What is this thing, this place,
this timelessness, that is
the ever-now, ever-present,
ever-gone-again…… and now…
I was always fond of Cosmic humor.
What is this thing, this place,
this timelessness, that is
the ever-now, ever-present,
ever-gone-again…… and now…
I was always fond of Cosmic humor.
The wait lasted forever…. thrilled at the find, still nothing would silence the need to know. Who was he now… what had he been filling his life with since we’d parted. Was he happy… did he remember…still.
While i waited, the site entranced me, giving me glimmers of him, his world, and what most entranced was the poetry. I had no idea the man of action, man in a man’s world, man of few words, wrote the way he did.
One poem called me back again and again… even though the Automatic Translations were often times confusing….
“In Search of a Love”
Viajo pelos mares, Travel by sea,
em busca de teu porto. in search of your port
dias e noites passados days and nights spent
em busca do alento in search of inspiration
do seio que alimento within which, the food
com os beijos do regresso. with the kisses of return.
Seguem as gaivotas, Follow the gulls,
aos bandos a me guiar the gangs to guide me
apontando as nuvens distantes pointing the distant clouds
que refletem como espelhos, reflecting like mirrors,
teu corpo que flutua no mar. your body that floats in the sea.
A luz do farol, na noite The light from the lighthouse at night
tira-me de rumo incerto strip me of course uncertain
devolve o caminho returns the path
que hoje navego sozinho, I now navigate alone,
pela vida,pelo sonho for life, the dream
a te buscar. to you.
Esta brisa que me move, The breeze that moves me,
também sopra em meus ouvidos also blowing in my ears
as velhas canções de amor the old songs of love
que me fazem flutuar make me fluctuate
que me levam a dançar leading me to dance
que afastam de mim a dor. the pain away from me.
Longitudes que aproximam Longitudes to bring
as latitudes da vida. the latitudes of life.
Seguindo as cartas Following the letters
que como se na sorte that as is the luck,
vão me afastando da morte take me away from death,
prolongando meu sofrer. prolonging my suffering.
Caminhos incertos, Ways uncertain,
nesta busca this search
sem instrumentos.; without instruments
guiado pelo amor, guided by love,
pelo instinto by instinct
e por meus tormentos and my torments
A maldade me corta o peito, The evil cuts the breast,
como o vento que rasga as velas like the wind ripping the sails,
fria lâmina precisa, cold blade needs,
insensível aos meus lamentos insensitive to my lamentations
finda os movimentos, leading the movements
da viagem que agoniza. of that agonizing journey.
Afunda o barco The boat sinks
em mar revolto. in billowy sea.
Naufraga o amor Ship wrecked love
acaba o sonho, just a dream,
sucumbe o desejo. the desire succombs.
_ De bom Good.
o fim da dor. the end of pain.
The Mechanical Translations certainly left things to be desired, but I found I could just sort of blur my mind’s eye, and the Feeling would come through…
I reached with fingertips of heart, longings of mind, waiting waiting after so many years, wondering if I could be that for which he waited, that which called to him through the clouded skies, a dream that I longed to waken to.
And then at last, it came. Or rather, I found it amongst weeks of emails.
How could this be? A letter from Alcir, postmarked weeks ago, there amongst ads and old questions. There was no way I could have missed it, not seem it jumping from the page…
Then it occurred to me… his computer had a wrong date. Of Course!
That could be the only answer… And whenever he sent it, it shuffled itself into the past pile, only to be found when cleaning the house of my files. How strange…
But there it was… Alcir Jose de Souza.
Slowly I opened it… or quickly, I don’t really know which. It was that time warp thing again, he was there, waiting to be opened, waiting for weeks, and then it was before me…
…And he included a picture of himself, at work in the Control Room of a ship.
Graying temples, a more grounded aura, the boy had morphed into a man, and heart swelled into throat, the patter of past and future now present and alive once more.
