Friday, March 21, 2003
a friendship in five chapters
girl meets boy. to be fair, girl sees boy from across campus and thinks he's deliciously cute. girl spends a year wondering who boy is. boy spends that year doing god knows what - certainly not noticing girl. boy and girl meet. girl and boy go out one night, with mutual pals. girl and boy almost hook up. girl and boy spend next few months avoiding each other like the plague.
girl and boy's lives tangle again. and again, both girl and boy walk away from brief entanglement thinking, "what is with that guy/girl!" boy decides to write for newspaper for which girl is slavishly dedicated editor. boy and girl finally begin to not violently dislike other. boy and girl start heading to diner for late night study/banter sessions. girl develops inappropriate crush on boy. boy notices, nicely tells girl he's not interested in dating her. girl [being stuck in tragically-destructive low-self-esteem cycle] takes this to mean boy is violently unattracted to her because she is clearly, hideously ugly. boy meets girl's friend. girl's friend seems nice, and distinctly un-crazy. friend knows girl likes boy. friend and boy start dating anyway. disasterous results ensue, mostly due to latent, hidden craziness on part of friend. boy and girl get angry at each other, fight, squabble, and generally discard prior tenuous opinion of others' coolness. summer begins, and boy and girl walk away from each other, thinking nevermind.
boy and girl return to school, having both shed the shackles of crazy friend madness - and start circling each other like uncertain forest animals, sniffing the air for disaster. girl has come out of tragically-destructive self-esteem phase. boy has come out of solely-dating-crazy-people stage. boy and girl finally discover what their friendship really is, spend all year [mostly] enjoying each other's company, sharing beds platonically, and getting quietly possessive of others' love interests. graduation ensues, talks of dating each other are had and discarded, boy and girl both move to Big City.
boy decided to high-tail it out of Big City. girl, as dearest gal-pal of boy, and confidante, supports leaving-decision fully, knowing it is truly what boy needs. boy stays with girl for last six days before leaving on that jet plane. boy and girl spend a lot of time smiling at other, enjoying others' company. but suddenly, suddenly, girl realizes she will desperately miss boy. suddenly starts doubting all her high-minded platonic insistence. audience knows what happens next, clearly. there are looks exchanged, halting words, long nights, and rumpled sheets, and harried goodbyes. boy is gone. Big City is empty.
boy and girl spend months talking. boy and girl miss each other. girl and boy play scrabble online, listen to same radio stations at same time, and find comfort in friendship. girl tells all skeptical friends to shove off, boy is special to her. girl and boy don't think this is easy, or fun, really. at different points, boy hurts girl, girl hurts boy*. freak outs are had. boy considers moving back. girl considers hopping on plane. boy and girl only really know one thing - four chapters of good and bad are too much to walk away from.
girl says to boy: this is nothing. we've seen worse.
boy says to girl: we've never had a problem we haven't gotten through.
girl and boy laugh.
....... how will it end for our protagonists? stay tuned.
*girl is very, very sorry and would offer flowers if plant life could be squeezed through modem lines intact. as this is impossible, girl offers true-story-tribute as proof of affection. also, story will not wilt in a week. and does not require watering.
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Thursday, March 20, 2003
the people of rio
because sometimes, life gets in the way of posting. enjoy the pictures.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2003
rua prada junior, copacabana - the best steak sandwiches in town.
pollyanna, bring it on.
i gotta tell you. i'm not usually the chirpiest bird on the block, but there must be something in the water today. in discussing with a friend the world of dateable guys we know, i touched on a certain one with truckloads of charisma, a great smile, and a personality to match. this super-guy has harbored a crush on yours truly in the past, only i was too daft and wingnutty to realize the opportunity knocking, and now said super-guy is [obviously] dating a very lucky ducky.
so what do i do? after briefly bemoaning my mule-headed missed-chance, the thought strikes me: even though super-guy is clearly taken and i've missed the boat to great-boyfriend-land ... the fact remains that i've finally developed a heart-thumping crush on someone who'd actually be ... a great guy for me.
then i did a little victory dance for passing another marker on the road to sanity.
the road to hell is paved with ... blasphemy!
there are people out there who are religious. they believe in these two funny things: "heaven" and "hell". heaven is all puffy white clothes after labor day, stringy harp music, and general smug self-satisfaction. hell, on the other hand, is all stylin' black and red clothes, fire sex and torture, and loud thumping music.
let me break this down for you, all simple-like -
option one: listening to mewling string instruments, always looking a little fat and shapeless in your heaven-issued robe, and discussing the merits of abstinence with the likes of woodrow wilson, queen victoria and emily post, while sipping on the ambrosia you got sick of after the first day here.
option two: sweating it out to hot jazz in a smoky club, where everyone's drinking absinthe and smoking cuban cigars. the regulation leather bodysuit might chafe a little, but who cares when you're ha-cha-cha-ing it up with frank sinatra and trading stinging witticisms with oscar wilde?
come on, people. i'm all for religion and all, but if they were trying to make heaven sound like my ideal night, they utterly failed. give me forbidden pleasures and the rat pack any day of the week.
