…shark!…

For some reason right now, this memory has been floating
up the last couple days… It’s dreamy and sunny warmness,
with jolly Brasilians at a party somewhere…

I jump ahead in time, because… I Can… and this memory is
from the second time I visited Alcir and Rio… in 2006.

Likely one reason I am remembering this time, is because
it was one of our good periods, of which there were many;
unfortunately there were a few down times too.

It was February, Carnaval time, such an incredible month in
so many ways.   He was born during Carnaval, so he’s like a kid,
telling me just What he wants to do and get for his Day, which
just happens to be Valentines Day in the US

So Alcir takes me to a party in this most festive of times…..
Well….. except for the Futebol playoffs (soccer), for
Those Are The Biggest Number One Deal in Brasil!!
Brasil has won more World Cups than Any other country.

A friend of his… Mario….I think he was in the classes for his
Captain’s License… was having a house warming for their new
home addition, and so we are off.
And I am very excited to meet some of his friends!

It’s a lovely district, a somewhat new area with streets and homes
more like the US residentials, and we are shown through rooms,
and several floors going upstairs, by him and his lovely woman.

They seem excited to have an American at their party!
It’s so strange to feel exotic in such an exotic land!
But blue eyes are stared at in Brasil.

We arrive at the top floor, which is a rooftop, open to the sky,
with views up and down the street, and a barbeque going.
The party is warmed up, everyone’s drinking icy beers and
munching things from the long table of snacks, chattering away.

And there, at one side… is a large inflatable pool, with a half dozen
children, all happily soaked, bouncing and squealing wildly.

After intros and mostly listening to the beautiful language,
I grow weary of brain stretching, and decide to accept the
invite into the pool.
At first the kids are a tiny bit shy… Brasilians are Not a shy people!..
they eye me with wide smiles, and I begin to splash them… just a
little.  Squeals, giggles, huddlings… and I know they Love it.

It wasn’t long before I started going under the water, and coming
after one or another.  Oh goodness, did they love That!
I was laughing so hard, they were wild and screaming with
abandon, it was glorious fun.

Then they began calling me something…. at first I was puzzled..

I’d been doing the familiar…
“duh duh……..duh duh………Duh Duh…..
Duh! Duh!….Duh! Duh! ….DUH! DUH! DUH! DUH!”….
….the theme from the movie that I guess Everyone knows…
just before I would dip below the water and
come in their direction…

“Tia Tubarao!  Tia Tubarao!!!”  they kept squealing and giggling,
leaping and splashing from one end to the other…

And then Alcir came over….
“They’re calling you Auntie Shark!.  Auntie Shark!” he laughed.

With both enjoyment and surprise in his voice…he exclaimed
“They LIKE you!!

Uh…. ya think??!  Yah!

And so did his friends.  Mario and his lady had children, and had
been together many years, and were now planning a wedding…
They were so adorable, she showing off her ring, and then Mario
got all quietly excited, and in a very conspiratorial manor,
accompanied by a half whispered aside and a couple elbows
in the ribs, (huh? huh?) made this very sweet suggestion:

So…why didn’t WE get married at the same time!
A Double Wedding!  How cute is that.
We just looked at eachother and smiled.
After all, it was Carnaval!

 

 

…his old jacket…

One afternoon, he decided to pull out the old Legionnaires’ uniform, and here he is looking pleased with himself… after 18 years, he can still Almost button it closed… double click to enlarge the brat.   This was 2006 in Rio.

I’m anticipating going through my storage soon, finding my old journals, and beginning to review the days when I was seeing Alcir.  It’s not all pleasure, be assured, for I will likely never see him again, and in some ways that chapter of my life is closed forever.  Stirring the memories is stirring the emotions, and they run deep and technicolor vivid.

As a being, he is etched upon my brain pans, like one of those movies you see over and over through the years, always creating the sensory overload, the tastes and smells, the cocktail chemistry, the brain bath rushing over skin, through veins, visions of sugar plum fantasies with someone who came so close to being a perfect match, yet membraned apart just enough to never quite get there.  There were moments, flashes of paradise…

Heart breakingly almost, tantalizingly dancing just out of reach, touching in and running away.  Begging for help, longing for true love, believing in conjoined souls, and terrified of love, that was he.

