Wednesday, March 29, 2006

An alien from the past

Yesterday I had this rare opportunity to confirm one's initiation and transformation. I met an old friend. A friend from college.

The first three minutes of the meeting were enlivening. His eyes shined when he saw me, and I would bet mine did too. We sat on the same table. Between overwhelming calls he received in his mobile, he started to disparage the restaurant in a really mean vocabulary. Then my food arrived and he disparaged my food in a very journalistic fashion as well (or should I say, 'as bad'?). Then I mentioned an Art place in Sampa I'd like to visit and hadn't had the opportunity yet, and again more belittling came my way. I was leaving my fiddle class, fulfilling a creative dream, and he was going to watch a jazz concert--certainly not for fun, but to meet a key contact that could hire him for a meaningless private magazine about another beer label or remote resort. All the four years without seeing each other, once full of stories and insights and jokes and gossip and inspiration to share all of a sudden became blank. We had nothing to share. So we pretend we did, and told a brief summary of our past three years.

He came over to maintain the journalist facade. I moved because I torn Maya's veil and broke free. Three years ago, we were very, very close. Two ugly ducklings with a crucial choice ahead: play the game or lean towards the edge. And each of us went one way, towards our own swanhood.

Now Paulo is one of the refugees from Rio de Janeiro bankrupcity, working as a journalist in a posh district here in a city with his own name but which he hates, doing the average work of an average outsourced journalist: breaking hearts and trampling over people to dig a piece of news out of nowhere. And then sell these news to people who actually don't care a fuck about them.

And I am a born-again artist, who resigned the lies and games, and devote my time to creative expression, healing myself, my playmates and Gaia, and working wonders that not even I can understand myself yet.

I finished eating, obviously without tasting the probably delicious leek and cabbage palm sauce spaghetti (of course I ordered spaghetti--I thought I would eat alone!) that an overdose of sarcasm and criticism wouldn't let me TASTE, we promised to get in touch again, talk more, bla, bla, bla, and he vanished with his journalist friend who talked so mean of the Instituto Tomie Ohtake.

And I was left there in the restaurant he hated, with the food he hated, and went back to my life he would probably hate too.

And the meeting was over. Like that old life I had, that would make me what Paulo is now: cynical, skeptic and very bitter, hating the place he lives in because he hates himself.