I’ve been thinking about how I got into Brasil, how much the world
has opened up to me since Alcir first stepped into my life.
After him, it was the music first, that caught me. I would hear a
voice like his, hear that accent. That music station I found that
played global fusion jazz stuff, where I first heard Djavan.
The world beat program from Mendo, with Lilia, a Brasiliera.
The diversity of music blew me away…
The African beats, the syncopation, the many layered subtleties…
I’d never heard anything like it. From there, of course the next
was the language.
I could hear the like-Spanish sounds, but again so many more levels
and intricacies … more like a combination of Spanish and French…
it tickled my ear, and brought back his memories… the sound
of his accent… so I got some Portuguese Language tapes, and
began understanding a little.
I began collecting CDs, and saw the faces of Brasil, understood the
cultural mix of Portuguese, gypsies in a way, having been on the sea for forever…the Latin feels… the Indigenous, from the Amazon with
their wild and savage ferocity and their forest sounds, and African
rhythms from the slaves they brought in and screwed.
I learned of the vastness and diversity of the country itself, noticing
programs on Brasil, the Rainforst, the Amazon, the abundance and
the pillaging of resources.
No one had ever taught me that Brasil is Bigger than the States!
I got a couple movies, after the Bravo Station TV showed me
‘ Dona Flora and Her Two Husbands’ (with Sonya Bragga),
‘Bye Bye Brasil’,
‘Xica do Silva’,
and of course Raoul Julia in ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’.
Here he plays a Brasilian Revolutionary in a Sao Paolo prison.
He So reminded me of Alcir, so angry and discouraged, his young
ideals dashed like stormy waves on the rocks of reality….and
with Sonia Bragga as three different women: the real one,
the imagined one in the romantic story related to him by his
gay cell mate, and the morphine dream one, well,
I immediately identified, and watched it more than several times.
In the scene where he is dreaming, after pain and morphine have
taken over, in that dream she comes into the hospital and whisks
him away to a small row boat… and she rows him out onto the water,
and although deeply in pain, he begins to relax… and she says:
“This dream is short, but it is happy” …
well, the parallel was uncanny.
From there, it was Payakan, one leader of the Kayapo trying to
save their villages from the disasters of logging and gold mining…
and more CDs from the different areas and varieties of style.
Sting and Trudy, and the Rainforest Foundation…and then
The Djavan Concert ! that was maybe ’89 or ’90… took Piney and Lily,
danced shoulder to shoulder with a huge room of crazy Brasilians,
and grokked the energies for real. Such a filling of knowing.
Met Piney in the city at a Brasilian nite club, and drank their fruity
Rum drinks, ate fried Yucca with hot salsa… I was hooked big time.
Oh The Feojoada! I invited about 25 of my friends for a nite of the
whole real deal, with the many traditional dishes,
…and with Brasilian Movies, and Music playing in
the background all night. It was a sensational success!
(it’s sort of like their version of Thanksgiving, but I discovered later
that because it is a meal based on African roots and foods… poor…
it is Not enjoyed by more Aristocratic Brasilians!)
The David Byrns compilations, and beginning to understand the
differences between the regions, Rio and Bahia, and all those
reflections in the music styles.
After a few years, I focused more on certain singers and composers,
especially Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Milton Nacimiento, Joao Gilberto,
and of course the old Samba stuff, both traditional street samba and
Bossa Nova, with Jobim, Joao and Stan Getz, from the sixties.
Back in the sixties, I’d seen Brasil 66 at the Hollywood Bowl, with
no clue whatsoever on who they were at all.
Now I listened and Got it all.
**JAN 4th… by now Piney has offered me her Travel Miles, and I
have told him the news. It’s really happening now.
Well…. he called tonite, and asked if I could call him back, because
his rates are so high there. It was nice to have him call and miss me.
It seems he had a story to relate to me… TWO of his exes came by
to see him at the same time, and after fighting with eachother
(scarey women), they Both turned on Him!
Ha ha ha…wish I could have watched! Brasilian Novellas are
really really melodramatic and full of sound and fury.
So now he’s been drinking Vodka, and was very talkative and funny,
as well as rather philosophical.
He started talking about Colin Powell and Congoleeza, and said
he didn’t trust women who don’t have orgasms… which led to
having a hard on, which he called ‘a woodie’…. whereupon he said
“Oh, this isn’t a woodie…. this is Hardwood” and
so I added ‘tropical hardwood’… mmmmm!
He began reminiscing… “when I kissed you, I felt life. I was Alive.
We found eachother in a very common way.
With you, I was fucking Life.
I was filling up myself with Life, I was mesmerized by you.
I was not amused with life at that time.
I am not the person I Am right now.
I’m just a regular Joe Drunk… I do nothing. I don’ have to work,
I do drougs…
But with other weemen, they don’ add anythin’…
they take…I take…
a little piece of ass or sometheen… But…I’ve seen beyond.
Oh, I have a big hardon, where you can sit and make yourself
comfortable. We’re just a couple of Sr Citizens….”
“NO! I’m not a senior citizen!” I jumped in…
“I wouldn’t be fucking a Sr Citizen!” he laughed…
” I would be expecting a Boy Scout to come by an say ‘NO!…
you can’ Do that!…. oh here, can I help you across the street?’ ”
We were both laughing now. He said his bottle of Vodka was
half empty, and with the talk about his cynicism, I chided him
with the old… ” it’s half Full ” thing…
“Well,” he said…”if we put you an me together, we have
a Whole Fucking Bottle!”