I just watched ‘The Story of the Weeping Camel’ last night,
and I have to say it was so beautiful, touching, deep and real…
I just Love the lifestyle, so in touch with earth and animals,
the generations of family together, the Yurts, the fire, the rituals.
Loved ooogling the decor as well…. surroundings were all so
artful, clean, yet wide open, sparse yet homey.
And the camels! That baby was just delightful, and when…
oh, but I can’t say too much, I’ll give away the story!
It’s a Must See, Mood Altering, Spiritual Adventure in a world
so far from ours, yet like it.
Isn’t it wonderful how humans are all alike, in their own ways!
And don’t shy away because it’s foreign….Mongolian… there just
isn’t that much dialogue, and the visuals and heart feels predominate.
The years passed as all years do…. Each a little quicker than the last,
and you begin to feel like life is that horse that turns homeward, with quickening strides, warm rewards and comfort awaiting the return.
The eighties were fun for me. There was a certain joyous abandon,
more partying, less worry. Money, although not quite like the sixties,
still was more readily available, and options appeared more frequently.
How much was the decade, and how much was me? I’ll never know,
although certainly when you’re in your prime, things seem easier in
I worked hard, six days a week, covered my bills, fed my kids, and
had a good time.
Still this certain person persistently appeared in my thoughts, and
often I was sure he was on his way, or even nearby, looking
for my face.
There were times I meditated on his spirit, like a Santera named
Juana had told me to do. She was sure she had felt him, seen him,
and known his energies and whereabouts.
I would doubt her on many occasions, as I am want to do with any
psychic, but there were those times…. Like one day, as I arrived at
the San Fran store where I was working with my friend D, the one
on Haight that was known as the Weird Store… And as I got out of
the car, there was Juana, and she told me that someone close to me
had died, and had visited her. She said he was confused, but that she
did what she could to help him, and that he would be ok.
Interestingly enough, yes indeed, someone I knew Had just died
that week, a friend named Jimmy, who was the original drummer
for Steely Dan, and it was terribly sad in our little town, and for a
lot of people.
He had left suddenly, unexpectedly, and in an inebriated state, by
drowning. I had heard that when a spirit leaves this way, inebriated
by alcohol, as in this case, or drugs of any kind, it is confused for a
while, trying to understand what has happened.
So yes, she did have abilities, or as my friend Sterling used to say…
”she had her toe in God’s puddle”……
When Alcir showed up in my home with no warning, it was 1986.
I actually had seen him once before, although I really didn’t realize
it til much later.
I had done one day’s work as a Tender on an Urchin Boat… it paid
well, and I thought I’d try it out.
Turned out it was a terrible day, only three boats went out, out of
a fleet of like 30 or more boats that frequented the little harbor at
the time of the great Urchin Rush, and the boat I was on was a
battered little dinosaur.
It was harrowing, scarey at times, and it convinced me that a Mother
and Artist shouldn’t risk life and limb on an Urchin Boat with some
of the craziest men on earth…. Urchin Divers.
But there was a moment before we left the harbor, when I saw this
fellow sitting crosslegged on the bow of a small boat, long dark hair,
and the biggest grin I’d ever seen. He was completely blissed out,
in his element, and that foggy image stayed with me.
Later I recognized that grin, that bliss with the sea, that had kept well
in my mind’s eye.
Early in our time together, he laughed when he heard I had tried tending.
“Oh….! Eeeet waz Yoo!” he exclaimed. “Yes… Yoo were thaat
woooman who went out that day! Oh, I Heerd about yooo!”
Little had I known I was semi famous, but I guess I was the only
woman who ever went out on an Urchin boat at that time.
He left in mid 87, and I never heard from him again….until 2 years
later, with that phone call from Rio, and the promise that he would
return to me, to the States, and to the life he had loved so well.
He absolutely adored the States, and the life he had dreamed of
since he was a boy, watching reruns of old TV programs.
He had told me he wanted to be a diver ever since he used to
watch Sea Hunt, with Lloyd Bridges.
