In my carefree early to mid-eighties, at the height of the so-called "dark" fashion in Rio de Janeiro, when I listened to Joy Division, New Order,
Killing Joke, The Alarm and in especial The Smiths, the big time American to make it in my Sony Walkman® was Bruce Springsteen. I fell in love with his double LP and a friend gave me a cassette of the album. Oh, there was the early Jonathan Ritchman and there was Laurie Anderson, and the
Talking Heads . My friend in NYC gave me tapes of these.
I like to sing or hum songs albeit my voice gets out of tune at the third note, says Gabriel. Nicolas, my husband, can recognize what I sing, though.
(background info)I was a heavy smoker; I got away with smoking in class while I was teaching. My outfits was overalls, a T-shirt, my SonyWalkman®, my backpack, an acquired tem of practical fashion I picked up in NYC, and my Adidas shoes, royal blue with orange stripes. At night I used to hang out at a gay bar which served a delish tomato soup and drink Bloody Mary, Cochrane's. No wonder nobody ever made a pass at me ;P))
Rio de Janeiro is subject to unexpected tropical rain. This night was no different. A heavy rain fell, everybody was gone in a flash. I walked to the corner of an already deserted Botafogo neighborhood to hail a cab. To my surprise, a cab stops. The guy looked ug-leeee, scar-eee, but what the heck. A cab is a cab is a cab.
I hopped in a VW Beetle without a front seat, the cabbie asked me my destination, I gave it to him. There I am humming a song in Portuguese whose lyrics go,
"Stay with me tonight, you won't regret it, the wind outside is whipping cold, here warmth you will have." (Where did I get this song from?)
He goes in the opposite direction. Well, I thought, a little dazed by the vodka, maybe he wants to try another route. When we are in the street of the cemetery São João Batista, he stops the car. A conversation ensues. He demands,
"Suck my c***."
"????? No, I won't"
"Suck my c***."
This went on, the pouring rain outside getting no thinner. The dialog was as repetitive as those routines in "Waiting for Godot." Suddenly, he inquires, in a total off-topic,
"Can I take a piss?"
"As long as it's not in the car..."
My remark was nonchalant. I just sat there in the warmth of the car. He returns, says as he grabs one of my thighs wrapped under a semi-sheer white pantyhose,
"I always liked chunky white girls like you."
(Gee, thanks for the chunky. Good for me to be wearing a long sweatshirt that was supposedly a dress.)
"I got a Saturday Night Special in the glove compartment."
He opens it and shows me the cheap metal gun.
"Where are you going now?"
The SOB charges me full fare, and I let him keep the change.
Morning after it was English classes starting at seven. A double glass of cold coffee and cold milk, another cab, another day in the Cidade Maravilhosa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
View Larger Map