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  • It's a long drive south to get to Bahia de Los Angeles, past the Mexican border and then past a lot of nothing. I wonder if it must have felt longer in the past. Were distances greater? They always say the world keeps getting smaller.

    Herman would amble down from his shack to us as we cooked our dinner on the beach.

    "Well thank god you guys brought all these pretty ladies - we have our annual beauty contest tomorrow, and so far nobody's ever won." Deadpan, finishes talking, wobbles back over into to his hut. The delivery was so good it would take a while before anyone caught the joke and started laughing.

    I can't remember what Herman looked like, overall, but his features stay with me. Droopy old ears, wrinkled leathery skin, a twenty year paunch lazily supported by a twenty year tank top. Beneath caterpillar eyebrows and above hobbled octogenarian legs, though, his eyes sparkled.

    He ran the turtle sanctuary down there, prospected for gold in the arid mountains, cared for his goat, and made margaritas for pretty girls who came to the beach. His memory was fading and he'd tell you the same jokes every time, but it was the delivery that mattered anyway. We figured he moved to Mexico on the lam, a long time ago, when the world was bigger.

    Should we live more like Herman? One of my greatest fears is that we might never find out.
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