… time alone …

There are no days of the week, no time to be somewhere,
just waking with the sun, and long invigorating walks.
At home I make jewelry, clear out the jungle, wash
windows, and let the days drift.

Talks with Alcir are sporadic… time zones collapse time into
different worlds… he’s not home when I call, or he’s sleeping
and doesn’t want to talk, or he forgets my number, and calls
my daughter when he’s drunk…
…and she’s getting annoyed with his ramblings.

Sometimes he thinks he’s called me, but he never did…
and I wonder who he did call, because there was no message.

It’s all in a fog, but as usual, just when I drift away, he
comes back with clarity, telling me his deeply amusing
stories, or reminding me of his real self.

His experiences pile up with pain and disillusionment…
His grandfather gave him a house on the coast.
While he was gone, his father took it and sold it.

Another time he gave $30,000 cash to his uncle for
a house in Ibicui….that idyllic place we want to live…
He never got the deed, and now his uncle is selling it again…

Again and again, the knife in the back.  Since he was small,
the public beatings, and humiliations before his extended
family have created such isolation for him, such mistrust
in someone so naturally trusting…. and such disrespect
from the relatives, who used him as the scapegoat of the family.

There was/is  deep inside of him, this pure childlike trust…
a clear sense of what’s right and wrong… a fury at the travesty,
at the viciousness of humanity.
He sees things in such clear terms, as a child…or an indian…
might see them.

He truly doesn’t understand how people behave the way
they do, how anyone can be so untrue to the most basic
elements of kindness and justice.

“When I see stories of slaves being beaten, I think …
…This is nothing.  This is what I go through all my life.
Til one day I stood up and said…. NO MORE !
If you touch me one more time, I will break your neck…
I was 14…. and they never touch me again.

“Beating a slave is one thing… beating someone you
don’t know, who you have no feelings for…
But to beat your own flesh and blood……”
…and he sadly let the memories drift away…

And now, although some of that pure knowing remains
deep inside, he is an island unto himself.

Being one he trusts is an honor and a deep commitment.
I do my best to be clear and true, to remind him of who he
really is inside, beyond the distortion of carnival mirrors
shown to him as a youth, those wavy, untrue reflections.

“The first time I laid eyes …and lips… on you.. oh good lord…
how you changed my life.  I tasted what could be…”
…he told me once again, this time with different words.
“I want to remake myself with what’s inside of you”

I hoped that this desire for rebirthing was true.
And I hoped I could live up to his vision.


…the discovery…

The story that Alcir told me, of how he discovered Who he was,
discovered that he was First and Foremost a loner and a diver…
is actually rather heartbreaking, yet  beautiful at the same time.

“My inner self started when I was 6 years old, and I was drowning
in high seas.   My father trew me in the wader, he watch me as
I tried to stay up, my arms an’ legs grabbing.

I wen’ down, and didn’t come up.  I Loved it.  I went down to the
bottom, and sat in the mud for a long time…. maybe four minutes.
Suddenly I appeared up, with a big smile, and I discovered my life.
All I wanted was to dive.
I discovered who I was…. a loner and a diver. I didn’t need anyone
else to help me, or to tell me who I was.
And that is when I started fighting it.
They…my parents… could never understand why I refused to use
my intelligence, which they said I had.
Two times I broke the world record for deep sea diving.
I went over 75 meters down…
I don’t care that it was not recorded.  I know who I am. ”




I remember he told me once that he went down … i don’t know…
200 meters or something crazy.  When he came back up, the
other guys didn’t believe that he’d gone down all the way to
the sea floor, so he went back down, following the anchor chain,
and brought up some sand from the bottom, just to prove
that he did.  This was a Free Dive.

He claimed he could stay down for many minutes… four or five…
and frankly I doubted his story.  I mean, impossible, right?
Then much later, I saw some nature program, where it talked
about how some people have this rare genetic ability …
and can, indeed, hold their breath for many minutes, and also
endure deep dives.  I had no idea.

“All I wan’ to do is make myself happy.  Society wans people who
wan’ to impress society.  I’m not a monkey… I’m not a circus animal,
that lives to amuse people… I jus’ wanna live my life.”

He got a medal for bravery.  It was in Desert Storm I think.
He carried a buddy on his back to safety, but he was already dead.

“He took 6 or 7 bullets for me”, he told me “but he was already dead.
Actually, he shielded me, but that was not why I carried him.
I never thought of that, I only thought of getting him out of there”

Another war story in Desert Storm… he was sleeping in his tent,
and in the middle of the night, he got up to take a piss… he heard
an explosion.
He looked back, and NO TENT…

He’s been shot 11 times, stabbed 4 times, and something happened
to his face.
“I know,” I told him. ” I can’t believe you’re still alive.  I’m amazed.”

“If You are…imagine me?”  His eyes grew dark and clouded over.
Still, his gaze was intent, as he looked deeply into me, knowing
he was sharing things hidden so deeply within his heart.

“When I am at war, I do not see them as human beings…no…
as a target; I have a perfect concept that they feel the same for me.”

“I don’ wanna die,  I don’ know why.  I don’ care about life or death, but …
somehow, I don’ wanna die”

He told me so many things about himself that night.  My heart is
heavy with the realizations of his youthful pain.  He said at six,
his mother told him he wouldn’t live til he was eight, and every
year she renewed her predictions.

“Why?” I asked.
“Because she didn’t like me.”

He was always in trouble, at home, at school.  And then came the
Now today, I realize that he is ADHD.  And these people are usually
extremely intelligent, and in those days they were completely

And the father story… a life of beatings.  With the belt, with a
piece of wood, with whatever he had in his hand at the time….
…even kicking him, and when he fell to the ground and curled up
in a ball, well then he’d kick him some more.
They both took great pleasure in punishing him in front of others.
Strange, how such terrible deep scarring can direct someone to
such drive, such accomplishment.
I’ve felt for some time that all of this was about proving himself
as a man.  But not to be loved, not to be liked by others.
And he was never accepted or shown love by either parent.

No, it was something deeper.  Proving to Himself that he was
what he Knew himself to be……  Extraordinary.