After we hung up the phone, I lay in trance momentarily, to come back into my body once more, left for what seemed like an eternity. Where I had been had no relation to where my corporeal self floated, and there were other people out there in my living room. Gather it together…..
My good friend D was looking super casual and uninterested… His suit of armor, worn habitually and defensively. He and I had a long history which included much intimacy, yet he was one of those terrified of real intimacy, real love, and so a show of emotion was forbidden. Even curiosity meant he might care, and that was one thing he didn’t want to do or show. That was saved for the few he couldn’t reel in.
The classic Fear of Intimacy embodiment, and I must say I Wondered, as in Being in Wonder, at the Universe and Her sense of timing and humor, for D seldom came out and stayed with me, lovers or not, and to have Alcir call from Brasil on this day was pure and Brilliant Orchestration.
I re-entered my world, and shared a few of the best parts…. The Legion, of course…. And I remember his reaction at the poetry of his words:
“I Love You….and I always Deeed…. And I would not wan’ you to think something different.” I said it with my best Brasilian accent. When I got to:
“I’ve never forgotten….. It is not often that a man can find Peace…”, D feigned falling backwards, stabbing himself in the heart. He absolutely Got it, and it was a most satisfying moment. To make even more of this magical thing was something I could never have imagined, or even ask for.
D was such an enigma in my life, and for more years than I could have figured, and this was the whipped cream with a cherry on top, of an already overwhelmingly intoxicating dessert.
Many years passed, many phases gone through, so much belief in that first year, that he would return to me. I visualized being down at the wharf in a crowd…. smokey scene at the bar, some country western song playing, me behind my second pint, when there… across the room… that face… the voice… eyes locking on mine….
Or how ‘bout walking down Main Street midday, and suddenly from my right, a whistle…. Glance across the street… pause in mid glance… No…. Yes…. What?…. Blurrr……You get the idea. It was always a movie with him, and by now I’m sure you understand why the movie romance fantasies lingered. The magic in the timings, the comings and goings of him, of us. It was an encounter unlike any other… Iconic characters in a dance through time.
To this day, I know we will be together again, although I have let go of even the possibility of continuation in this life. It will be another, and perhaps then we will have our timing just a little more on spot. But the magnetic pull lingers, like the taste of bitter coffee, the cream coating tongue for the creamy softening, and to hold it there just a while longer.
By the time he had left the first time, the time when he sat in his truck and we stared so long… by that time I was catching every nuance in music I heard, learning about the role Brasil had played in World Beat and Jazz… falling in love with Djavan, Luis Bonfa, Nascimento, and of course Jobim.
Antonio Carlos Jobim, the untouchable, the delight of Brasil. They named their International Airport for him. The author of so many classics that have been heard for more than half a century… ones you would recognize after one phrase, after three notes, ones heard in elevators, and frequently background music even now, when the movie gets romantic and sexy.
He, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto INVENTED the Bossa Nova back in the fifties.
So I was on a mission. Grok Brasil. Because I had never met a Brasilian before, and it wasn’t just about Him…. There was a wild and fierce spirit there that I knew I had to understand, because Brasil was something quite different from the world I’d known. I added the fantasy of someday visiting Brasil, and being shown it by Him.
When we had said Goodbye on that telephone line, our Last words were:
“Maybe I’ll see you in Rio…my Crazy Brasilian!”……… and he answered:
“Maybe I’ll see you in the States, my Looney American!”
There were moments where I felt I was Getting It. The Music of course was a big one. When I was in the Brasilian Music Trance, I was touching him, feeling his core self. My kids got so, whenever Brasilian music came on, they called it “Mom Music”.
But then things would happen…. Like when I was waitressing at a local place, where the Gualala River meets the Sea, with a wonderful view and interesting people.
I met people visiting the famous NorCal Coast, and the notorious Hwy 1, from all over the world.
And the staff always sent me out to deal with the tables full of ‘foreigners’.
I seemed to understand them more easily, as accents didn’t throw me, and sometimes I’d play with them, shooting the accents back. It was fun, and part of the theater of waiting tables.
I went out to a table of three, up and out of the way in the back, two men and a woman, and quickly realized I was waiting on Brasilians !!! oh I was so excited!
The sound of that accent sent me into apoplectic bliss… They were fun, playful, hilarious, and taught me how to order Beer in Brasil.
Later I realized they had the Carioca dialect…. That’s the name they call Brasilians from Rio …. Cariocas. And so, there I was, practicing “Dois Mais Cervezas, por favor” with my new friends…
“…for when you visit Rio”… they told me.
Turns out, this is a Basic Survival Skill…. Brasil drinks more beer than Any Other Country…! Ha!
An important part of Rio Portuguese, Carioca, is that you put sssshhhhh sounds in everywhere you can…. Doish maish cerveshas, pooor favooor …. Such a sensual and sexy language, that goes with the people… but in Rio they dial it up just a bit more, your tongue almost Tasting the sounds.
When they were leaving, they threw me a compliment that stayed with me always….
“We’ve beeen eeen the US… (they never say America…as Alcir said, We’re America too..) “We’ve been in the US for seven months, and you’re the First person we’ve met who is Like a Brasilian!”
Couldn’t get any better than that….
I must be making progress in my quest…