And I had wanted a brave and wild boyfriend with brown skin,
dark hair and snapping eyes, ever since I fell in love with Sabu
the Elephant Boy, at the age of five. He used to dive into the dark
rivers, knife in teeth, and wrestle with alligators. He rode elephants,
and could call the jungle animals when he needed help.
Gotta be careful what you wish for.
By 91, I had had enough of the struggle to meet the demands of
living alone and supporting children, when rents were doubling
and options shrinking by halves.
I decided to venture out, and left the mainland for Kauai, where my
son lived in a large condo.
One of the reasons among many, was to get away from his memory,
and the expectations that had been set up by that call. I looked for
him around every corner, and it was making me mad, as in crazy.
Problem was…. Once I was there, all I saw was guys who looked like
him. He did look like an island boy…brown skin, swimmers’ body,
big grin, white teeth, snapping dark eyes and long brown Indian hair….
…and so that part of the equation didn’t work, but the rest did.
I loved kauai, and the life style, the warmth and the aloha spirit,
which is a real and tangible thing. After Iniki hit… a force 5
Hurricane in 92… it was barely a year later that I returned to the
coast, for Hawaii would not bounce back quickly enough to make
a life happen there.
Where there had been work for me, a gallery for my art and so much abundance, was now in ruins. Not a flower grew for six months!
The hills were brown. Every building damaged, every vehicle
injured, and a year later, unemployment was running out, domestic
violence was up, and the local boys were pissed cause all the
reconstruction jobs went to mainland companies. It was a tough
time, and when they kicked us all out of the condos to make repairs
and jack up the rents, it was time to leave.
The nineties were lovely. Great small town, lots of performance
and art shows, tons of friends, and a happy home. Dinner parties,
ufo discussion group, movie-thons… dandy stuff. I even sang
the Star Spangled Banner at the fourth of July parade.
When in 2002, I decided to move to Oregon to be near my two
older kids and their children, everything changed.
Oregon is not California in so many ways.
But that’s another chapter…or ten.
So one day, and it’s late 2004, I’m on the computer, as I often was.
I had been selling on ebay for a few years, improving my skills,
and thoroughly enjoying this ever expanding universe that had
appeared in my life. So…you know how you Google someone’s
name, and start finding things pop up. Back then it didn’t cost
you to find someone like it does now.
So….. google…. Alcir de Souza, with all the middle names in between.
Yep, remembered it all, every little name that had been laid on that boy.
When he had written it down for me, I had laughed….
“Wow….everybody got in on that one” I snickered.
I tried every version, leave out the T, leave out the other…add
back the y… and then something magic happened… I started
finding things… writing…. poetry….. in Portuguese, but when I
finally got one or two translated…. Oh shit….. There he was!!
He was writing on a site with lots of other writers, and it seemed
a mix of angry political ramblings, and pure heartful love poems.
And I gleaned more…. Women, of course, but also a daughter….!
Lots of pain and drama… confusion…. And so much anger.
I spent the next three days learning what I could from what
writings I could understand. I had purchased a simple Learn
Portuguese thing, and I had listened to a million songs and
translations of songs, so that helped a little. But for me, the main
thing was He Was Alive, and Writing on the internet, and maybe,
just maybe, I could somehow reach him. I honestly just wanted
to touch in, catch up, and Know….
I wrote a brief note to the editor, and waited. And waited.
Maybe a week later, I wrote another one, but this time I said
something to the effect that this was Urgent, Important, and
that ‘he will be Very Happy to receive a message from me’…
and included a personal message to Alcir that went
something like this:
“Hello there! So…you are writing. That is wonderful!
I think you need to email me ASAP, Shithead….
The editor dropped me a note, to tell me he had forwarded the message.
And then I waited.
Eighteen Years later, and there I was, waiting once again.
Years turn into melodies
dancing dreams that once I held close.
Subjective sentences tell me
they never happened.
All is new, as if
it never was.
Long ago in a far away land there was a girl. She was a rather pretty girl, but she wasn’t so sure about that.
Still, as time went by, she became more pretty to herself,
and things started paying off.
