He decided to see if he could still get into it…
He decided to see if he could still get into it…
Journal musings…. January 2006 in Rio
“You have to really Want this, for this to work,” he says,
and the words echo through the convolutions of brain cells,
concentric circles from a center…. created by a leaden heart.
It felt so heavy. All of it. Sad….. Dark.
Confusion had set in, and too much thinking could be dangerous.
Yet to not-think was unthinkable…. Hmmmm.
She’d been given the front veranda upon which to sit, to get
away from him, from the constant TV, and his moods.
….which actually was quite remarkable, amazing really,
and she could view the wandering streets and flashing
cloud storms and island comings amidst the constant breezes
with a sort of detachment that she needed… desperately.
“This is My House”, he would announce to no one in particular,
at no particularly special moment…except
to her I guess, and the dog, and his Mother upstairs,
and to himself most of all.
His stubborn willfulness had served him well at one time,
most of his life more likely. But now it felt like stacks of
concrete pillows, between the two bodies lying side by side.
Was she to be like the desolate dog, if you could call him a dog,
that was allotted two small spaces within which to eat, do his
duties, be quiet and cower.
He addressed him as “Get the Fuck….” as the poor wretch
jumped up, desperate for a touch, for tenderness… and the
man would cringe, because he hated the dog.
It was the most disturbing thing she’d witnessed so far, the
distain he held for this shit eating dog who had so thoroughly
disappointed him and his visions of what a dog should be.
Maybe the dog was just trying to clean up his jail cell,
she thought, maybe he’s really trying to be a good dog…
Was she to be the “other twin”, protruding from his ribs, ever
connected, never her own, never as large or as individuated?
“Be by my side” now had it’s double meaning.
Did he even begin to know how to let anyone in, even one
he claimed to love? Was he even in control of the little door
that swung open and closed, daily…
There’s the light, and wait…. oh, and now it’s gone…
Did the most courageous man she’d ever known cower
at the possibility of real love?
For this was love becoming real, going far beyond the
fantasy he loved so well and could keep in control.
Beyond the heroes in books he’d emulated, the ones
who would run off to fight another dragon.
No pretense holding distance… This was so real it was
palpable, in the air and sifting like dust to the surfaces
of everything he touched in this cell he shared with her.
“I’m going over the Abyss”, he had sighed one morning,
a couple of days ago.
……………..”and do you know Why?”
She looked long and hard at his face, now miserable
with confusion, yet here he was, the little door opening
just a bit once again …
She motioned to herself…. and slowly he nodded,
…. sadly, tenuously, as though for that moment he had
risen out of his automatic self and was viewing it all
with clarity and a mildly puzzled perspective.
“What do I do?” …..
After a moment, her own answer came, as it always had,
since more years than she cared to remember.
“Jump and Trust…. that’s all you can do…….
“OK….”, he nodded, and it was done.
It’s now Thursday, five days into my visit to Rio, to Alcir,
and we’re home, and he’s drinking. I have never known
anyone who can drink like he can, and yes I know it’s a
bad sign, and yes I know Brasilians drink more beer than
any other country, and yes in that tropical heat, that half
frozen freezer stored refreshment cannot be beat, but…
This man has such high tolerance to everything, since
maybe birth, and so it’s a gift and a curse. I have seen
him put away liter after liter, go to the store, buy eight
more, I drink one, he drinks the rest, and while he’s out
he’s done shots of Scotch at the local garage bar.
Yes, along those winding urban streets there are countless
bars in garages, little gatherings of men sitting on cheap
plastic chairs, smoking and bullshitting. It’s a part of
Brasilian culture, the men just go out at night and drink.
So Thursday he drinks, we cuddle, he asks me not to
let him go, and then sneaks out when I fall asleep.
Friday there’s the usual hangovers, denials, and Mr
Bad Mood. Sullen isolated shit head.
We go grocery shopping at the giant Mercado that we
usually walk to, sometimes holding hands, but this day
he drives us, because his elderly Aunt Maria needs to
go too. He goes to a chair at one of the little mall stops,
and Maria and I go in with our separate carts and get
what we need. She is not a happy person in general,
but when neither speaks the other’s language, it’s pretty
lonely. She cooks, and I can’t even ask her about
ingredients or where something is. And he’s back in the
mall drinking beer, and beginning to refer to
us as “you people”. This does not bode well.
I’d so looked forward to getting out and shopping for
things, finding new fruits and vegetables, people watching,
and now he’s just mean and doesn’t want to be there.
When I’m in line, which is always endless… I mean, take
a book or some playing cards when you shop here…
he comes by long enough to load the cart up with beer,
and a big Scotch. Oh, and I’m buying.
