35poem

December 3, 2010

The reasonable request unanswered, he screamed in fits to win her attention. She was German or Finnish and didn’t understand. Universal hand swipes meaning get fuck out of the way. He needed the lamplight to thread guitar strings through tuning pegs.

“Do you have to do that now?” asked the woman sitting on the rock beside me.

He looked up from the sandy beach of his focus. Just for an instant. Then returned to the task at hand.

“Yes, I must do this now.”

I liked the way he moved. He was minimalist in his affection for strangers. No falseness. You had to win his mind.

He had two nicknames, one for his former life in São Paulo that I forgot, and Pizza, the double consonants of his present. He first arrived to Floripa with his girlfriend on an eleven day vacation. She’s now married to a local. He didn’t discuss details.

“Do you know if there are prostitutes at this party?” The same woman asked in an office-meeting tone. I knew Pizza’s annoyance because I felt it too.

“Most companions—the proper term—are university students paying their way through school. Just like you, probably. They make rich lonely men a little happier, for awhile.”

Not once did he look up from his guitar.

“Furthermore,” Pizza added after a pause. “Who is more puta, the woman seeking pleasure or the one seeking survival?”

LOCATION: Barra da Lagoa, Brazil – At a beach luau party with Alberte, Gonzalo, Gabi, and Ana. Earlier that afternoon Pizza, mutual friends, and I had grilled fish over a small fire on the same beach.

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