I wrote about Karl because he is the human form of Medellín. It’s interesting how some guys are Colombia guys, some are Brazil guys, and some are Argentina guys. Each attracts a distinct personality. I’m a Brazil guy, a place that isn’t even on Karl’s radar. Karl is Medellín, Medellín is Karl. The city is made for guys like him.
A few people commented that he is a “loser” or “pathetic,” but I never thought that of him. Though he had his drug issues, I enjoyed his company and was truly saddened when he left. At risk of sounding gay, I looked forward to when he would come in my room to regale me with crazy stories from his past. Sometimes I even left my door halfway open to encourage him.
I can see how Karl could be considered a loser by most hyper-educated American office workers. He doesn’t have a car, a condominium, disposable income for fancy restaurant dining, and he certainly doesn’t have health insurance or a retirement savings. He’s not well-read. He goes against everything us Westerners are trained to become, but if I had a choice between spending a night with Karl or with educated Chad, the dutiful government contractor with pleasant features, I’m going with Karl every time. One is interesting and exciting while the other is safe and boring. A night out with Karl was a trip into the unknown, with a level of uncertainty that I had trouble handling at times.
I’m not trying to justify Karl’s lifestyle, but it works perfectly for him. He’s with the beautiful girl he wants, back in Colombia in the apartment that they share, doing his booze and drugs, barely working, hatching his next scam. He’s living his dream and I respect him for that. There’s not a lot of people I can say that for. Fact is most do what they’re told, not what they desire.
If I ever run out of things to write about, all I have to do is hit up Karl and tell him to start from the top. I think his life would be a very successful book. I’d definitely include his business plan on how to run a successful trans-Atlantic cocaine empire. It’s all about having a GPS system worked out, he said. What you have to do is…