Of course I’m buying… I’m a rich American and I’ve
intruded upon his space, and I will pay.
Maria and I are now pretty much the same, in his eyes.
Irritating women who want something from him.
Never fall in love with a man who hates his Mother.
Rio de Janeiro, on the island in Guanabara Bay…
Sunday morning is a disaster. I was demolished, maybe slept
an hour at best, and can hardly begin to sort out my feelings.
Our fabulous NY Eve had turned into near disaster, with him
so drunk, more so than I’d Ever seen him, crashing into people,
passing out for 4 hours, leaving me in a strange country with
no idea where to go or what to do. Thank God for the kindness
of Brasilians, all Two Million of them along Copacabana Beach,
for there were a few who knew 3 words in English and helped
me while I waited for Mr Wonderful to wake up.
When he awoke, it was dawn, and he was still drunk, and
kept asking me if I still loved him. Once he awakened on the
street, we found the bus, walked home up the hill, and collapsed.
The same thing went on all day Sunday, him all pitiful and so
hungover, but somehow we got through it. Not pretty.
Monday, no one was working, so we stayed home, and I got sick.
Throat sore, coughing, sinus ache… tired… We slept a lot,
watched movies, and slept some more. It was a good way to
avoid facing our reality from both sides, I suppose.
Tuesday we went for a long walk to the town area and stores
where we could get groceries, and I bought a great set of
stainless steel pans to replace the toxic antiques he was used
to using. Here I was buying organic produce, and he was
using aluminum and teflon, with no idea what he was doing
to his gorgeous cooking.
He was a great cook, having learned at his Grandmother’s
side, and I remember fondly the way he would make cross cuts
on the half onion in his hands, using a small paring knife,
then make slices across to make little squares for his sauces.
He’d do it the way old people used to do, and beautiful hands
he had…brown and graceful and elegant, as he laughed and
stirred and tasted.
I am sick with fever, and after we walk home through the
old delapadated suburbs and put things away, he goes out
again. He doesn’t just go out… he comes back and goes out
again, getting drunk, snorting god knows what, and getting
The third time he wants to go, he tells me not to let him,
to tell him Not to, so I do, and he lingers.
Finally I say…”want a massage?” and he melts.
“OK”… and he falls upon the couch pads.
He falls asleep during the entire back side massage, and
sleeps deeply, quietly, the way he almost always does…
How can a man like him be so peaceful in sleep?
He wakes up speaking Portuguese, and I guess talking
himself awake from a dream leftover. I laugh…
He does amuse me.
Trust. What a word…. encompassing so much. I have always
tried to Trust… people, intuition, feelings….. it is something that
comes naturally to me, idiot that I am….and that precisely
is how I got myself into this conflagration…. the Fire in Rio…
a Fire of the Heart.
I come, hat, heart and lingerie in hand, sure of myself and the feelings that were put on ice for the year we were apart.
I was the Keeper of Love, but I have such bizarre assurance of
what I know and feel, that comes somehow from within…..
I go to Rio, I hold to that Feel that is US… Us… and oh my
what a feeling, a knowing, a fire that could blaze through all of our visions, and onward to a future that has no boundaries.
Have you ever been with someone who you Know you can do
Anything with? I mean, the two of you are such a nuclear fission,
fusion, crashing of dreams and raw energies… and somehow in
your heart you just know it is fate and it was agreed upon so long ago, that there was no way this prior agreement
cannot be fulfilled.
So Here I was, after nearly a year of waiting and holding and keeping close to him and the agreement… to return to Rio, be together, find a way to co-create our life, and learn just who
WE Are together…
For when two blend into one, a new Entity is created…
So it’s Morning, and our NewYears’Eve has turned to a dawn
of Reality, neither of us had dreamed of or imagined.
This blog started as a running commentary on Dating sites.
Then it went in a direction that was not planned, yet one
that was in the card catalogue…
You know… that thing that you know some day you will write about………Someday.
And then that Someday became a train that I hitched a ride on
for quite a while….
Time was, it was Time to get off that train… for a while at least.
Perspective. That is what matters in life. And perspective
depends on your locale, no matter the Bardot, the Time Zone,
So here I am, listening to Brasilian Jazz for the first time
in a long time…
I have avoided it… I did not want to go back to it….
go Back to it, to the emotions that the music lead me to.
For many years, I used Brasilian music of all sorts to
take me back to that magical place that I had attained with
this person who had come into my life.
And now, for years, I have pushed all of it away….
