I was a bit high. I took the same street as usual from home to office, Rua Abolição. Rua Abolição has the best bloco during carnival…George and I ran into it on our walk home the Sunday night of carnival weekend. In the book I’m reading, Bexiga: um bairro afro-italiano there is a chapter entitled O Problema da Abolição. The street is out of sorts with its capitalized surroundings. The broader debate on the verticalization of Bexiga encapsulates a larger conceptual footprint for which Abolição is a border. The Center (e.g. Bexiga) is more like the periphery it is said. Race, class and access to services comparisons.
Brasiliens use sidewalks different than US Americans. It is rarely a linear experience. I enjoy the walk to work. During summer Brasilien men might walk to work with their shirt off so as to keep it unsullied for the workday. I pass a man with a very distinct iliac furrow.
Abolição is hilly and potholed, but has a bike lane. So many bodies in the streets, mine and others. We come close. I get this flash idea that a body is the sum of a set of histories and connections. I close my eyes hoping that the next person I pass will give off dayglow rays of light that show how they are connected and to whom. Some of the rays are darker and some lighter. I will want to cull out the dark rays, a control freak. But the dayglow idea doesn’t work. I’m not that high. My mother-in-law has more down-to-earth strategies for me, e.g. nightly candles, amulets and a healing ritual bath aptly called Abre Camino, which promises to remove obstacles and put me on the ‘open road’ to success.
I find myself daydreaming about a ray of light that might now connect me to the man with the prominent iliac crest as I arrived to the Copan.