on the go 3

I’ve walked my way to the other extreme of the city today and conquered the last few large, charming avenues of the capital. After long miles, I found myself in those streets were buildings aren’t so clean and smiles aren’t so bright anymore; the grimy, poor part of town, where visitors are not so welcomed. It was refreshing and, somewhat, amusing to see that poverty finds you anywhere, regardless of the country and people. But in the end, paradoxically, after turning a few lefts and rights, going up a couple of steep, steep streets, I found myself again in a beautiful Soho and in a Japanese garden.

Happiness ensued further, for the love of all things holy. The sun shone bright, yellow and Brazilian and alive, even if only for 30 minutes. My battered, sick body – I’m still coughing like a dog – felt glad and warm and it was truly great to finally peel all the layers of cloths and coats from my body. I barely recognize my body anymore given the amount of protection laid upon it every morning to only be shed by night. So, in a cool bench under a blossoming cherry tree, I pondered and, watching the bonsais, felt like one of the many maple trees passed along the way: naked, free of my leaves, offering no shade. And so I stretched, lazy, the grass warm and prickly, worms and warmth submerging from the earth beneath my feet.

Still, there isn’t much to do when you are broke, so I walked more, after the graceful sun hid behind clouds. Me, master of my map. (the torn guide sweaty from my hands, coffee stained, full of little pamphlets with the phone numbers and explicit pictures of prostitutes). Breathless I was, and eager, craving a cigarette and, once again, lost. But master of my path, still. Master of my mind and of my will. Only not master of my body with, apparently, no way home, once my feet sagged and refused to carry my body’s weight any longer. Finally, I noticed, that I was exhausted and that even though rays of light cure the blues, the don’t cure blisters and hunger and fatigue. So I thought of crying, but was afraid that then, with the sun hidden and coming down, my tears would freeze. So I let go of my fears and weaknesses and mere mortality and, like the others, stomped and mingled on the tiny sidewalks, in the longest of lines and hopped on the bus, trusting only memory and heart to go to where I needed to be.

Turns out my gut feeling was good and the bus was the correct one, but that I did not have any coins and the bus doesn’t accept anything but it. I felt the droplets of ice starting to fall, felt them coming closer and closer, staining and blurring my eyes, black on the tunnel vision, as the driver talked and talked, yelled, rude and impatient, while I, frozen there, was stuck and lost in translation.

For the first time, it hit me – the burden of being a stranger. The locals kept staring as I delayed departure, and desperation rose high, my ears deaf and eyes blind, until – god bless his soul – a little old man fills my hands with coins accepting nothing back, in exchange, apart from my name, country of origin and the sense of self-fulfillment of helping some one gratuitously. Things finally went back to normal, passengers staring in apathy out the windows and finally I was able to come home. Gratitude was all I could feel, block after block street after street, and even though I didn’t know the words to express it, I hope my eyes told the little old man the story of my soul and the intention in my mind: the love I felt for another being, for him, and for every beggar and barefooted child and creature that has ever put me in my place which is, nothing more and nothing less, than another one down the rabbit’s hole.

Later, in the bundles of warm sheets in my scratchy bed, I cried anyway for it was the first time I truly felt human here. A genuine emotion. Not sadness not annoyance, but deep, raw emotion, awaken. BsAs has, at once, gotten a soul for its brick and mortar bones…

and tomorrow art awaits me, maybe, to redeem me.

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2 Responses to “on the go 3”

  1. Saraiva Suux Says:

    I wonder why the character carries hooker’s pamphlets at all.

    Like

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