It’s now Thursday, five days into my visit to Rio, to Alcir,
and we’re home, and he’s drinking.  I have never known
anyone who can drink like he can, and yes I know it’s a
bad sign, and yes I know Brasilians drink more beer than
any other country, and yes in that tropical heat, that half
frozen freezer stored refreshment cannot be beat, but…

This man has such high tolerance to everything, since
maybe birth, and so it’s a gift and a curse.  I have seen
him put away liter after liter, go to the store, buy eight
more, I drink one, he drinks the rest, and while he’s out
he’s done shots of Scotch at the local garage bar.

Yes, along those winding urban streets there are countless
bars in garages, little gatherings of men sitting on cheap
plastic chairs, smoking and bullshitting.  It’s a part of
Brasilian culture, the men just go out at night and drink.

So Thursday he drinks, we cuddle, he asks me not to
let him go, and then sneaks out when I fall asleep.
Friday there’s the usual hangovers, denials, and Mr
Bad Mood.  Sullen isolated shit head.
We go grocery shopping at the giant Mercado that we
usually walk to, sometimes holding hands, but this day
he drives us, because his elderly Aunt Maria needs to
go too.  He goes to a chair at one of the little mall stops,
and Maria and I go in with our separate carts and get
what we need.  She is not a happy person in general,
but when neither speaks the other’s language, it’s pretty
lonely.  She cooks, and I can’t even ask her about
ingredients or where something is.  And he’s back in the
mall drinking beer, and beginning to refer to
us as “you people”.    This does not bode well.

I’d so looked forward to getting out and shopping for
things, finding new fruits and vegetables, people watching,
and now he’s just mean and doesn’t want to be there.

When I’m in line, which is always endless… I mean, take
a book or some playing cards when you shop here…
he comes by long enough to load the cart up with beer,
and a big Scotch.  Oh, and I’m buying.
Of course I’m buying… I’m a rich American and I’ve
intruded upon his space, and I will pay.

Maria and I are now pretty much the same, in his eyes.
Irritating women who want something from him.
Never fall in love with a man who hates his Mother.

 

_____________________________________

… not even a week ….

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