It’s now Thursday, five days into my visit to Rio, to Alcir,
and we’re home, and he’s drinking.  I have never known
anyone who can drink like he can, and yes I know it’s a
bad sign, and yes I know Brasilians drink more beer than
any other country, and yes in that tropical heat, that half
frozen freezer stored refreshment cannot be beat, but…

This man has such high tolerance to everything, since
maybe birth, and so it’s a gift and a curse.  I have seen
him put away liter after liter, go to the store, buy eight
more, I drink one, he drinks the rest, and while he’s out
he’s done shots of Scotch at the local garage bar.

Yes, along those winding urban streets there are countless
bars in garages, little gatherings of men sitting on cheap
plastic chairs, smoking and bullshitting.  It’s a part of
Brasilian culture, the men just go out at night and drink.

So Thursday he drinks, we cuddle, he asks me not to
let him go, and then sneaks out when I fall asleep.
Friday there’s the usual hangovers, denials, and Mr
Bad Mood.  Sullen isolated shit head.
We go grocery shopping at the giant Mercado that we
usually walk to, sometimes holding hands, but this day
he drives us, because his elderly Aunt Maria needs to
go too.  He goes to a chair at one of the little mall stops,
and Maria and I go in with our separate carts and get
what we need.  She is not a happy person in general,
but when neither speaks the other’s language, it’s pretty
lonely.  She cooks, and I can’t even ask her about
ingredients or where something is.  And he’s back in the
mall drinking beer, and beginning to refer to
us as “you people”.    This does not bode well.

I’d so looked forward to getting out and shopping for
things, finding new fruits and vegetables, people watching,
and now he’s just mean and doesn’t want to be there.

When I’m in line, which is always endless… I mean, take
a book or some playing cards when you shop here…
he comes by long enough to load the cart up with beer,
and a big Scotch.  Oh, and I’m buying.
Of course I’m buying… I’m a rich American and I’ve
intruded upon his space, and I will pay.

Maria and I are now pretty much the same, in his eyes.
Irritating women who want something from him.
Never fall in love with a man who hates his Mother.



… not even a week ….

…the hero…

Ayn Rand is not someone I was familiar with.
I had heard of her of course.  And I was aware that
her writing was important.
But I never read anything of hers.

“The Passion of Ayn Rand”, brilliantly played by Helen Mirren,
convinced me that I need to start reading, especially since
a core in her writings refers directly to the heroic character
that plays the lead in my book.

“Are you happy?” she asked in the film.
“You’re a heroic being.
It is the moral purpose of your life.
And the man must have the woman who reflects
his deepest vision of himself,
and in her surrender is his deepest happiness…”
“and the woman?” asked her friend.
“…the woman must worship the hero.”

I remember so many years ago, when I’d first known him…
I asked him that very question…
“What do you want?”
“To be happy.”
“What makes you happy?”
“I don’t know”…but still, his soul knew that was his purpose.
And I knew my purpose for him when, without a thought,
I asked   …”How’s your spiritual life?”

Love for me has always only felt right with surrender.
And the ultimate high is complete surrender.
How her words struck home.

“I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient,
consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.” said Carrie …

I was dealing with a genius with such high ideals, vast education,
and with the physical prowess and unique gifts to accomplish
whatever it was he came here for.  And he knew it.

He knew he had a bigger purpose, and deeply desired to fulfill it.
The feeling that I was there to be the One who really Saw him,
perhaps the first one… and that by my presence I might encourage
and affect the course of this truly heroic being …

A purpose beyond me, bigger than me.
Failure never entered my mind, really.
I knew it was bigger than the two.
It was something beyond, that had to be acted out,
in order for some larger picture to coalesce.

There was no doubt.  The compelling conviction lingered
much too long to be anything less than something beyond us.

I still don’t know what the effect or purpose was and is,
but I think for now it just can’t be known.
Something shifted, something altered.
But we are not perfect, and our actions were not always perfect…
or perhaps…
Perhaps they were, and it’s just that we can’t see it yet.

Some heroic dance being enacted, imparting a feeling of
eternity for both, a role being played out greater than either,
something beyond the day, the moment,
beyond the persons themselves.

This was and is the conviction of some sort of
ultimate truth between us.

My fulfillment was the part I was playing in bringing out and
seeing clearly his heroic dreams, his path of righteousness,
the pieces in him that were the truth,
the best elements of his very core.

Holding him to the course the true north, embodying that,
as in the Poem he sent to me; this challenged me to a new
height of My truth.

My search for something larger than myself was just that… holding
to that north that was his vision, what he’d been trained for, born for.

And I found two quotes from Ayn that speak to me…

“What is the nature of Love?
Love is a command to rise to one’s highest potential.
The best and noblest vision of ourselves.
Love is a reward.  The greatest we can earn.
Granted to us for the moral quality we have achieved in our lives. ”

“My philosophy in essence is the concept of man as a heroic being,
with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life,
with productive achievement as his noblest activity,
and reason as his only absolute.”

……….Ayn Rand

I’m still working on all of it.