It’s called Survival. It’s called Healing…
It’s also called something … oh,
and Right Now as I write, Jobim has come on Pandora, the
station that will be my slave and play whatever mode I choose…
And like I said, I am allowing Brasil to re-enter my reality,
because… although it represents Him… it also represents
the culture that I fell in love with many years ago, and
opened such beauty and rhythms and sweet language sounds to me.
Please…. I am a girl from the sixties, and I loved those days
when Samba entered our culture, and became a part of Movies that
are Dated by the Samba notes that are played as Party background.
I mean, check out Peter Sellers, and an early film… “The Party”…
which, if you haven’t Seen it… oh you Must!
It’s one of his Best, and Samba and those times just envelope
the film. It was a heady, sweet and naïve time, before Reality
struck. I am so glad I got to be there… But…
I am a girl of the times, and all those notes, those feels
go straight to my soul and to my Netherparts as well…
So now Jobim … and his brilliance, his iconic purity…
reminds me that Brasil is more… so much More than Alcir and
all he happened to bring to me….. I fell in Love with Brasil,
and was lucky, privileged enough to really get a taste of a
culture that mesmerized me for so, so long.
So I guess I am saying a few things… I still love Brasil.
I am still in love with the Music that falling in love with a
Brasilian took me to…. and now I seek to, on one note,
Separate one from the other, and on another level, Allow me
to feel some positivity towards finishing my story about
my love affair with Brasil, and with this crazy Brasilian
who really in all honesty, fucked me over big time…
whilst bringing what I wanted, which was a true real visceral
experience of uniting with this culture.
And yes, still, I feel there are things that need to be
confronted, completed, shared, and yes, even enjoyed,
before this tale is over.
OH… and ps… I am now Listening to DEAD MAN WALKING
soundtrack, and yes, You Alcir know what that means…
The plane banked over that giant Bay, with curling coastlines and
mountainous mounds, little lumps poking their heads up, between
the blues. The Bay that held Pao d’Acucar and it’s little Trams …
….sugar loaf in white man speak …. gatekeeper to it’s glory.
The Bay with the battered ferry boats trekking back and forth to that
ancient City on the mainland… that City built, century upon century,
in styles and cultures from nearly everywhere, as they passed
through on their way to their next incarnation.
The Bay, the Port of a million years, the bridges and beaches of what
seemed a dreamland paradise…
My heart pounded and my breath came quick…
He would be there waiting for me, after all this time.
The view that i’d dreamed of once again filled my sights, and still
I wondered if I was ready, if I could deal, face the real, make this
thing work in person.
Months of long distance rings, missed connections, echoing words…
please pick up…..what? please repeat.. when will you be home?…
…i miss you, can you call back, it’s a bad connection…. I miss you.
His laughter, his voice, the times he was really There despite the
distances… the photos over and over, holding the connection
like a candle, shielding it from the winds of fear and change.
The unloading, customs, paperwork, luggage, head swirling,
watching and waiting til the moment, and then….
far away in the crowd he stood, and something on his face when
he finally caught my eye brought my stomach to a standstill.
The old Raybans I’d bought him were successful in masking his
mood, but body language, no matter how closely held,
like cards to the chest, revealed so many confusing signals to
my senses, and i fought deciphering them at this crucial moment.
I had to hold to myself, be here Now, wait til he was close and
in front of me to understand.
And then face to face. I threw my arms around him, and breathed
deeply, hearing his heart, once again smelling his closeness.
He was talking with another man, and shared some sort of irritation
when he saw my luggage.
Eyes rolled, something in the face that wasn’t for me, but for this
new guy friend who somehow understood what was up against.
I felt strangely marginalized. Part of me was crushed, wishing for
that beautiful rush together that I’d envisioned, the
movie moment replayed in my head.
Part of me knew I had to wait.
I’d brought a big plastic tub, filled with art materials, books,
journals, jewelry findings and stones. I had to have things to do
in that tiny space of his that only held Him.
I had to hold on to something of myself.
He, after all, was a known factor, and it was easy to be caught up
in the all consuming largeness of Him.
It all seemed quite natural to me, but somehow he wasn’t really
present, something was not aright.
And it felt like a wall…. not of bricks, I hoped….but perhaps of straw,
hay bales, something that i could huff and puff and blow down.
But for now, as we awkwardly trekked to his little Gersel Jeepy car,
we made small talk, and his mood was dark and tired.
Was he glad to see me? Was he hung over? Had he not slept?
Was it worry or fear, over amped or regret….
He had that ragged look to his eyes, his skin, that I’d seen before.
He was hung over and sleepless…
After we were in the car, after the miriad of turns and trails, when
we were on automatic, and on our way, did he tell of how long it
had taken to find a parking spot, and how little he’d slept, and
how long he’d been drinking.
