counter, holding the metal canister of cream. A boy from her high school in another city years ago. He ended up going to law school or teacher’s college. Something solid after partying abroad in Laos and sleeping with the wrong housewife. He smiled at her, his hair flopping to one side the way she remembered it used to, guileless and non-threatening.
The tour guide, his face shadowed by a spotless white hat and half the agreed fee in his pants pocket, is eager to tell her about the watchtowers, the famous ball court, and the temple you can climb, unassisted. The hat makes him stand out from the other guides in their clean shirts and leather shoes, huddled under the shade of a twisted Ficus tree behind the BIENVENDOS sign, calling out tour, 300 pesos, four for 400. Welcome, the guide says to Lena, holding a binder between his palms. American? He smiles, polite. His face is a grid of thin lines curving around his eyes and mouth. Canadian, she says. Though she could just as easily have said, Not from here.
The worst person she ever dated? The alcoholic, she told him on their tenth date, when dates are really eating between sleeping and then sleeping
together. We met during my last year of university. He would barge into my apartment at four am, completely loaded, and try to get me to wake up so we could go to an after hours club or some karaoke bar. Once, he stumbled in and pissed all over my laptop. That’s disgusting, her date said, laughing. Oh, I know, she said.
Next to the watchtower of stone, the guide runs his fingers on a laminated drawing of a large tree with enough branches for thirteen gods, and a network of roots stretching deep underground to represent the world of the dead. A group of French school
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