Boys flocked for miles around, just for the chance to kneel at her feet and
buy her popcorn.
Years went by. Lots of years.
Then one day, she realized she was old. Not just older…. Old.
She remembered those things she’d read, the ones about being an older woman, and how you suddenly become invisible to men.
So she decided to try it out.
She’s at a bar. She walks up and stands there. And stands there. …
and stands some more……Hmmmmm
She raises her eyebrows as she lightly lifts her hand in the air…
(make it soft… non demanding… I know older women can be known as bitches to some).. . and she IS short, after all. Maybe…..maybe their scans didn’t reach below 5’5….. Hmm..nope. Nothin…..
She leans on her elbow, mildly irritated, broadcasting a Toe Tappin’ – Hair Pullin sorta feeling…..
….a ‘bring that bad boy over to me Now’ sort of look …..nope, not the ticket.
Hair toss. Tilt head and softly smile. “Um….Helllloooo!? Can I get a drink?” …. Twirl hair, wishing there was gum to pop right now….
How ‘Bout Lean Waaaay in, stick out arm and Grab the Barboy by
one of his appendages …..?
Am I here? she asks herself, squinting in the mirror through the bottles….
Hmmmm…guess so. … Guess they were right. I can see me, but something has happened to those guys’ eyes….
Strange… it wasn’t that long ago that they tripped over eachother to
do her bidding. It wasn’t that long that there would come knocks at the door with no warning…
Across the crowded room moments…. The Sparkletts water man going into trance over my face moments. Oh yes, and the time some mysterious fellow sent drinks over….. while sitting at the far end of the bar….. with his wife….!
What to do? Not that I’m desperate, not nearly as much as I was when it was so easy.
But it would be nice to have someone to go to the movies with…..
…eat dinner with, cuddle with.
So what does this place offer for someone like me, at this point in life….
Senior Dating! That’s the ticket. Oh ya… must be a ton of other oldies but goodies,
And I’m so damned clever, I’m bound to attract a few keepers….
So I’ll tell ya…. If nothing else, it’s good for some story telling.
And so began this little blog of mine…. The one about the Ones that Got Away, Won’t Go away, Got it Going, or Wished they could.
The mouse never wavers, but waits at the door, hungry for
the touch of turmoil that will set his heart ablaze.
You are the mouse…. You are the door…. You are the turmoil.
Watch that you know whence it comes.
After we hung up the phone, I lay in trance momentarily, to come back into my body once more, left for what seemed like an eternity. Where I had been had no relation to where my corporeal self floated, and there were other people out there in my living room. Gather it together…..
My good friend D was looking super casual and uninterested… His suit of armor, worn habitually and defensively. He and I had a long history which included much intimacy, yet he was one of those terrified of real intimacy, real love, and so a show of emotion was forbidden. Even curiosity meant he might care, and that was one thing he didn’t want to do or show. That was saved for the few he couldn’t reel in.
The classic Fear of Intimacy embodiment, and I must say I Wondered, as in Being in Wonder, at the Universe and Her sense of timing and humor, for D seldom came out and stayed with me, lovers or not, and to have Alcir call from Brasil on this day was pure and Brilliant Orchestration.
I re-entered my world, and shared a few of the best parts…. The Legion, of course…. And I remember his reaction at the poetry of his words:
“I Love You….and I always Deeed…. And I would not wan’ you to think something different.” I said it with my best Brasilian accent. When I got to:
“I’ve never forgotten….. It is not often that a man can find Peace…”, D feigned falling backwards, stabbing himself in the heart. He absolutely Got it, and it was a most satisfying moment. To make even more of this magical thing was something I could never have imagined, or even ask for.
D was such an enigma in my life, and for more years than I could have figured, and this was the whipped cream with a cherry on top, of an already overwhelmingly intoxicating dessert.
Many years passed, many phases gone through, so much belief in that first year, that he would return to me. I visualized being down at the wharf in a crowd…. smokey scene at the bar, some country western song playing, me behind my second pint, when there… across the room… that face… the voice… eyes locking on mine….
