…brasil at last…

Up until now, these last few entries were almost directly
from my journal in 2004 and 5.  Now, at this point, my journal
gets a little less continuous, a bit more sporatic.
I write here and there, when the moment moves me, but Now….
well, what can I say?  I am overwhelmed, in the moment, and
much too enveloped by the Now to take time out to write about it.

I remember arriving.  I remember going through customs…
I remember the rush of warm moist air, much like the first time
I arrived in Hawaii… like breathing steamy flowers.
I remember searching the crowd for The face …
And then, at last, I am out into the terminal, and as I scan the
crowd, I see him…. Dark glasses, serious face, and when we at last
acknowledge eachother, it is a Nod that I get… one of those
upsidedown nods, where the chin moves up, as in Hey… I See you.

At last we are there, face to face, and I move into his arms…
my head falls on his chest, and as I sigh, he says…. “I know….”.
Relief, joy, exhaustion, that ultimate ..oh god i’m here … all of it.

We have long looks at eachother, between casual chatter about
nothing, while we do all those obligatory things… get the baggage,
walk through mazes, find the car…

I’m sure we talked, but of what… who can recall.
What were my first impressions?  He looked ragged, tired, but still
looked like him, and I was relieved to see his face, though scared,
was still Him, that wonderful intensity and handsome grace still
He said he hadn’t slept much, and I could see he was nervous,
and even parking had been stressful.  He was as nervous as I was.

At last we are on the highway, and I get my first glimpses of Rio.
This is a large island in the Guanabara Bay, and I am fascinated.
Actually, as we were banking in to circle and land at Jobim
I remember taking in that view, at a low altitude, of that mythical
city, now real, but still not…. my heart pounded.
The International Airport, Aeroporto, is on this large island, the
largest in that Huge Bay, and Ilya do Governador was populated
long ago, as a suburb of Rio.
To venture to Downtown Rio, there was an old shuttle, in the
form of a Ferry, and it didn’t take cars.
Later they built a highway, but the ferry was so picturesque.

But that was saved for later… he only lived on the other side
of the island, and the tangle of little streets and clusters of
old houses, as we took the narrow road that circled the island…
my eyes just couldn’t take it all in.

This is Real, I kept on saying in my head…this is really happening…
My head could not keep up with reality… it was like there were
hiccups in the time warp web, and I struggled to keep hold.

Now we’re home to his house, this strange old place, the place
of his birth, a multi layered sort of grandiose manor with columns
and stone walks, with an aura of dark sadness and unkempt order,
like some aging Hollywood actress, far past her prime, yet doing
her best to keep up the face of elegance and regal charm.
It was set up high from the sidewalk, with wrought iron fences
and gates, locks and uneven stairs…
We unload my suitcases, go up and collapse into his tiny
basement abode.

I don’t remember much until it was time to change.  I had been in
my same clothes for maybe 18 hours, and moved into the next tiny
room, a hallway actually,  to find something cool and homey, from
the place he had offered me for my things…. I saw his Legion
jacket, next to his Futebol (foochibole)  jersey in black and white.

He followed me.  And as I undressed, he watched with eyes wide
and brilliant.  He never took his eyes off of me, his stare washing
over me like sweeping lazers.
I felt more naked than I actually was, which was pretty darned naked.

He surveyed every inch, taking in the reality, as the covers peeled
away…. which wasn’t too bad actually….
My daughter had exclaimed that I had an incredible body for
my age (oh thank you!), and my son had mentioned that I easily
could be 47, instead of my 60-something in earth years.
That helped, but still…

I was glad I’d worked out and exercised, tanned and dieted.
Come on!  this man lived in the city of some of the most gorgeous
women you’ve ever seen…. and when he’d last seen me,
I had definitely been in my prime.

I think we ate, I’m sure we drank, and he broke into the list of
things he’d been missing.  Scotch was shared, my space was allotted,
I bet we bit into one of those chocolates, and shared the
pungent green center.
And from there, well what would You do at this point?
We were like polarized magnets, unable to be apart long enough
to barely breath.

