by Wynne Brown
His email started out: "It's been a hard day." And ended, "I'm afraid the Costa Rica trip's no longer an option for me."
Mike and I have shared a warm platonic friendship for 40+ years and have wanted to travel together for decades. Last year we finally booked a trip to Costa Rica with the ecotravel company Naturalist Journeys since we'd both always wanted to see Resplendent Quetzals, Morpho butterflies, and—with luck—the exquisite lemon-yellow eyelash viper.
We also wanted some independent exploration, so we'd arranged to stay in San José for two days before the group tour.
Ah, yes, best-laid plans...
The week before our departure came Mike's message: "At 9:30 this morning, my right eye went crazy—I had big oil spill 'floaters' that were black with red edges (blood) moving across my eye, and my vision turned cloudy, as if I were looking through a gauze curtain..."
The diagnosis: His right vitreous humor had separated from his retina.
The treatment: Rest—and no airplane flights.
The result: I'd be flying to Costa Rica without him and spending two days alone in San José.