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brazilian guest and the brazilian blues

published: 2012-09-15

Yesterday, I was at a dinner. It was themed ‘Brazil’ for the guest of honor who came from Sao Paolo. I know the guest of honor from the past. He worked in Amsterdam, I worked in Brazil. And so our worlds kept crossing.
When you separate, the web called life falls apart. Threads spread out over the floor, intertangled but no longer connected. Some pieces of thread have no apparent end. They just lay there, on a cold floor, slowly unraveling.

A few years ago, I went to Brazil to do research for my novel The Consul General’s Wife. At the time, I was in a relationship. We have a child together. He and our son were in Brazil too. Those were probably the most intimate few months in our relationship. Our son turned two, learned some Portuguese, ran around Copacabana on his chubby toddler legs and with a little white hat on his blonde hair, unaware of what was to come.
One time, I turned to fold up his stroller. I heard a scream and within a split second realized turning to fold his stroller had been a grave mistake. There was a ball, my toddler son had run after it towards a four-lane through road. A Brazilian man swept him up. The man pushed my son into my hands and shouted at me for being such a bad mother. How could I? It took me a few hours to recover from the shock. Meanwhile, I was trying desperately not to show my despair to my son. To just play and be happy, pretend nothing was wrong. Safety, is what a child needs.

We do things in a split second of our lives. People get angry at you, scold you. And you fold your arms around your son while hoping that feeling inside you fades. Yet sometimes, the memory of that moment in time comes back. And for a minute you are right there, back then, in that one singular moment that made you feel the way you feel now.

It will fade again surely it will.

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