Or how ‘bout walking down Main Street midday, and suddenly from my right, a whistle…. Glance across the street… pause in mid glance… No…. Yes…. What?…. Blurrr……You get the idea. It was always a movie with him, and by now I’m sure you understand why the movie romance fantasies lingered. The magic in the timings, the comings and goings of him, of us. It was an encounter unlike any other… Iconic characters in a dance through time.
To this day, I know we will be together again, although I have let go of even the possibility of continuation in this life. It will be another, and perhaps then we will have our timing just a little more on spot. But the magnetic pull lingers, like the taste of bitter coffee, the cream coating tongue for the creamy softening, and to hold it there just a while longer.
By the time he had left the first time, the time when he sat in his truck and we stared so long… by that time I was catching every nuance in music I heard, learning about the role Brasil had played in World Beat and Jazz… falling in love with Djavan, Luis Bonfa, Nascimento, and of course Jobim.
Antonio Carlos Jobim, the untouchable, the delight of Brasil. They named their International Airport for him. The author of so many classics that have been heard for more than half a century… ones you would recognize after one phrase, after three notes, ones heard in elevators, and frequently background music even now, when the movie gets romantic and sexy.
He, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto INVENTED the Bossa Nova back in the fifties.
So I was on a mission. Grok Brasil. Because I had never met a Brasilian before, and it wasn’t just about Him…. There was a wild and fierce spirit there that I knew I had to understand, because Brasil was something quite different from the world I’d known. I added the fantasy of someday visiting Brasil, and being shown it by Him.
When we had said Goodbye on that telephone line, our Last words were:
“Maybe I’ll see you in Rio…my Crazy Brasilian!”……… and he answered:
“Maybe I’ll see you in the States, my Looney American!”
There were moments where I felt I was Getting It. The Music of course was a big one. When I was in the Brasilian Music Trance, I was touching him, feeling his core self. My kids got so, whenever Brasilian music came on, they called it “Mom Music”.
But then things would happen…. Like when I was waitressing at a local place, where the Gualala River meets the Sea, with a wonderful view and interesting people.
I met people visiting the famous NorCal Coast, and the notorious Hwy 1, from all over the world.
And the staff always sent me out to deal with the tables full of ‘foreigners’.
I seemed to understand them more easily, as accents didn’t throw me, and sometimes I’d play with them, shooting the accents back. It was fun, and part of the theater of waiting tables.
I went out to a table of three, up and out of the way in the back, two men and a woman, and quickly realized I was waiting on Brasilians !!! oh I was so excited!
The sound of that accent sent me into apoplectic bliss… They were fun, playful, hilarious, and taught me how to order Beer in Brasil.
Later I realized they had the Carioca dialect…. That’s the name they call Brasilians from Rio …. Cariocas. And so, there I was, practicing “Dois Mais Cervezas, por favor” with my new friends…
“…for when you visit Rio”… they told me.
Turns out, this is a Basic Survival Skill…. Brasil drinks more beer than Any Other Country…! Ha!
An important part of Rio Portuguese, Carioca, is that you put sssshhhhh sounds in everywhere you can…. Doish maish cerveshas, pooor favooor …. Such a sensual and sexy language, that goes with the people… but in Rio they dial it up just a bit more, your tongue almost Tasting the sounds.
When they were leaving, they threw me a compliment that stayed with me always….
“We’ve beeen eeen the US… (they never say America…as Alcir said, We’re America too..) “We’ve been in the US for seven months, and you’re the First person we’ve met who is Like a Brasilian!”
Couldn’t get any better than that….
I must be making progress in my quest…
I remember the last time I’d seen him. I hadn’t heard from him in weeks, when suddenly the phone rang..
“Halllooo…. so…. I’m on my way….”
“What?…… where Are you?”
“I’m in Marysville……. I coould have gonn to Reno, but I’m cooming to see you…”
“About 200 miles away….”
