Sweet

I picked up the book I’ve been reading with a set plan to devour it today. I half sat, half laid on the sofa, as my body reclined against the glass door that stood between me and the ocean. I read a few pages, as the cool ocean breeze caressed the right half of my body. I haven’t known what cold means for weeks, but suddenly it felt cool enough to justify the use of a light blanket. I got up and found the closest thing to a blanket in my parents’ aparment: a beach sarong. I wrapped the printed sarong around my body like a shawl and resumed reading, thinking of how ridiculous I probably looked and caring not at all.

I read until the natural light coming through the door was all but gone. I remember only getting up from that couch once, to prepare a dish of toast with light mozarella cheese accompanied by green olives stuffed with pimento peppers and a glass of refrigerated red wine. I half despise and half love my parents for refrigerating their wine. The daughter in me loves them, finds it even endearing, especially since my mother takes it one step further by adding gassy water to her refrigerated wine. The wine lover in me, however, screams blasphemy!

No matter. I poured the cold wine in the fanciest crystal goblet I could find and took up my spot on the couch once more.

I read until I forgot who and where I was.

Sometimes life can be so sweet.

HOW

Ealy life crisis.

I’m sure such a thing exists. How else can I explain what I’ve been going through this past year? Everything that I thought was important, suddenly appears not to be so. A definite and clear shift in my values and even some of my personal qualities has taken place. Yet I sit here facing the sea and have no more tears to cry, no more “whys” to demand from life.

The past few days I’ve had short encounters with locals that made me realize some things. One man, while sitting at a bar, spoke to his friends as he sprayed himself with cologne saying: “I’m already ugly and poor. I can at least smell good!”

Today, the vendor who rents beach chairs decided that he would help me get a cab from the beach by all costs. He stood attently looking at both sides of the street and calling the attention of every cab that passed by, until he finally got me one. I had already paid him for my chair and stool for the day and I never asked for his help hailing a cab. Still, once he put his mind to help me, there was no stopping him. He did it willingly, with pride even to be able to help me.

The taxi cab driver who drove me to a salon yesterday told me that he lived in a big city before moving back to Maceió, where I am currently living. When I asked him why he moved back, he said: “There was no beach there. A day at the beach, with the sun, and the cold beer, and that delicious fish one can get! It’s too good, there’s nothing better than that. How could I stay in the city?”

Simple.

Have I just been complicating my life? Pushing aside the things I love for grandiose ideas of what my life should really look like?

It’s not about what we’re doing with our lives; It’s about what we do when our life isn’t going the way we’d hope it would. All these men have taught me this lesson these past few days.

Now when I sit in front of the ocean thinking about the mess I’ve made of my life, instead of asking WHY, I’m asking HOW.

How can I begin to be happy again?

Helena

She found reasons to hold my hand during the time we spent together

And nearly saved my life by walking me over the other side of the street

To her, my feet with no calluses were feet of royalty

“Little Princess”

she called me

I held her tight when we said goodbye

And told her all about the gifts I’d bring her next time:

A stool bench that folds, a pair of sandals like mine, a new brand name polish to keep company to the one I gifted her last time…

But then she left without knowing

how much love I felt for her

This woman I’ve seen only twice in my life,

Who paints my nails while sitting on a plastic bucket

And tells me stories of family, love, and tragedy

All accompanied by a smile and good cheer.

Oh, Helena

Do you know how special you are?

If I’m princess, you are queen of this universe

And don’t you dare let them tell you otherwise

You’ve given me more warmth in a few hours than I’ve received in months in that far away land where I hail from,

Where we keep all our calluses in our soul,

not our feet.

Tie Dye & Rose Colored Glasses

They came,

colored in tie dye and rose colored glasses

to sit by creeks,

to dance under the sun and moon and stars…

Some to find themselves,

Some to lose themselves.

 

They came, in clusters of jingling bells and braided hair

To feel at home in the middle of nowhere,

to create a bond with complete strangers,

to learn to smile at all the absurdity of life.

 

They came, 

and danced, and kissed, and cried, and watched day turn into night 

and then left three moons later,

renewed and confident in nothing

except the certainty that sensitive souls aren’t alone in this world.