sábado, 1 de março de 2014


4. The snake stories

Saturday, February 2

The "rolinha" dove made a nest and layed eggs inside the trellis in the veranda where Ginny had tended to the blue flowered morning glory vine. Niece, nephew, grand-nephews and grand-niece were overjoyed. They checked on the progress of the eggs, fed them grapes and loaves of bread, appreciated the daily visits of the "rolinho", the he-dove.  In the last day of their stay at the beach the eggs hatched. Isn't life great!? 

Family left the next morning and we were overjoyed with the silent time to cook a little shrimp, a little rice, a sprinkling of some lemon on hearts of palm, cold, cold beer.  We had been there for a week now, still one week to go before we had to stand in line once again!

Then there came the snake, a meter long, gray, round headed, thin tailed.

"No problem", says I. "Don't kill it, it is not poisonous, I KNOW!"

I had to convince them all. They all wanted to kill that snake, poisonous or not, because to their eyes, it deserved to be killed.  To my eyes, it had round eyes, a tail rounded at the end, no sharpness to its demeanor. I was sure of it, it was not a poisonous snake.

We went to check on the status of the newborn. We were just about to place a mirror near the nest to see the birds.  I had just removed a bunch of offending grapes and a huge stale bun from the nest. 

The snake met us eye to eye.
She snatched the birds right there.  
No broom would stop her, she was seriously committed. She had waited for two days hidden in the yard, at the corner of that trellis, biding her time, waiting for the children to leave.

So we went to the beach to tell the story. Business was very slow, we the only customers sitting outside the Italian restaurant by the water. Chatting away with Monica and Renata.  Gordon had baked some ciabatta and with some of the leftover dough, he had baked some bread sticks.

Fernando, the roofer, came by and told us these thin gray snakes are the very, very dangerous "preguicosa", the lazy one, and so we should proceed very carefully around her.

"Oh, great!" I think, "and I though it was just a garden snake!" 

Vilma, the cook joined us to tell us that this snake is "the very, very dangerous "cipó" snake. For sure, it is the infamous ‘'vine" snake!"

She tells us an uncle of hers died suffocated by a "cipó" snake, right inside his house. They make themselves very, very thin like a pencil and then wrap themselves around your neck and suffocate you while you sleep, "while you're not even paying attention."

According to Vilma, all snakes are to be killed. All snakes are very dangerous. Most will jump at you. Like scorpions, they will kill on contact. We were not talking about scorpions, but out of the blue Vilma tells us she had a brother who was married to a woman who died from the bite of a scorpion. 
"But", I said, "scorpions, yes, but not all snakes are dangerous?! You mean to say all snakes will kill you? "

"Yes", said Vilma with absolute faith. "I have no doubt, whatsoever!"
Then she did something extraordinary.  She went to the kitchen for a while and came back with one of the bread sticks carefully painted as a snake. Perfect scales, eyes, fangs, this adorable and dangerous blue and tan magic marker painted bread stick snake. 

She fondled her stick.  "I named this one "Augustostrictor", after my boyfriend!"

She had no doubts.  All snakes needed to be killed.
Meaipe, 2006


3. Mais+

Meaipe, Sunday, January 28


All around, bandits assault busses along the mountain roads.

So we travel by car, we travel fast and we break through the bandido’s mountain highway barrier. They cannot catch us anymore as we land in the wild lowlands, in the state of the Holy Ghost.

Sandwiched between the high granite of the gray green mountains on our right and the hard yellow sandy dunes, the endless beaches to the left, softly flotsam and jetsam, reflections of gray green azure of water, possible swimming all the way to Africa, possible walking south all the way to Patagonia.

SURPRISE! We thought we were going to the quaint fishing village, quasi vacation spot for the summer. We land instead in the land of glitz and sexy semi naked sensual people. 

"MAIS+". The new nightclub of Meaipe! Appropriate for the mood of the local people, coming from nearby, from faraway and everywhere, lining the streets to gain access to more and more and more. The fishing village has changed with the arrival of MAIS+ and MORE.

Women are buying new glitzy bras and shimmering gowns to shine inside "Mais+". The red brown dust of the village roads kisses the delicate golden red brown skin of these babes.  Dressed to dance and to be seen (or to kill), they know right away they have ruined their high heeled shiny bare sandals, as soon as they smell the fishy muck of this backed up sewage of this fishing village set on more.

But for MORE we will do just about anything! Even ruin make-up and high heeled sandals in sewage. 

I am told "The first world has finally come to visit. We have made it! And we will show you! You the imaginary folk of the first world! We will show you how it is done!!"

And so they stand in line, females in barely covered fronts and very bare backs. No big breasts, they all belong to the female species of small tits. The males, more subdued, busy counting notes and buying tickets.  A serious female mutation happening here. These dames are on a hunt and in full plumage. These female cats are showing off.  The escorts, the males may take on an occasional silk, an occasional soft cloth, but overall they look gray.  Barely out of puberty, they strike me as mimicking confidence. 

But the women, ah the women they are out on a hunt - preening and plucking their plumage - serious business of pheromones on display! Pheromones in training? What is this? Pro-life, pro-creation? What motivates them?

I intuit decadence, in the keen sense that seeds and other vegetable creatures concoct in order to assure the perpetuation of a species in danger. Unconscious behavior?!
Something is dying, and these young women, these young men know it! Something has gone amuck, and so these babes of procreation must spread the seed and stand in line to MAIS and to more. 

Meaipe, State of the Holy Ghost, 2006