“…so….so you’re saying you’ll be Here in four hours?”
“Yes……… So eeef you haf a Boyeefren, you bedder tell him to Leeeeef..”.
His voice got a little deeper when he said that…
“No…. no boyfriend… ok….. so…. guess I’ll see ya..”
When he arrived, I remember little, except that the wait was endless, sitting in the upstairs window, leaning in with every car sound, until at last he was pulling in, his new silver truck announcing arrivals.
I recall his perusing my albums, and chuckling…. “Awful lot of Donovan albums here…” smug lips…
“Ya…. oh shut up!’…. laughter. There was always laughter with him.
I remember how exhausted he was, as he lay in my arms after love. Once more I felt like Isis, and my warrior had returned, albeit briefly and for unknown time and reasons, and he quickly slept, although restlessly.
That was unusual for him. Strange as it may seem, this man was the most peaceful bed companion.
Our lovemaking was briefer than usual, he doing his best to stay with me, and I remember his comment…”I won’t be happy til you orgasm…” and I truthfully said that I didn’t care. Just to have him there was all the orgasm my heart could take.
“I know I’m not heeere much, but I wan’ you to know…. You get the Best… eeets true…. you always get the Best.”
Next morning after coffee and breakfast, we drove around, and up Fish Rock he spotted a large boat, down a little road below. He stopped and ran over to get a closer look.
“Oh that’s a gooood one…. I wonder eeef eeet’s for sale…. I wan’ my boat. Do your vooodooo, I wan’ a meeelion doolarrs”, and I told him of the visualizations I had been doing for him. Visions of him on his beautiful sail boat, big grin, heading towards a magical island, money pouring down all over him from the sky, and him…. laughing his big glorious laugh…
“Oh, tha’s beautifulll” he smiled.
Soon he spoke of leaving and things calling to him. His plans were up in the air, once again nebulous, changing in unexpected ways, he was agitated, and when I got just a little upset, he looked at me sternly, and for a long time.
It was like at that moment, he just shut down, made his decision, and took me home.
“I thought you said you could stay another night…”
“No…. I haf to go… ” he trailed off.
Quickly he was loading the truck, as I sat on the steps watching. My sadness was overwhelming, and left me unable to talk about anything meaningful. He was already gone to me.
His truck started up, and we eyelocked. Endless time swirls passed between us, as we both just sat there, staring, taking in eachother for perhaps the last time.
At last he turned off the truck, got out, walked over, and as I sat immobilized, he planted a long long hard pressing kiss that made my face surrender backwards in a swoon, and lasted forever. A desperate goodbye through lip talk that stayed with me, full of sadness and resolve.
As the truck pulled away and grew smaller, finally vanishing out the driveway, I sat stunned, really groking the last 24 hours, and knowing that he had slipped through my fingers, perhaps forever, and yet he would never leave my soul.
So now, once again and years later, I held him for a timeless moment; his voice was distant, yet his presence strong, and I sensed a softening, an effect that had washed over him in the brief, intense two years that had transpired. I couldn’t even imagine what he’d gone through, and it was only many years later in Brasil that he began to share with me some of the things that had transpired.
So there I am, lying on the pantry floor, cold I couldn’t feel, pasta I couldn’t see, every nerve straining to absorb every molecule of him that slipped through the wires.
“So….” he began again… “I wan’ to coomm back to the states, when they let me leeeff..”
“When will that be?”, my heart racing at the mere thought of the possibility of the maybe someday…
“Oh, in a year or so, things might be better…”
I breathed deeply, taking it all in. There was no time for reflection now; all focus was intensely on the Now, and later I would replay the conversation as best I could. I felt myself straining to reach him, glean any morsel that was gleanable at this foggy distance.
“I’ve never forgotten”, he repeated once again.
and then he said something that went through me like a blade of fire, branding my solar plexis, the recording in my head playing over and over again, as I saved it for posterity.
“I’ve never forgotten….” … there was a long pregnant pause here……
“…..It is not often that a man can find Peace…………”