credits: Reproduction


It happened. After the break-up the house by the lake seemed totally different. It was no longer the safe place, nor the result of a project I had created to live the great love. To silently build a sun and spring temple with the woman I loved so much.

The house did no longer keep the laughing and the stories from the past. The painful moments were quieting, and what had once been silence was now a party. Friends we returned, and celebrations could not stop.

New people would enter in my life. Women, more and more women each time, girls wanting to become women, friends bringing those conquests as trophies, well-meaning, offering me strange tits and butts, without even asking me if I liked it or not. But it was part of the freedom party to prove there was no sadness nor remorse that could resist to all that.

And the variants were fantastic. Brazilian feijoada with couples and some intellectual guests, filled with good intentions, making sure their intelligence was revealed before their breasts. A boat trip with escort girls who came for the party, the money, and the secret, because this was an island, after all, and we already knew all of them from other places.

From the fitness center to the noisy nightclub, they were always there. They sworn they had never done that, but the branded little bags, the new little shoes, and the attractive dresses were ever more expensive. They insisted they were only there because it was with people like us, and that it was the first time. With champagne and lots of joy we celebrated that baptism and, even though it was still spring, we turned every day into summer, and moreover, it was as if all days were Saturday.

My brother, humble poet Vinícius, was certainly fidgeting in the grave, sorry for drinking so much and not waiting for my break-up. But there should not be regrets, I remember when he broke up with Jesus in Salvador. Jesus was a 5’9-multiracial woman, all into place, smelling as a party, always smiling, so generous she always had part of her clothes falling off, sometimes her top, and then a nicely-shaped boob would be revealed, with the same shade of her gold-colored skin, sometimes her shorts, so short it was it almost revealed Bahia’s most famous butt.

It had been the poet’s eighth marriage, and as usual he had sworn to all of us that it would be the last.

- Marriage never more! – he repeated. I learned with all of them that the last ones have to come from our origins, and our origins are African.

An afternoon, there in Itapoã, after spending the day sunbathing at the beach and drinking lots of caipirinhas, just before dawn, Jesus caught me by the hand, and as if that was the most important moment of our lives, next to one of those coconut trees that we only find in Bahia, removed the string of a shorts, and showed me a small tattoo she had just had tattooed.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Jesus had a Jesus tattooed on her left buttocks, it was not big, nor it had a suffering feature, of course he could not have, being on that spot, but he looked like those Jesuses from political cards, smiling, as if saying that everything had been worth after all for ending on that sacred spot, the butt of a woman from Bahia.

Yes, she solemnly showed me first hand that in the most occult spot of that wonderful butt, she had changed Jesus’ name and written letter by letter his new name. Vinícius. But even so, having replaced Jesus in paradise and all, when time had come the poet broke up with her and convened me to go near him.

- Only you can understand me, you’ve been through this, in the end the fault is ours, we give ourselves up and after they’ve taken it all, we need to rebuild ourselves.

There I went to Itapoã, to eat crabs and acarajé, to drink in the afternoon, in the morning, at night and in the early hours all the bitterness of separation, and organizing the necessary parties to chase away sadness.

The parties had to have music, poetry, whores, decent women, and the candidates to becoming the new wife. As I had also broken up, we were double merchandise, and there are no parties without friends.

The best friend has to be close. After all, he was the one who the married woman, even without liking, had to accept near the husband, it was his best friend after all, but the wife hopes he breaks his leg or get high fever or even a spell in order he is not available for the forbidden, dangerous binges.

And we still had our war secret. When the party was not good or the women were difficult, delivering that sweet air filled with promises but saying no, in the end we would bring Dorival Caymmi, and then it would all change.

The old man with that strong voice, the seriousness of an only marriage and the tales that he had only had one woman in his life, his wife, singing “Marina morena Marina…”, they would soften, believe in us, and we were able to keep another night with a princess in bed and waking up accompanied, which was mandatory. “A man who gets divorced and wakes up alone is embittering the doom and shaming the race”, the poet’s words said out loud with a grudging look, almost as if he were a dog in a bad mood.

And the mourning of separation had mandatory solemnities and events. It was almost as the opening of the English parliament. If all the steps were not properly followed, the mourning was not worth it. With that, we had the obligatoriness of three great drunkenness.

The first was the drunkenness of anguish and incomprehension, it lasted from two to three days, and we used to badmouth her as hell, we only see flaws on that woman, and we were dominated by grudge and anger.

- Can you imagine that I got married to that… - And the list of criticism, slander and even bad words would follow.

The second would last longer, it would last even four days, and it was the drunkenness of missing her. The heart was back in charge, and the words were sweeter, the gestures were more restrained, the songs were sadder, and we would only remember the great moments. We would even unexpectedly laugh out loud, when the recollection helped, and we would even talk fondly about sex.