*looking up for lightning bolts*.
and finally -
petit hiboux announces the March Internet Crush! we've gone sapphic this month, kids, but she's such a bombshell, she deserves it.
the stellar fish: for her sexy redesign, her hair-tossing, goddess-like defiance when it comes to Stupid Boy Syndrome, her determination, wit and style, and her fantastic writing - to her i raise my Fruity Pink Beverage and say:
"forget needing a bicycle, darling. the bicycles of the world need you."
amen and pass the cocktails.
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coconuts, copacabana beach, rio de janeiro
slouching towards ennui
it's one of those afternoons. i can't quite locate what's tickling my irritation. perhaps its:
this weather making me wish i was traipsing down fifth avenue in a flouncy skirt with my best girl friends, eating ice cream and giggling at cute boys. or drinking sundowners on a west village rooftop with a host of fabulously interesting people. or walking a dog down the hudson river, holding hands with that non-existent wonderful man i have yet to find. this weather reminding me that i'm doing none of these things.
return from brasil. see above photograph. 'nough said.
my suddenly free, suddenly lonely heart. having made a conscious, timely choice to face reality about the boy i pine for and accept that i cannot wait - nor should i - has been both, well, freeing and saddening. suddenly, i have to face two frightening facts - that i am ready to try love again, and that i don't know the foggiest clue about how. no longer held back by self-imposed invisible ties, my heart suddenly finds the edge of the cliff into the unknown.
working at a job i know i do not enjoy, in an industry i don't plan on staying in, and simply treading a holding pattern until the law school dream gets close enough to peer into it and get excited all over again.
loving the city in spring, but desperately wanting to be someplace with a car, lots of open space, and a hammock.
feeling adrift for soul mates after a week of engaging conversation, belly-aching laughter, and life revelations with erin.
not having any patience. and needing it - for everything mentioned above, as well as growing out my bangs.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2003
tuesday night at vinicius
it was a humid night. we slid into sexy night clothes and hailed a cab from our apartment on avenida nossa senhora de copacabana, in the bustling south end of copacabana beach. the cab left us in front of the club, there in ipanema - at the famed intersection of rua vinicius de moraies and rua prudente de moraies, where tom jobim and joão gilberto wrote their famous song - the bars everyone hums when i mention my roots.
olha que coisa mais linda
mais cheia de graça
e ela menina
que vem e que passa
num doce balanço
caminho do mar....
and as we climbed the steps to the club, vinicius, those bars sauntered down towards us, swaying hips to the rhythm of the song. we smiled at each other, and found a little table in the corner of the crowded room.
moça do corpo dourado
do sol de Ipanema
o seu balançado
e mais que um poema
e a coisa mais linda
Que eu já vi passar...
and as i sat there, listening to the daughter of a famous brasilian singer and a famous brasilian composer croon those familiar words in lilting portuguese, it took me a minute to realize i was crying and smiling at the same time in the smoky, dark club. my cheeks realized it, when salty tears brimmed out and i reached to wipe them away, almost spilling my caipirinha. i couldn't help myself - her voice as it moved through the song like the girl walking to the beach - it reminded me with astounding force why i love brasil so much.
ah! porque estou tão sozinho
ah! porque tudo é tão triste
ah! a beleza que existe
a beleza que não é só minha
que também passa sozinha...
my mother was born and raised here in rio. she's a carioca of european descent. her childhood was my childhood's fairy tale, even though she did so much better by me and gave me a multitude more chances. her simple life, full of friends and socials and strolls through ipanema with her girl friends, and cheek-to-cheek dances with handsome ipanema boys from good families .. it all sounds so beautiful. and i was crying, thinking, my visits to brasil are my glimpses into her past, into her childhood - and this street corner, this neighborhood, these smiling, carefree people - this is her brasil.
Ah! Se ela soubesse
Que quando ela passa
O mundo sorrindo
Se enche de graça
E fica mais lindo
Por causa do amor....
as the song ended, i realized what it was about this language, these street corners, this music. especially the music. what is it about simple songs, songs about love, songs about the people, songs about being alive, that makes the edges of my hair tingle like i've just experienced music for the very first time? what is it about brasil? i often joke, as much as brasilian men are macho and domineering - how could i spend the rest of my life with someone who didn't understand that music? didn't feel that rhythm?
at the club, crying ocean-salted tears to brasil's most cliched song, i realized - it's a part of a soul i never had, a connection that began before i was born. it's about the words, it's about the smiles, it's about the way of life and the sun and the music and the mountains. even the favelas. it's about brasil, and how my spirit feels filled when i come here. it's a little corner i never notice is empty - and now it's suddenly full of light.
and i sat back, wiped my tears, told my mother a silent eu amo voce, and let the language and the music flip the switch.
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Monday, March 17, 2003
erin go bragh, y'all.
i know, i know, you're all clamoring for details from the fantastic vacation. all i can tell you is, well, i can't tell you anything yet. i'm still breathing in brasilian air, closing my eyes and thinking brasilian thoughts, and smelling my skin for the remnants of salt.
as such, telling you all about it would really kill the buzz.
but i promise - more to come.
until then, these irish eyes are smiling - happy saint patrick's day.
erin go bragh!
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