BRASILIAN HIGHLIGHTS

Brazilian Highlights

Rio de Janeiro, December 20, 1980 A couple of days ago I arrived in the city. It's raining. A drizzling warm rain, sifted stench, that brings me back the memories from the other hemisphere, even while looking the sky of a tropical city from this tenth floor building ... I look down at the Plaza, through the window's translucent glass, the traffic running rough, almost all of it composed of buses and cars scattering on the avenues or circulating around the small Plaza's roundabout, most of the time overflowing with trolleys and other vehicles.

Shops close early in this town centre. Rare will remain open until after dark. 5 pm, 6 pm, evening falls by about the same time it does in Europe. The barmen serving in the pubs, close down the metal shutters at the entries, leaving them hanging three feet from the ground, awaiting the split off of last customers, almost all of them Indians, Creoles, Mestizos and Mulattoes. In the hours that will follow, the city will be shelter for night owls and rum drinkers laying down on the wet tar. It will also be for the assailants camouflaged behind the door's jambs or acting in groups on the streets through the inner and darkened city labyrinth, looking for someone off guard, in the intent to extort them money, or even the clothes they dress, leaving their victims as naked as they were when they were born. This is really the hottest talk-talk issue across town. Armed robbery to Banks or to simple street walkers. Flat break-ins.

Right yesterday, on Memorial Day, I was walking to a travel agency, located at Cinelandia, failing, however, to go further than the Carioca's Square where a crowd had gathered staring at one of the skyscrapers first floor. I thought a suicide bomber sent himself down from the skyscraper's rooftop, but, indeed, what was happening was in fact an on going armed robbery to a Bank. Five men, two blackies and three whitey guys backed in retreat with a million cash in their bags, when Police intercepted them. Contrary to plans, someone had activated the alarm which alerts the local Police Station. As the crowd stared, some policemen were forcing into a police ambulance, three of the men already shot by police bullets ( one almost dying ), when a gunfight broke out again, this time involving the other two bandits who delayed inside the building as they became entrenched ...

A petite young brunet, wearing black dress and sandals, rucksack in tow, stood beside me watching the event over the mob's shoulders with her smart nose uplifted, her face half hidden under a fringe of black hair covering her torn nice eyes. As everyone dispersed throughout the Plaza, so did I, and went to the bus stop. *

I left the bus after waving in the corridor, to reach the exit, through an unusual ethnic turmoil. After leaving the bus I arrived at a square overflown by a giant viaduct. I leaned against one of the pillars and put my city's map in the right position, so I could to locate the desired avenue. At that moment, two girls emerging from behind the pillar passed very close to me, chattering a story that was making them hilarious to the point they were walking holding each other harms, not too get

lopsided.

Rio, December 22, 1980 I consented releasing her for a few hours so that she could depart to her usual walk. Her impatience manifested abruptly but she promised me to meet me later. My time was very short that morning once my brother would arrive soon, searching for his keys. I sat at an open air Bar counter as I was waiting for my brother without having ordered non at all. Moreover, the waiter as he used to see me showing up often during the day, didn't disturb me, what was making me comfortable. After five minutes of mismatched thoughts throughout my head, my brother called for me from across the counter. - Hi, bro!

I stood up, walked to meet him, handing him the keys. He didn't stay longer in my company, and, as for me, I had nothing left to do except waiting for the Brazilian girl. Finally, I ordered a caipiriña, a cocktail made of coke and rum. I was sipping it, and looking at my watch. Fifteen minutes, half an hour, she did not yet arrive. Giving up to wait for her I walked to another bus stop. I was waiting in the queue, looking at a policeman and a few rustic ones, that the queue was composed of. Again, lost in my thoughts web, ( all the time peppered with the most contradictory images ), I was awakened by the soft voice of a tall girl wearing a blonde wig, who wondered, staring at me, if that was the bus to Jacarepaguá. – That's right, that's the one!, I stammered in my still shy accent.

Meanwhile, the bus arrived and its doors opened. Passengers began to step in. I stepped in too, followed by the blonde girl who sat on the bench right next to mine. I asked her if she was also travelling to Anil, an estate in Rio's neighbourhood. - Yes I am. You too? She started reeling a litany of deja vu troubles similar to those I heard before from the mouth of T. Rio, December 22, 1980 Another rainy afternoon. I spent the night at my brother's flat sleeping one of my best sleeps. Around five in the morning, half – awoke half-asleep, I was wandering, like a sea-saw fish, across the room. I drank water and went to lie down again. I sank into another restless sleep, characterized by an adventurous dream in which Police was looking for a guy who had shot a gun to the air, by surprise, in the middle of a street. This guy was

part of a group where I did myself involve ( in the dream ), in a way that I also was also one of the suspects. I remember, for the rest of the dream, we ( me and those in the dream ) tried to build up a kind of wooden box where we coiled wires that connected various sophisticated appliances, supposedly intended to elude the Police. I woke up suddenly, the phone was ringing. I answered, someone asked for my brother. I answered back my brother had not yet arrived, hang off and turned to fall asleep.

*

I was descending in the building's elevator, when I noticed her. She was carrying a printed folded cardboard in one hand. I followed the girl at the building's exit. Went ahead, kept walking by her side and asked her if she also was living in the tenth floor.

– I do not live their any more, she responded, hiding her face among the strands of her loose hair – Now I'm living with a friend of mine in a room in a shared house. My friend finally found a place for both of us. - That's fantastic!, I said. We kept talking until suddenly she stopped. I learned she would wait until her boyfriend showed up. As she had left, in the former flat on tenth floor, several stuff that she was about to recover later, we arranged to meet the next day. - Then you could come up to my flat around 8 pm, tomorrow - I dared to say. - To do what?, she abruptly asked. - Well, to have a chat and listen to the music, is that OK for you?, I proposed - OK, I think it's OK - she replied. - Fantastic! - I repeated - Then, tomorrow, we can see each other again! - I agreed. - OK, I'm leaving now, goodbye!

