Juan Diego definitely looked dead, but his thoughts were far away, on high, in the spires of smoke funneling above the Oaxaca basurero; if only in his mind, he had a vulture’s view of the city limits — of Cinco Senores, where the circus grounds were, and the distant but brightly colored tents of Circo de La Maravilla.
The paramedics were notified from the cockpit; before all the passengers had left the plane, the rescuers rushed on. Various lifesaving methods were seconds away from being performed when one of the lifesavers realized that Juan Diego was very much alive, but by then the supposedly stricken passenger’s carry-on had been searched. The prescription drugs drew the most immediate attention. The beta-blockers signified there was a heart problem; the Viagra, with the printed warning not to take the stuff with nitrates, prompted one of the paramedics to ask Juan Diego, with no little urgency, if he’d been taking nitrates.
Juan Diego not only didn’t know what nitrates were; his mind was in Oaxaca, forty years ago, and Lupe was whispering in his ear.
“La nariz,” Juan Diego whispered to the anxious paramedic; she was a young woman, and she understood a little Spanish.
“Your nose?” the young paramedic asked; to make herself clear, she touched her own nose when she spoke.
“You can’t breathe? You’re having trouble breathing?” another of the paramedics asked; he also touched his nose, doubtless to signify breathing.
“Viagra can make you stuffy,” a third paramedic said.
“No, not my nose,” Juan Diego said, laughing. “I was dreaming about the Virgin Mary’s nose,” he told the team of paramedics.