We were having drinks at the bar of the pousada where we were staying. They were Americans who had arrived on an overnight bus two days before. The woman was showing me snapshots that they had taken in Rio. I gave each one a feint of appreciation. Then she handed me a photo of the Christ statue overlook. Standing in the left of the frame were two full figured blondes. I recognized them immediately.
"I know these girls," I said, pointing at the duo.
"Yeah, they're right here in Ajuda. They're nurses from Denmark."
"I most certainly am not. Can I borrow this?"
"Sure." The next day on the beach I found the Danes right where I had seen them all week. We exchanged greetings. I tried not to stare at their prodigious busts, oiled and unharnessed.
"I've got something to show you," I said, dropping onto the sand.
"Take a look at this." I pulled the photo from my knapsack. They sat up and passed it between them.
"Where did you get this?"
"An American couple staying at my pousada," I said. "I couldn't believe it." They huddled over the photo. "Where are you staying again?"
"Can you arrange a drink?"
"I don't see why not. How about six thirty?"
"We'll be there." Many times I've thought about this coincidence, never more than last week when I boarded a flight from Copenhagen to Rio with a small urn in a tattered knapsack.
18 July 2016