The Aeroporto was on the same large island in Guanabara Bay, and
we’d only to drive to the other side to be back in his little cave, where
he could relax and begin to grok the reality bubble we were now in.
He poured drinks for us, and we began.
The Day had come, and here we were… each in our own way doing
our best to come to grips with this rush towards and
away from eachother.
It was autumn, and the Harvest was in full force.
I was fortunate enough to have more than several friends
who worked the green, chanced the marvels of easy money
and big risk.
Friends who delivered The Best there was to offer, and
shared their bounty with folks like me, ready and eager to
help with artistic eye, to create one of the finest products for
humanity…. magical herb, beautifully cleaned and packaged,
with the best energies….if you’re into that sort of thing…
that the Planet had to offer at that time.
I had enjoyed my friends’ companies, living spaces and
comfort zones… extended family for sure. They knew of my
plan to return to Brasil to be with my crazy Brasilian boyfriend,
and cheered me on…. I was listening to them, to him, and
to MY Self…. and so the day came…
“I’m coming…” I announced.
“Where Are you?”
“I’m here… in Cali… but … I’m coming. I can’t wait any longer. ”
I could hear the Thud at the other end of the line.
“I have to leave soon. I just can’t let my life drift on hold any
longer… I have to either come back, or make plans here for
over the winter… so … I’m coming…”
and then I said something that he’d said to me
Oh so many years ago…
“So…… if you have a girlfriend, you better tell her to Leave.”
So many years ago, more than I’d care to renumerate, he had
called me out of the blue…. I do believe it was in the late 8Os…
and I hadn’t heard from him in more months than I had hoped,
and he Announced on the phone that he was leaving Tahoe, and
would be at my house in a few short hours….
‘So…you’re saying you’re going to be here in 4 hours?” I repeated
in a sort of daze, mind doing it’s best to catch up with Now.
“YES…..So….eeef you have a boyfrien’, you better tell him to Leeeef”.
He said this in his most bandido, revolutionary, deep voice.
I figured at this point, it was only fair to turn his words on him,
and he could likely handle the mirror …
He bullied up to the challenge, said OK, and my plans began
to take shape.
I was going back to Rio. And I would stay as long as it took
to figure it all out. It would be Hard, It would be Real…
and somehow, we would figure it All out together.
I believed in US….together… and that we could Do it.
I Believed in Love and Fate and All of it…..
After all …he called me Babe…. and my heart leapt with the sound.
I called him from the trampoline.
It was out on the grass, beneath tall pines, and with a view
of the ocean from way up high…
My friends’ house was on ‘the ridge’, with far stretched views
of blue going on forever, beneath stretches of pine and fir and
brush that blended together to create the soft muted green
slide, leading to the blue of the Pacific along the NorCal coast.
“I’m jumping on a trampoline”, I told him. He sounded confused.
“Where Are you?” he asked, and the long distance made a few
second’s delay in our already challenging conversation.
“I’m at my friends’ house, where I’m working… ” I told him,
“and I’m outside in the Sun, looking at the ocean, and jumping
on the Trampoline…………..Naked…! ”
I waited for the reaction.
“Reeelly?” …I could hear his smile, and I jumped and giggled.
“Yes…! and I’m Missing you. I need to come there Soon…
I need to be with you Now!”
The jumping became more insistant…
“Waaalll….” came that all too familiar pause while thoughts
gathered like clouds.
“Oh jes geeve me a leetle longer, Babe” he sort of whined now.
“I’m steeel studying for my lisence, an the test won’ be for a while…”
“OK, but I can’t keep on waiting forever” I said.
“It’s already been too long…”
It had been seven months since I’d left Brasil, seven long months
for us both to get it together, and be back together in Rio.
When I left, it was supposed to be Two…
He’d found and lost work, he’d called me drunk, so drunk he didn’t
remember it the next day, he’d called saying “theese theeeng in my
lap eees loooking vary goood to me right now”, meaning the gun he
warmed in his hands.
I talked him down from being sick, suicidal, sad, lonely and confused.
I’d heard him say “I can’t Dooo theeese alone”, meaning he knew he
needed me, and yet still he hesitated when up against the
actuality of my return.
I sorted through the arguments between my head, gut and heart.
Fear clashed with the knowing of connection, and the distance on
that long long line stretching between us made it even more vague.
What the correct path, the righteous path, the perfect timing was,
no one could know.
It had to be a balance between my needs and his, his fears and mine,
but most of all, a return of eyes and flesh in the present, to remind us unequivocally of the undeniable truth that we had found, just
eight months before.
I knew I had to be there, and in not much longer a time,
for both of our sanities.