… 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 heartbreaking, yet beautiful too.

“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 feet 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.


…a resume…

The time grows nearer to my departure.  Over the weeks we have
grown to know eachother better, and certainly talked more than
we ever had years ago.  Years ago,  the body did the talking.

When you want to be close to someone, and all you have is the
phone, you think of a lot of things to keep the voice on the air,
no matter what.

The old and new Alcir were merging now, and I was almost all done
with preparations, packing, passport, and practicing Portuguese…
Gee, that was a lot of P’s !…  and I was ready for
Whatever was coming.

I was thinner, tanner, more centered, and all there was to do now
was to get my stuff in storage, and out of my daughter’s house,
and to be sure my dogs and cats were going to be alright for the
month I would be gone.
I had no idea what would be the outcome, so I had prepared both
for coming home and continuing on my own private Idaho,
and for things to be ok for me to continue on this Brasil direction,
and ready myself for further adventures beyond.

I poured over my journals, and re-viewed the things that I had
found about him and those 18 years we had been apart…
One of the first things I had found was a Resume he had put on
the internet, and I read it once again… the robot had translated,
so any possible poetics were gone, but the essence was there…
It had given me a snapshot of his life somewhat, after he left.

“Been born on 14/02/1958, former Rio de Janeiro pupil of the
Collegio Pedro II, former urban guerilla during periodo of the
dictatorship, exiled em 1979, having lived in 5 paises, and
transited by others the 43 in all continents.

Having worked as Fishing of Ouricos of Mar (Professional Diver)
of the coast north of the State of California.  He ties the Alaska,
where I lived per 4 years having worked there tambien as
Fishing of King Crab, that and considered the profession most
dangerous of the world, and having served per 5 years in the
French Foreign Legion, in the Duzieme Regiment Etrangere
de Parachoutists of where I gave low with apos metals of bravery
to have passed for tres great conflicts, as:  Chad, Djbouty, and
finally in the Gulf War Desert Storm.
Eximio sailor, having crossed the horn four times, two times
being ground.

The unica reason pra that I bring everything this tone, and so
that can subsidize what I believe gives a success, my book of
memories that would like to see published, as much how much
the remain of my tedious workmanship would literaria.
None ties the moment, but I wait to revert this picture how
much before.
In the truth, I have dues letters and an article on fishes of
ouricos of the sea, and the Exon Valdez, published in the
periodical San Francisco Chronical.
I Wait Contacts…”

So from what I could glean, he’d attended the most prestigious
school in Rio, which meant Brasil, where when a student graduates,
they are already at the level of 2 years of college.  I knew now
that he spoke Brasilian Portuguese, English, French, and I
believe also touches of several other languages, as well as some
of the Indiginous dialects.
He’d been diving for Urchins on our coast, and going to Alaska
for four seasons  of the King Crab (and the show called the
World’s Most Dangerous Catch had filled me in on That life!
I certainly could envision him on the deck, whipped by giant and
frigid waves, while working 20 hours a day, that Permagrin
melding his face) and he Loved it!

He’d joined the Legion, and although he’d gotten out in two years
and returned to Brasil, still I guess he continued to serve for three
more years somehow…maybe as part of his agreement for going
home early.
He’d been back in Brasil since 1989, and now had a daughter.
His two sons from two different marriages were now grown, and
they were somewhat estranged from him.

I recalled how he had told me the story of his enlistment…
The fellow had been distracted with other things, screens, pages….
and when he finally saw and interviewed Alcir, the guy gave him a
name… in the Legion you loose all history, can make No contracts,
and there is a new name given.

I seem to remember that something was on the TV screen, likely
the series, for the fellow decided that Alcir was to be Scott Austin….
Steve Austin’s brother…. you remember the Six Million Dollar Man?
He said he was his Brother….
And Usually, you don’t get out for seven years.  Period.

He told me that his regiment was the most exclusive, and they
dropped out of planes at such an altitude, they wore oxygen masks.
They were sent in on secret black opp missions, and he had begun
to tell me just a little about those ventures.
I’d known about the Revolutionary thing, and why he was exiled
after some daring stunts, including robbing banks to subsidize
the Revolution.
I remember his tale of doing Two Banks at a time, in the middle of
the street, guns in each hand, and I saw this crazy movie in my
head, with Antonio Banderos, grinning the whole while.

He got very discouraged after learning that the money wasn’t all
going where it was supposed to go, and once again ideals fall prey
to the reality of corruption and lies… the very things he had been
fighting against.  He left on a small boat that his grandfather had
paid for, and came to Norway, Hawaii, and then NorCal.

My time flew at the end… too much to gather together, too many
lists and minutiae… trying to think of things I had to have, things
I couldn’t get in Rio… my CDs, my vitamins and supplements,
cameras, film, watercolors, brushes and paper, journals, stuff for
the sun life (Hawaii helped with that, as Rio is on the same lattitude in
the south)…and I wrapped presents for his birthday…Valentines Day!

I’d found him some vintage sunglasses on ebay, and was quite pleased
with myself.  He had looked great in his Vuarnets, and I knew the 60s
Raybans would certainly do the trick.

As well, there was the Green issue, and since they only had something
the equivelent of what we called Mexican Dirt weed, I bought some
Sees Chocolates, hollowed them out, and put a little Bud in each one,
sealing them up with warmed dark chocolate.
His bandido was rubbing off…
Still, I had this funny movie in my head, these big Brasilians, smelling
and tasting the chocolates, and dragging me away….

And now He had a list for Me… things he couldn’t get there…
a Living Color tape, Marshall Tucker Band tape, the Bill Murray
film, Where the Buffalo Roam…High Times with some Sailing article
he’d  seen, a can of zippo (no can take on plane), and some
good Scotch…of course.

I told him I would do what I could.   He was pretty poor, but although
I was relatively the same, still I knew there were many more options
for me, and I had no problem in fulfilling wishes that would make both
of our lives better….

Details, details, details…. notes to myself all over the place.
And that feeling of Can’t Wait in back of it all….
It was all going like a bus out of control, and at this point, there
was nothing I could do but hurry up! and all I could do was wait
and go with the flow.