- Cool. Bye, bye. - Bye, bye. 'Fantastic!', I thought to myself, while walking away. Rio, December 24, 1980 I restarted my drawings about 2 pm. Looked at the argy clouds dispersed over the spleen sky, the skyscrapers deployed on the city's oldest buildings. In the distance, the 'morro' becaming unreal, almost cold. The traffic down bellow, all the time flowing around the Plaza. The bus queue all the time growing bigger. My brother at his workbench, assests the chisel on the gold around the jewels. Customers, keep arriving. Every time the door's bell rings, I startle. Costumers get closer, some of them telling puns, while they open rough small leather purses from which they draw tiny gems or simple pieces of gold to be worked. – A customer of mine is sending her earrings to be

turned into a 'quartier' – one says. – Another customer is sending a cameo to be transformed into a brooch, what you make of it? And so on, depending on the predilections of customers represented. My brother focuses his experienced eye through a monocle, on the small jewels, raise some objections about their value and the work involved and the price to be charged, so my brother is a real expert. Suddenly, everyone around is discussing, making a row, exalting, but all in a way not meaning to offend one each others, because joy is, all the time, present in the mood of this people. The agents leave, I keep tracking on my drawings. Evening is falling, noises throughout the city are widening, traffic begins to crawl. It's very close to the rush hour. First lamps light up on the opposite side buildings. The neons start flashing and resuming their replacements. It didn't rain so far but there's no guaranty that, soon, the sky won't be storming again. Temperature keeps rising. Then, it will decline a

little bit, but citizens will continue to sweat. I think if that girl will really show up, in fact. Even after long promised and confirmed facing each other and in several occasions the meeting well settled, my doubts persist until this girl actually shows up. They are often uncertain, these Brazilian girls ... Not to deny themselves, they choose to let a fellow in expectation, returning after long hours of waiting from settlement, with a tragic excuse. They always end up coming back in a desperate and unexpected mood.

Rio de Janeiro, Christmas Eve. Ding dong bell, ding dong bell, Jingle all the way ...

Rio,

December 29, 1980

The whole weekend was spent with a group of friends who meet every evening at Bar-restaurant Funchal. During the afternoon we drank up, chatted, many young girls arrived. They sat next to me, wondering about my original country. Deborah introduces her friends: Hannah, Monica, Rosanna. Her friend-boys: William and Domenico, this one a 'patrician'. We dine and when is about eleven o'clock, after long chat done, we enter the cars and travel to Posto Onze in Copacabana, where we drink some beers. Later, at night-club Rancho, there is music on the dance spot and music performers on stage. In one of those days I should have met with Marcus and his friends for a party. Drummers were passing by, playing along the street. When they spotted me, they called me asking to join them, inviting me to dance the Samba. On the sidewalk, two brunettes were watching

the band, one of them muttering some words that I did not quite understood, but that were certainly addressed to me, in a way that the second girl repeated the intention of the first: - She said you're cute. I knew that this word denoted someone nice and charming. Right away I returned the compliment. Then they wanted to know more about me: - Where do you go? To the Great Samba Place? I lied, saying that that was precisely my intention. I then followed the girls. The drumbeat intensified itself. - Come on, come to dance the Samba with us! We entered in a hard dirt enclosure where other people was already gathering for the Samba. I spent one hour dancing with the Brasilian girls. Later we went to the garden of a vast semilightened park, covered by the branches of huge redwoods, where were sat down on garden benches, a few pairs of begees kissing and embracing one each others.

Rio de Janeiro, after the Reveillon, the next morning ... Morning arrives very early plenty of sun. It's 5 am on the clock. I set up the lamp and picked up the book thrown and abandoned on the floor. I kept on reading the very same paragraph I started the day before: '' The small man went to the Plaza's square. In its centre there was a statue representing a knight hoisting a flag. It was by evening. There were loads of people around the statue. Women, most of them seated, dispersed by the Plaza's benches, such as abandoned. The man remained there, mobilised like steal, until he approached one of the women. – How is it gonna be? - the lonely man asked the woman. She said:

- Cool! Are you abouts? To relieve the tension caused by the unusual silence around them, he asked her name. All the time an unusual name sounding foreign in which could be included some less used consonant in that Latino-American language, lending the name a sweet and sensual tone: Lucy, Betty, Greta, Buceta ... Then both, man and woman, crossed the street entering a small Hotel. He paid the room in complete silence, only disturbed by the key's clattering in his partner's hands. Everything began to acquire a ritual mood from the door's openy to the radio tuning, until they both strip. The man was not about to immediately shoot the woman! He was not any kind of a fool or sucker, because he didn't intend to penetrate her immediately. She didn't consent any kind of kissing, just groped his member with her fingers, to assess it's hardness. When finding it optimal, she lead it down to

the soft mouth of her tattered body. The important thing now was to get him off quickly to what she starts waving her body in an irresistible movement of hips. As tension rises, she keeps dodging the eagerness of his kisses, the breath of his mouth, keeping her eyes wide open, looking at the ceiling, trying to think of anything except what she was really doing. Finally she only would have to simulate the small man, more and more, until he will be about to explode. She also starts producing well faked squeals that stimulates the lonely man, harder and harder, during the course of his discharge''. This reading really excited me! Turned off the lights and fell asleep.