A story for Riley

Riley asked to hear a story about Brazil. I’m not sure this is a story, but it’s a start…

Countless nights, we would be up at 3a.m. and would all decide to get together so the boys would go kayaking on this lake, or just talk…. maybe fish. I rarely ever made it home before the sun was out. I had no reason, really.

Some other times we’d drive to this very spot just to make fun of the couples who apparently had no private place to go and be “intimate”. You could totally tell what was going on on those shaky and foggy cars.

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Now that I think about it, most of the nights, I was the only girl in the group. No wonder today, I’m the only woman in the office. I’ve been around the guys so much I sometimes forget I am, technically, not really one of them.

My best memories are at night. Me and my friends are all night owls, I’d say.

While all the surfers and the pretty girls would spend the day at the beach, we’d reach it in the middle of the night and watch the sunrise above the rocks. Just a bunch of nerds.

Except for Serginho, the life-guard. Kindest person you’ll meet in this lifetime.

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To this day I am not sure if I was part of the group or if I just tagged along with them randomly from time to time. I know Penna didn’t even like me at all at first, but he was just so unique and cool and admired by the whole group that I wanted to write a book about it. He is the reason why I have a hard time acknowledging that I was as much a part of their lives as they were of mine, since they are the coolest people I have ever met.

This kind of shit makes me miss the old days and it makes me sad that, no matter what I do, I don’t get to go home.

The reason why I can’t go home, even to visit, is because “home” is not there anymore.

The greatest people I’ve ever met, the best group of friends anyone could ask for, they are not down the street like they used to be.

We have all grown up and moved away. All of us. We have become a little buzz on each other’s phones… and boy, how happy that little buzz makes me.

Sometimes I get a little heart from Leandro… ’cause there’s nothing left to say. We have been talking for over 20 years and could talk for a billion more. I’ll tell you a secret, I miss him every day.

Sometimes Guilherme will send me a song, like he did today and make my day. He’ll make my day ’cause his voice feels like home wherever I am. We have been friends since I was 9 years old. He’s the soundtrack of my life. Whenever I feel alone or scared, I look for his voice again and I feel like he’s there, growing, changing, becoming a parent and facing the world with me. And again, I am ready for anything.

There is a chance I’ll see Serginho again. A good chance. A very good chance! He’s the kindest soul I’ve ever met. He’s made me a better person just by being who he is.

And then, there’s Diego. He’s the little piece of me that’s missing right now. I am having a hard time enjoying all these great things without him.

I wish they’d all live down the street again one day…

Ok… but there’s still a lot to go, and this story is quite short. So, I’m gonna show you some pictures now.

This is what the beach looks like during the day, Riley:

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Yes, you can actually drive your car there, which I notice most people find very weird. I was never your beach-girl, but yes, I could walk there for 4 or 5 hours. I’d normally stop because whoever was with me couldn’t keep up. I was a different person. I absolutely miss that person and I wish my girls could play on this sand some day, but the news we get from there are scarier and scarier every day.

And this, Riley, is a ship. It got stuck there (I’m sure there’s a term for this) in the 70’s I think.

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This is what the ship looks like today:

Ver‹o Numa Boa

This is a little bit of home. I have more stories to tell. Too bad it’s such a different place now…

Good night, Riley.

Please, take me home.

I was reading this beautiful blog and it got me thinking about things…. The way she describes Canada as her home and also the home of her great, great grandparents with so much love and affection got me thinking about what it must feel like to be home.

I’ve been fantasying about walking into my own house, to find my family sitting by the dinner table, or perhaps just having a video game slumber party in the living room for way too long. The house in my head is not big and beautiful. It’s small and cozy… it’s also ours and it makes us not want to leave.

It is a sad thing to not feel at home where you live, to not have your own house. It’s a feeling of abandonment. You want to go home, but home is nowhere to be found.

Ever since I was a young girl I wanted to leave this place. I remember opening my window and crying over the view. I was seven. Everything was deteriorated  and poor and just plain sad. I didn’t belong here. It wasn’t the worst place in the world, it was just not where I wanted to be. I can’t really put my finger on the reason why I’ve never liked it in here… but it’s there, lost in my memory somewhere.

That same window has been threatening me for 33 years now. I haven’t moved an inch, but things are about to change. We are leaving, finally.

People say I should stay and fight for this place, but I don’t think it’s really my battle to fight for a place I’ve never loved. I think I’m lucky to leave. I’ve never wanted to stay.

I just need to be somewhere where I can open my window and smile even if the sky is gray. Specially if the sky is gray, actually. I seem to find the winter rather poetic and welcoming. I’ll finally see the snow.

I hope we all find our homes… and I also secretly, or not so secretly, hope the people in this new place don’t see us as intruders. I hope my girls are well accepted… I’m not really worried about me, as long as they are fine.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed and my hopes up. A better life is about to start.

Wish me luck,

Love,

Shelly