I remember his skin, that beautiful smooth brown tropical skin…
I remember his calling me Babe from the first day…

It was February…. our equivalent of August in the North….

It was a moist, humid, brilliant tropical air, soft breezes with palms
and flowers outside, gatherings of birds rushing by our windows,
and we had eachother.
At last, we had and held eachother.



…his reply…

“December 7, 2004
Is trully an delightfuly you; i do remember you and yor esplendor
that did caught me, was so happy that we come to enconter
each other again, even with 14000 miles in betwen.
But it is so good to read from you and returning to the days wen
we were (souds like Barbara Streisand… i am gueting old and senile)
i am in fact very happy extremely happy.
By the way   …did i spoke as i write; sounding like a mexican or a parrot
with pronunciation troubles.
Enough laffs, i am thinking right now about those days and i feel like
finding out about you and your life. What have you being douing with
yourself, married ? mother ? alone?(hope) and everithing else from
this time when we grown apart but not forgoten.
I am alone and got my self a seven years old daughter Maria Vitoria
whom i love and actualy live for, and i am still fighting my wind mills
and grouing stronger and grumpier.
I am now so happy that i want to dream that life is giving me a
returning perspective.
Send me you phone number and i will call you .want to hear your voice
and also email me a photo of you !
Al my best from the best time of my days !
Alcir de Souza”

…finally a letter to him …

“December 7, 2004
Hello my dear darling crazy brasilian……
I have no idea why I only just now found your email……I have waited and searched every day, and finally decided that I should just give up.
Then, this morning, I was going over my hundreds of emails
(I sell on ebay), and THERE YOU WERE…..
First of all, let me say with all sincerity and passion that I am so glad just to know that you are alive.  Many times I have wondered, and yet
somehow I have believed that you were.
I also was afraid that you were in Desert Storm, and up there in the north, fighting the Republican Guard.  …..I guess I was right.
And yet, somehow you survived, and to read (sort of, the translations are GHASTLY), your writings has been the second thing that I am so grateful for.  To get a gleaning of what your life has been like…..
I guess I can only imagine.
I want to hear ALL of it……
Yes sweetheart, it is me.  OK, so you want proof?  What, you think
someone else is fucking with your mind?  OK….You came to my house with a Mensa brat named Steven, and you were both drunk.
You’d met at the bar….you were diving, or hoping to get a diving position at Point Arena.  It was nine o’clock, and Steven was supposed
to have cooked dinner, and you walked in with a frozen chicken.
You bowed with your hands in prayer position, and I later figured out it was because I wore a kimono.
You walked into my kitchen, and exclaimed…..
“what ees thees woooman doing with thees peecture on her wall???
I have grown up loookin at thees picture……what ees thees wooman
doing with thees theeeng???……..”
“Oh, you’re Brazilian?” …………
“Yes, what deed you theenk, I was a stupid Mexican?”………..
More? You want more?
You always left something at my house, and had to come back
to get it.
Your watch, your wallet, your sunglasses………I told you it was
because you wanted to come back…….
Oh, and you were going to vote for Bill the Cat and Opus for President………..
Remember the hot tub night?  oh my, so hot……..we were something.
Oh ya…….what car? At first you didn’t have one, I think, because you
got rides from your friend, and rode your bike (how cute was that?)
to my house.
Later, you arrived with a big fat Thunderbird…….and washed it in my yard, while I watched, and played Sade.
When you called me from Rio, you said
“I love you, and I always did…….
…and I would not want you to think something different”……….
and you kept saying  “I’ve never forgotten”……….finally I asked why…
..and your reply was one of the most poetic things anyone has ever
said to me……

“It is not often that a man can find peace”.

OK, your turn.  My heart is beating fast, and I smile to you, my
beautiful man……..
Love and kisses to you too.  I can’t wait for you to write back……

ps……yes, it is you.  No one has those eyes but you.”



…the man i knew…

… and Here he was, his picture sent to me nearly Twenty Years after
I had last seen him.
How I wished at the time that it was clearer, so I could look once more
into those big dark eyes, and see who he had become…