Monday, October 20, 2008

military discharge

Sunday close to 11:30AM, before I ran off and hopped on the bus Edson (Eddiesony) wanted me to see his military papers, I am not quite sure why. Pride? He had told me that he had stopped in at the barracks and the rec center at the base across the street. I learned that he had given them three years. I felt like his adult guardian. I hadn’t needed any proof. I guess I am in his fabric.

Earlier that morning Tracy, Kathy and me had had an abbreviated breakfast near Porta de Barra enroute to Itapua. The plan: to meet Eneida along the bus route. She would hop on in Rio Vermelho and we would make it a beach day, I would go to the beach briefly, but I had a brunch date in Brotas. Time got tight. I would have to switch buses and pick up Michael Avatar at the Lancha. He was a sweet Brit and visiting artist to Sacatar who spoke little to no Portuguese.

I had gotten us onto the right wrong Mussurunga bus. It was going to the Praia Itapua. To meet Eneida along the way we needed a bus that stayed on Avenida Oceanico, following the Atlantic. We switched in Ondina and I signaled Eneida from the front of the bus as we approached Companhia de Pizza. Once she got on, I got out and headed back towards Comercio.

Waiting for another bus in Amaralina, close to Escola Mario Gusmão, site of our workshop I heard whistling. Someone was unrelenting. Finally I turned to locate the source and saw that it was Edson, the cook from Hotel Villa Mar where we had stayed. One night, back then we had talked for over an hour about life, faith, personal philosophies and national pride. He had recognized me, but couldn’t remember my name. He told me that he had decided to quit his job. No future, shit pay and empty promises. He was putting faith in his open heart. The strength of the Orixas would guide him to better work. “A luta continua, sempre continua a luta,” was his refrain. When I came up, he had been Bs-ing with an old friend from teen years who now ran the newsstand that we were standing in front of. Life is small, or I am melding into the landscape here? You decide.

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