“Hmm…” Sam said as he eyed the low L shaped building.
He was a surprisingly buoyant sort. I’d given him quite the public thrashing for his sophomoric sin. Though naturally strong he was lazy and thus no match for a rudely awoken sailor nursing a monstrous hangover.
I’d torn his Rick and Morty themed boxers clean off in the hotel lobby. And here he was grinning like a fool without a shade of embarrassment. Criticizing the local architecture.
“Retro stuff right there…I guess I’d call it tropical brutalism…”
The smell of aged leather was overwhelming in Doctor Cook’s Benz. Apparently the pug-faced academic thought fine cigars a more indispensable luxury than air conditioning. Though I suppose that if one grew up in the Amazon, especially as an outdoorsman, this would be perfectly rational.
To us though it was sheer hell. The wistful scent of overpriced tobacco fused with the humid air like a sauce to spice up the taste of that dank leather. ‘Yeah…this is tropical brutalism alright….’ I mused.
I kept quiet because I did not want to offend our hosts. But, the old school ‘69 280SE and the look of Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso was very reminiscent of pictures that I’d seen. Pictures of Cuba that is. I also couldn’t help the puerile association between the words Cuba and Cuiaba. The cigar smell didn’t do much to dispel visions of Castro. Nonetheless, I kept quiet.
Brazil is a unique place and Brazilians disliked it when people forgot this fact. At least that’s what I’d gotten from Thornton during the telephoned debriefing Schmidt and I received after disembarking the Genevive. I’d learned to trust the goobers cultural insights ever since I’d unconsciously allowed my foot to point at our contact in Thailand. Turning what should have been a five-minute exchange into a thirty-minute session of placation.
We weren’t actually going inside the University. Dr. Cook had left the keys to his office at the local institute he’d recently helped establish in one of the classrooms.
Leo laughed from the convertible MG as the five of us sardines groaned in unison. The bespectacled panzer left us to simmer in our malodorous can as he blitzed his way toward the school. We groaned again and Leo laughed even louder when Cook returned to fetch the key to the building that held his other forgotten key. He would have fit the absent-minded professor stereotype to a T had it not been for the strong impression of a fierce and practical intelligence that animated those deep brown eyes.
“Do not worry boys. There is excellent air conditioning at the Antiquities building. Jarvinen and De Witt made sure of that.”
I was annoyed at Leo’s easy sweatless expression beneath his Panama hat. How could this convection oven ever become normal?
It was my turn to chuckle. A laugh caused by the realization that the excitement of jungle exploration had died long before we’d left the city.
“Tropical brutalism…” I muttered under my breath.
Part I – Kentucky Door
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
Part II – The Wizard’s Nod
Help a Hipster