… the fourth …

How funny, to be here in July, when I am writing about this date.
I honestly haven’t thought about Alcir on this July day for many
years, and yet now July 4th in 2005 is not just in my mind,
but in my writings.  And so is the one in 1986.

Being an American… Alcir didn’t like me using that term, and
reminded me that Brasil was American too!
Being from the US, we are so self centered, and think of the
whole world celebrating Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July,
but no… They are ours and ours alone.

But I read from my friends that that picnic that happens every
year up on the ridge, in Northern California, in the summer warms,
with music and oyster bar and good beer, the one when I sang
in that Blues Band, and watched him watching me…
It’s going on right now….

The fireworks are no longer on that long beach, my favorite
beach, with the bonfire and the sparks flying into the night sky
to join the stars, and us sitting on that log.

They’ve been on the pier in Point Arena for many years, the Pier
that he loved, in that little town that he loved…
And it’s a great show.  Everyone sits on those giant rocks they
brought in after the massive storms took out the old pier.
And they sit on the balcony of the newer building down there,
the one built over the old cafe…Sophie’s Cafe, with the
Greek dancing at midnight.
The one I was sitting in when we were new, and he came by to
say hello, before going out to dive for our dinner.

The parking lot is still there, where he displayed his catch along
with the other divers, and he peeled off his body suit in front of me.

And that night… the first night… is still there, hanging in forever,
frozen on fire, a warm glow of coals and sparks to rekindle my
spirit and remind me that magic does happen, and life is good.

Alcir recently wrote
” …It’s 5 am and I am in Norway having a “few” 1664 Kronenbourg,
some shots of Glenmorangie, smoking a Jose Piedra Vuelta Arriba,
watching “The Man Show”, and the Venus passage in front of the sun,
in MY BOAT…..”

And now today I send this, my favorite quote from “Castaway”,
to him, and imagine him on His Boat, with that great big grin…

“And I know what I have to do now.   I gotta keep breathing.
Because tomorrow the sun will rise.
Who knows what the tide could bring? ”

 

———————————-

 

 

…the night …

I remember that night, the one I’ve promised to tell you about, like the movie that it was.  How many times I replayed it, I cannot tell, but it was truly one worth re-viewing.

So, you remember it was the Fourth of July, 1985.  We had briefly seen eachother along the parade route, Main Street Point Arena.  He had given me the Latin Stare across the small town road, and I’d invited him with the gesture of a lighter needed.   Later, up at Bower Park, I was singing with a Blues Band, along with Gary Bloom and Barry Bastian (then known as Abdul), and John Scott on base.  I was good that day, and felt in my element, very hot, and really enjoying the crowd of my beloved locals who always looked forward to the yearly happening.
Interestingly enough to me later… I did a solo of a Sade tune….
“Smooth Operator”…… and sometimes it felt pretty right on, Mr Souza.

I always worked the Oyster Bar with John Scott, my long time buddy, and had been given the title of Oyster Brother, one not easily won for a girl, amongst the boys… I dined on oysters, drank micro brew beers, and felt so at home with my neighbors.  Absolutely delightful and blissed out.

I remember seeing him once or twice, amongst the crowd that meandered around the woods and open lands of the park, and even once when I was dancing.  He was always in the background, fleetingly, and  always watching.

That evening, I took my two girls Piney and Lily, then 13 and 9, down to Schooner Gulch, and as we sat on that big log watching the smoke and sparks rise into the sky and blend with the stars…. and as the fireworks shot out over the ocean, blending with the sparks and the stars…..you might remember that that voice came over my left shoulder, that fellow from Brasil joined us on the log, and he revealed the sadness that would capture my imagination, and later my heart.

What is it about the sad hero, the gladiator who realizes he’s not quite received as the hero he thought he’d be as a boy?  This man had grown up reading all the classics, and his heart was one who knew he could send himself forward, sword in hand, capture the maiden, tame the beast, and arrive safely at a home where rewards and repast reassured him that he, indeed, had done the right thing, followed the path that he alone was meant to walk, and in the end it would lead to Everafter.   He was Built for it, blessed with the talents and physical blessings that would enable him to fulfill his Destiny.

Ah… but not so for every hero, or even for a few, not so for every brave gladiator.  Not so for the brave and beautiful, for LIFE has a way of stepping in and letting us know that it is not Simple but Complex…. it is not Foretold, but proceeds on its own path, and none can predict the outcome of the life we lead.

So…. on to what you are all waiting for, I’m sure.  The WHAT ?… after I suggested that he come over… after I put the girls to sleep…. oh you wonder, do you?   Hmmmm?….. And so did I….

I only remember the thrill, the terror, the excitement.  I put the girls down, probably changed into something yummy, although now I do not remember just what.  And I waited…. but not for long.

And then he was there, at the door.  What can I say about his energy…?  He was like no one I’ve ever met, before or since.  His energy field was large, full of sound and furry, and definitely signifying stuff that I’d never known, but wanted to know, to understand.  I didn’t know how much of the longing I felt was because he was from another world… Brasil… and how much was because the life he’d lead was so completely different from the one I’d chosen, and it was very much Opposites Attracting from both sides…. and yet, we truly met on so many levels of understanding and taste.

I know we were both high from chemistry, from drink, and from the greenery we shared.  We never got to the upstairs loft of my bed, at least not for the first meeting.  I only remember the complete and utter surrender I felt, and the swept away feeling that overcame all fear, all doubt, and time itself.  Yes, time became meaningless, and the Fourth of July was omnipresent inside and out.   Skyrockets is putting it mildly.   I remember laughing as we tumbled off the couch onto the rug….

Somehow we woke up in the loft, he leaving at dawn to go dive for urchins.   He sat up quickly, as that was the way he awoke in those days.  Startled awake, no pause for the re-entry, ready for the challenges of the day.   I have no recollection of what was said, I only know that my mind was completely burned, swirling, confused and delighted, all at the same time.  He left, and I was glad, for there was no way we could look directly at what had just occurred.  He was off to conquer the sea and plunder its treasures.

Later that day, in the early afternoon, he appeared at my door to retrieve his wallet.   Aaaaahh! The moment was brief and charged with sparks across the ethers.   He said he’d call me….   and of course I had gone through his wallet, you silly.  Wouldn’t you?   Alcir bla bla bla de Souza.  born February 14th, Rio de Janeiro.  (oh great… Valentine’s Day….) …several cards from those he’d met.  Not much of anything else, not much money.  But nice wallet.    It was funny, because the first time he’d left his beloved divers’ watch, and now his wallet….

“When you leave things, it just means you want to come back”,  I told him later…..

It was the next day that he called and he returned, and from then on  he called pretty much every other day.  We seldom talked about US.   We were each equally swept away, and for those times, there was nothing to say about the experience that this clash of souls had created.

It quickly became the center of my universe…..