 

 

….. in a Rio cafe…

As I proof read these pages, I think to myself that no one will actually believe this is real.  I know, it sounds like a movie.  And I’m not even referring back to my journals right now, because somehow as I take it step by step, it all comes back in its most minute details, and I can hear his voice, and know exactly the words he chose, and when a word isn’t quite right, I just know it.  That’s how deep the cut was…

Many years later, as we sat drinking ice cold beer in the little café bar with one side open to the wandering street, the cobblestone street, the one that winds up the hill to one of the oldest districts in Rio, the one that, as the story goes, that woman came down after the wild party, walking on her hands, to save the precious nectar inside her.  Later she would produce a child who sprang from the loins of the king of Rock n Roll… Mick the man.

Yes indeedy, sprang from a party up that hill, in some luxurious mansion, and now whenever the Stones play Rio, he visits the kid at his exclusive school.  And she?  She now has a talk show, and is an edgy bitchy and rich celebrity with very stripey like a zebra, highlighted hair.

Go figure.

Anyways, so he’s telling me these tales of Rio and streets and the kids at his school, and it’s hot and steamy, and the beer is so cold it’s almost a slushy, and it feels like we could be anywhere right now.  There are these darling young women sitting nearby, they have accents,  obviously European, and now and then they glance at us and smile.  Alcir of course thinks it’s because he’s so cute ….  Soon they join us at the table, and they are tittering away with soft giggles, telling us that they are on a journey from Germany, and staying in Brasil for a couple weeks.  They are intelligent, well educated, and speak very good English.  We begin to  answer their questions of who and why We are…..how an American comes to be here with a Brasilian in Rio, and I mention that it is all a movie, that it needs to Be a movie, and then of course, Alcir smiles and asks…

”So….. who weeell play Meee?”  ……and we all laugh.

“Benicio del Toro” return the girls, and there is a pause… Alcir obviously approves, smiles, nods his head, and the chatter turns to travels and more stories.

That was his edgy side, the side those girls picked up on.  The side that was more than a little dangerous, mysterious, thrilling and scarey…… and scarred.  He loved danger.  Craved it.

His family was an old aristocratic group that had pretty much lost it all.  They lived in a multi level home, with rooms and shuttered windows, each staying away from the other, hate and disgust seething from every floor.  The house was unkempt, and slowly melting away, but at one time exemplified class and grandeur.

A karmic layer cake, I used to call it.

When he was 14, he and his buddies used to steal cars and drive them to Uruguay to sell.  He didn’t need the money, just the thrills, the bad boy thrills.  His dad paid the tab at the local bar, but he needed more.  Defiant, he was beaten continually as a child until he stood up one day at 15 and announced to his father that right now,  if he laid a hand on him, he would beat the holy crap out of him.  And he never touched him again, not physically anyway.

But cruelty ran in the group, a very convoluted history that went back generations.

His mother never wanted a child, tried to rid herself of this creature inside her that would ruin her life and her figure, was unsuccessful, and never stopped reminding him of that.  Once while I was there, she came beating on his door at 6 am, screaming that she should have killed him then, she wished she had, and now she hated him, that he was ruining her life.

His grandmother had been his salvation….. his mother’s mother.  She adored him, somehow instinctively understood him, and from the pictures I’ve seen, she was a very sad woman later in life.  But absolutely Gorgeous as a young Indian woman.  Haunting…And that is another chapter in itself, the story of the young Indian girl, and the man who waited and watched for two years, until her father gave permission for him to marry her….  that was one set of grandparents.

When she died, Alcir was the one to wash her body, dress her, and make her ready to be laid down.  She had given him his haunting, dark slanting eyes, and his ferocious spirit, wild and untamable.  She had loved him singularly, and was quite alone in her understanding.

See?  That’s what I mean.  So many facets to this man, so much anger and pain, so much tenderness and depth, so much beauty.  It was a puzzlement that I had to unwind.