… new year’s eve …

NYEve beach scene 1

It’s New Year’s Eve, 2005, the day long looked forward to…
we awake late, and spend the day cooking, talking, having
sex, and laughing.  He is drinking beer all day, and by beer
i mean in large liter bottles pulled from the freezer, in a
consistency much like what we call Slushies back home.
Near frozen, super thick, and just the thing in the hot humidity
of Rio’s summer months.
He is jolly, but more Trying to be jolly than jolly coming
from the heart.  He seems disjointed, still not truly there,
eyes far away.

He has been planning something for the big Eve, and is
excited to share with me that he’s bought two tickets on the
bus to Copacabana, for the huge celebration on the beach.
Sounds great to me!  I dress festively, in long flowered dress,
mostly white as that is the tradition, and he in flower covered
Hawaiian shirt, and we walk to the bus stop and catch the special
ride, alongside a crowd of very jolly Brasilians.

NYEve bus 1

After a long walk, we wander the beach as darkness approaches,
and we find ourselves shoulder to shoulder with so many people,
more than I’ve ever seen together in one place.  I heard later it
was about Two Million covering the miles of beach and walkways.
The joyous mood is like perfume in the air, and we all catch it
without effort.
The famous walkway is lit up, just like in those old pictures, and
all the buildings shimmer and shine with proud anticipation.
Off shore are Boats…. huge ships to small boats, all lit with
every sort of lighting device, so the ocean is just a continuation
of the shore, wall to wall undulating excitement.
Two Million Brasilians!!

NYEve beach people
I mean, Brasilians are crazy joyous wildness on normal days,
and this is amped up beyond measure.   My eyes are wide like
a child on Christmas, times ten.   I can’t stop smiling.
I’m Here…. at last I am Here.

He wants a drink.  We find an outdoor bar, out under the stars,
and start on beer.   Since the only way to sit is to pay for a place
at one bar or another, we decide to just stay, and I pay the $100
it takes for two.  He has very little money.

NYEve fireworks 2
We sit at a little table out of doors, under the stars.
Each time he leaves to refresh the glasses, he’s gone for a few
minutes, and I am just sitting there alone, taking it all in,
still a little in shock, a little spinny, very spaced out, not quite
all here, but doing my best to get my feet on the ground.
I feel a bit bewildered, but always hopeful.
It was sometime later I realize that with each beer he brings
back, he has taken a shot at the bar, but with him it was hard
to tell.
I just keep waiting for Him to be there, for he seems less and
less so, his energies scattered, and not really grounded at all.
He still seems bewildered in his heart.

NYEve fireworks 5

We have brought a bottle of Champagne, and he sends it back
with the waiter to chill on ice.  We are smiling now, and it seems
like maybe with the fireworks, there will come a sort of
culmination, a crashing into eachother, finally falling into arms
and looking into eyes, and maybe he’ll be like he was when last
I’d been there.

But that never happens.  By the time the show is in motion, he
is gone more and more, now at the bar, now talking to some
woman, now here, now gone.  I am now disoriented.
Midnight!  where is my love to kiss, to smile at, to hold?
Glancing around I see him talking to some woman, gesturing
and laughing, telling her some story no doubt…
I’m so confused….
At last the champagne is opened and he shares it with her glass,
and then comes back to me and we toast the new year… finally.
Someone takes our picture, and our faces indeed register the
strangeness we were enveloped in.

NYEve A&C
The Fireworks show is Glorious, massive fire flowers lighting
the sky and making the crowd glow, mostly dressed in white.

NYEve beach blurry

Finally the show is over, and we begin walking in the direction
of homeward bound buses.  The crowd is a solid mass as we
slide together, like lava slowly down the mountainside, and
I realize he is stumbling.  His eyes are glazed and far away, and
he is stumbling, nearly falling, catching himself, bumping into
people, mumbling to himself, and I try to steady him.

Nothing is working.  I am trying to steady a 6 foot, 200 pound man
who is so pickled, he has no bodily functions under his control.
Yet he is sure he’s just fine and doesn’t need help.

I am talking to him how, yelling over the din of the crowd…
“Alcir!  Alcir!….here…..this way….no!, no, come on, watch out!”
and it goes on…
I start getting scared, for he is now nearly falling, catching himself,
falling down, getting back up, and fighting me the whole way.
and I cannot control him, and he keeps stumbling and falling
into people, and I worry someone’s going to punch him.
Then he falls down again, and it’s all I can do to get him to his feet.

Doing my best not to become hysterical…. in a crowd who
could easily crush us, in a sea of people who speak Portuguese,
moving down a street where I am lost to direction or destination,
I find myself with absolutely No idea where we are going or
where we Should go, and he is unable to converse in any
sensible way.

Fear is moving up my spine, filling my brain cavity, and comes
close to overwhelming me…  I am holding back panic.

Then suddenly there are two young men by our side, and they
are picking him up and carrying him off to the side of the street,
then to the right, and into the next alleyway, out of the crowd,
out of the light rain now falling, and they stand him up against
the wall of a building where he continues to fight them, fight me,
mumble to himself, and refuses to sit down no matter what.

And there we are.  A small crowd has gathered in this sheltered
space, a crowd that is mellow and mixing, and I lean against the
wall next to him, and wonder just What I am doing here at all.

___________________________

… the him of it …

alcir in his cageImagine someone you See…
Someone who is so beautiful beyond the words to say…
Someone who holds himself in his Own Cage…

Prisoner of Himself…
Held within webs of the past
and
No matter how you try…
No matter how many signals he gives..
No matter how many times he says… Please…
Help me… Please…

Please can you tell me… what can one do…?

…. i’m publishing this amazing picture of you…

_________________________________

…it’s only a dream in Rio…

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.

_________________________________

…i’m comin’ babe…

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.

________________