Many times a tear stuck would detach itself, and we would cry for the lost woman. The butt was once again beautiful, the cellulite was forgotten, the breasts unequalled, and we would forgive all of their witchcraft. We drank while listening to Chico Buarque and Maria Betânia, and proud was no more.

We ended up writing poetry, and if there was music around, we would turn them into songs that could end up being sung all over Brazil. We shared what we missed with the world, and with that we buried the distance. These drunken encounters carried many women with them. Women like lost men, enjoying great love and accepting with an open heart that real men miss women.

Even the paid women charged less during this period, they offered discount to raise the heart and, when poetries and songs emerged, they offered themselves for free for the pleasure of eternity.

The third drunkenness was the forgetfulness one, this was in a ballad tone, and already happened when the heart started to fall in love again. The humble poet called me baron, he said I never lost class, and mourning that prevails had to have a badger around, one of those who say bad words, slap women’s butts, and even discuss price with the whores, respecting not married women nor accompanied women, no matter how well accompanied.

After that, came the love phase, the smiles were back, the passionate phone calls, it was hard to choose among the women who already had guaranteed their spot in the heart and the unexpected ones, who would suddenly show up to make things harder.

But as with everything natural, we ended up delivering our hearts to one of them, we would hide from the others, and when we noticed we would be already living a great love.

Life started to make sense, the days were bluer, time went faster, and we laughed even with the oldest jokes, those we had heard 863 times already. We would not complain about the services, and we would even think that people from Bahia were quick. Bank lines were like the entrance to one of Caetano’s concerts, with everyone laughing.

And it all started again, pain replaced by love until another cycle of goodbyes. We knew that one day the ideal woman would show up, the one who would never let solitude and pain to torment the heart, and we would all become Dorival Caymmi, men of an only woman, in our case, the last one.

But let’s go back to my story.

Since the humble poet was already with another one, new friends made the necessary solemnities. The drunkenness was replaced by sophisticated dinners, lunches at dawn, boat trips in sunny afternoons. And every day there would be programs and women, some interesting, others less interesting, an annoying one eventually – no one escapes those – but they were women, and they deserved our respect, affection, and caring.

The word had to be always kind and the gesture affectionate - after all, they were the most beautiful the world could offer, even those who could not speak properly, but could walk as no one else.

With time, taste became more sophisticated, and we had to abandon some, forget others, comply with the order of never waking up alone, but try to not wake up regretful. After all, we only wake up once a day, except in hangover days, in which we wake up many times without actually falling asleep.

It is also the time of the wonderful surprises. Women who arrive softly, illuminating our hearts, and making the hope beat faster. Sometimes it is a friend’s girlfriend and respect is necessary, other times is the lady from another land who comes with a sincere air, strong eyes, and the island becomes small and you miss her when she leaves, sometimes without knowing she has left so many memories, beautiful ones.

The days of solitude are back on the big house, there is time to think, to cry the pains of departure and old pains that only the children around and the friendly eyes can hush. But as always, the cycle restarts, and without wanting or even without quite knowing why, we forget out thoughts about an only person, allowing life to come closer once again.

And as everything we choose becomes unique, we discover a new tenderness, we finally discover that someone also wants us, sometimes without knowing, but we overall discover that love still exists and that the parties are brighter when the most beloved person is around, and boring and even unbearable when the most beloved person is not.

The former loved woman gets lost in the memories, eventually becomes a friend, almost always only a memory, and even the significant references are archived in the unavoidable goodbye to what is gone. The time of conquering is back, once again we are Quixotes destroying mills, insecure even with that we are going to say, and in this time of immediate, global communication, we yearn for an e-mail, a Facebook message or a redemption phone call.

I had friends who at this time realized that the ex-wife was the new woman for whom they longed and went to the fight for the reconquest. But it is difficult, it has to be a different woman, reconquering is a thing for those who have been enchanted but never found out.

And then I left time take me, time was short for so many news, because of one of those coincidences that only solitude explains I started writing again, my editor woke up and we were preparing a new book, even a magazine about wonderful women was going to publish one of my memoir tales with the humble poet, about the Rio de Janeiro that, at the time, was the playground of paradise.

The music slowly returned, the piano became my daily companion and even complained about me having to work so hard. The trips had new flavor and smell, freedom had already replaced the missing of moments, and pains were gently, slowly calming.

As it could not be otherwise, the taste of love slowly arrived, and at the time in which happiness and hope returned, one question always arose:

- You look different, you’re looking great, what happened, man? A new girlfriend? Where did you meet her?

And the answer, what to answer?

- It was by chance, chance is love’s greatest ally, by the way. It brings what you don’t expect, it only brings what you don’t expect, therefore is fundamental.

And ended up saying something I am sure the humble poet would say:

- Think about it, men. Without chance there is no love, only repetition.
- How did you find that out? – asked incredulous the one who did not know how to love.
- By chance, I answered.



Max Gonçalves

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