added jokingly, placing the cap back on the lens.

And they both laughed.


Chapter 9


“What can you do? It happens sometimes.” Walter took a deep breath and assumed his favorite pose—with his feet on the table.

He threw a worried glance at his shoes. Not so great: the leather edging is worn off, the toe is crushed, and the shape of the shoe, designed to give men’s footwear a certain impression of youthfulness and freshness, is lost. And worn out shoes always brought forth a pessimistic mood in Walter the optimist. In short, it is time to buy new ones. He loosened his tie and undid the top buttons on the shirt that fit tightly around his neck.

The room was cool; the AC blasted cool air. But it was hot outside, where the asphalt rose to 100 F during the day and slowly cooled at night, releasing all of its heat into the air.