camilo was quiet and mostly kept to himself. he cut the 15 foot elephant grass behind the horse stables i worked at in western venezuela. ivan would chip the grass and his sons and i would distribute it among the horses. camilo lived on a leftover triangle cut out by the diagonal road and the back fields of the stables. while i was there he foiled at least one robbery attempt. an acerbic woman calling down oaths upon him as he relieved her of judas' lead rope.
venezuela lives a culture of beauty. they have over seventy international pageant titles and of the big four (miss universe, world, international and miss earth) they hold twenty-two; more than any other country and more than all of south america combined. even in the slums, where many times we went to bed hungry, children beauty pageants were common. in many places sweet fifteen girls celebrated with implants from dad.