Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Postcard from Harlem after Sao Paulo

I have been home for 3 days now.  Leaving saturday,
arriving sunday, substituting during the day and having
my after school class since monday, my brain is still
mush when it comes to time.  it's only a 3 hour
difference but weather and back pains has a way of saying
welcome back home.

like i said, the band traveled everyday. buenos aires
to nuequen to rosario back to buenos, then montevideo,
and yeah buenos again, ending in sao paulo...

when it came time to bid later man to the band and
arrive at my first host's home, i was whipped.

every place the boys got cuter...browner....forgive me
for checking but i'm a girl in a band of 7 men who's
eyes ( minus vernon) comment every ten mintutes about
this beautiful woman here and that hot lady there...

i gotta have my eye candy too

back in buenos, there were two stage hands i wished my
spanish was better...dang i wished my spanish was

but let's get to the adventure.  i am in the house of
ibejis and yansas everywhere, small altars for folks
i'm polite to edit from here...with light footed hands that
appear in the morning to make coffee and purchase the bread

yemanja in all her greatness in the living room
protecting a rescued turtle in the tank filled with
crystals and stone.

me and my host, a slender artist, handsome and close
to my party memoirs,  talk of our age, clubs that loved us
in the 90's and rio.  it was 16 years ago that i was here in
another form....groove is in the heart baby.

oh those days when hee...ah yeah...those days

my host looks like this boy from high school...rolando
lucino morales...god i can't seem to forget this boy...
but balding and flossing a 21 year old sweet boy with
bright eyes and a slick pout.

nope this is not my first (fill in space)

but our back way back into time turns off for my
second host picking me up

in the cosmos, there are these quaint connections.
she is a photographer,  i met at her a gathering in
harlem. she spoke very little english so i connected her
to someone who did. turns out she was suppose to meet
my contact's god sister

this time, host 1 has met host 2 many times before on
his computer.  he has footage of her...her dancing....
dancing for yansa...yansa in quicktime...

she's never seen herself dancing


me and host 2 leave and i arrive in her home. it's
beautiful and simple. clay, as she's called, a hand at
the home helps me with my baggage....everyone thinks
i've completly overpacked but one suitcase is for an
oxala here...fabrics for january...maybe i'll find
another ticket to come

my little angel mission for the future...

we leave to take her son to school....diego.   dear
me...he's a heart breaker at 5...i would hate to be
one of several girls when he's 19.

he grabs my hand.  he tells his classmates that i
speak "real english" in portuguese and orders me to
speak.   i say "hello, how are you" and the kids are in
awe...they can't speak...thier eyes are wide and mouths
are open with amazement

i speak true english.

later i read a dinosaur book to diego...a book he's
had for i don't know how long but since i'm here, what
better time to get a woman who speaks true english
to read Desmond the Dinosaur to him at bed time.

i am honored

the next day i leave for rodrigo again...a party for
an art opening closing...i'm learning that sao paulo
is mainly middle class white brazilians, that the area
sumare is expensive, that licence plates with a
certain ending number on an assigned day are
restricted in and out of central sao paulo between the
hours 5 and 8pm, that the central area is mainly
american banks and that transgenetic soya beans has
been booming to the economy..the downside is that
farmers will be dependent of pruchasing the beans from
the government since the beans do not reproduce

no one knows the side effects of these beans later one knows the health risks..the question is
does it matter now?

tonight i will learn something else about this city

umbanda is more present here than is candomble

i meet again at this home... this place so mysterious
and inviting... palms grow in the back garden and the
house itself is an altar for oxum...oxala, it's said
must be careful with the drink, the crown, the
tampering of hair...but there's brazil's drink, lime
and rum and sugar...served freely before we travel careful now...

we enter the party...

ever since i've been in this country, i've been caught
between being jealous and pleased by all these people
tonguing each other yuck yo...can you take
that shit home?! to a freaking hostile?

okay, it's not everyone but enough to notice...and
these ain't light smooches... it's easy to grab the
drink...gloss over and watch the action .

i sit and eat my cheese crepes, smoke a cigarette
with tobacco and corn husk, drink a warm beer and
watch oxala drink more

then it happens. someone falls faint, the cold water
is passed, the hands fan my host, we leave for home.
then outside the club, while the air is loose, a female exu
decides to visit

they say...

if i spell her name wrong , forgive me...nao fala

her hands are on the hips, her bottom lips pokes, her
eyebrows rise and diva

we are at the house now, she strolls about, the
incense is lite and moved around

fabric is found to become her dress...she wants
wine...her special glass to sip...

pomba gira...her the body of oxala

(when I return on sunday, i'll learn that pomba gira
has a strange connection to oxalas who are weak...)

i can't seem to stay awake...she speaks to me in
spanish...i wish her bom noche staying awake as long
as i can...i'm uncertain of this exu coming at such a a club? outside a club?

after the drinks?

okay, i don't know everything but i don't know what to
make of this...i'll keep my cup half empty

stay tuned...