A Tiny Crystal

The Peruvian hippie on the malecon at Huanchaco held a tiny quartz crystal. He placed the tiny crystal in my hand.
“This will bring you what you need,” he told me.
“What do I need?”
“It will bring you money.”
“I do not need money.”
“It will bring you love.”
“Look at that Colombian woman over there.” I pointed at Ines. “Mira, parce. You can see that I do not need love.”
“It will bring you security in your travels.”
“I make my own security, parce. A knife works better than a tiny crystal.”

"Then you will not buy this tiny crystal from me? Even for a favor?"

"I have no need for your tiny crystal. I would only lose it and regret giving you soles for it. Sell it to he who has the need."
It stunned him that I needed nothing, that his tiny crystal meant nothing to me. South Americans were constantly wishing or praying for something to happen for them. Peru in particular was filled with witch doctors and brujeria. It was an attitude that I didn’t understand. If you wanted something to happen you made it happen. Certainly there was luck. But luck ran good and bad and you could not do anything about it. Luck was a mystery. And no man could summon it from a tiny crystal.

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