Lovers in the Lilacs, Marc Chagall, 1930
My soul is a Carioca who lives on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. She’s a small lady in her early twenties, although she giggles that she’s as old as any of the gods mankind created in our thirst for knowledge. She’s five-foot size and three quarters, one hundred twenty-two and a half pounds and has hair that seems to change in length during each move of her body—sometimes it barely goes past her ears, other times, it sinks to her feet and drags a mean tail through the white-hot sand. Her eyes are taupe, and sometimes like azure emeralds, or on those truly magical moments when we fully unite, Sinatra-blue, and when she looks at me, touches me, runs her sensuous fingers up and down my hairy legs and chest, our souls meet, reunite, and live as if they’ve never parted.
She dresses always the same—only the color varies, in a thin nearly see-through bra and a taiga that hides nothing to the imagination . . . except her smooth secret places, which no one has ever seen or known. . . but me, just me . . . only me.
Her smile lightens whatever crowd, whatever race, whatever ethnicity, whatever age, all along the beach. No, that’s not right—she lightens every soul along the corridor of beach upon beach upon endless beach, all nine, from the northernmost Botafogo—a mere stopping place more than a beach-beach, one the gods left at the foot of Pao de Acucar to give us all a respite from the shopping malls, cinemas, mosaic sidewalks and hot-toed barefooted walk over broiling white sand—to the funicular that carries us to the top of Pao de Acucar. There the ticket taker smiles and waves us both onto the car free—as her light fills the darkness and casts away the gloom and our souls glow again as one.
Together we eat at our favorite restaurant high atop Sugarloaf—with a view of the entire city—eating like starving dogs on piranha soup, burping up fingers and toes and teeth of those who died and can come back again and again—just like us, even though they must first travel through a fish’s tummy.
Then it’s back down and onward, passing through the tiny Leme beach before crossing the canal to Copacabana—the place my soul waits for me, longs for me, pines for me almost as much as I long for her . . . year after year, paling, thinning, but still effervescent, shining our light on everyone who walks by.
When I’m gone, she wanders further south . . . on down to Arpoador then to the place the human girls hang out: Ipanema, although we both know that’s just a joke the Americanos believe, the only gorgeous girl is she who is my soul.
Then, on a whim, or merely because she can, she glides down to the nude beach, Abrico, grasping her tiny bra and taiga in the fingers of her left hand as she swings her hips as only a Carioca can and struts. So titillating is my soul, so very very titillating I hear those around her gasp in joy in my bedroom, forty-eight hundred miles away.
Then, when we both awaken, refreshed, renewed, re . . . is there a word that can express our love? If so, it is only knowable when our two souls are one.
Then she dresses and wanders along the seemingly endless Barra da Tijuca, leaving her footprints, small, so small no one can see them . . . except me nearly five thousand miles away as I lie on my beach here in Virginia, in my speedos, barefoot, drawing pictures in the sand, longing to spend just one more day with her.
And then our souls merge, mesh, nay, mingle, even though we are always together, these moments are special and shall never end.
Then she wanders and so do I, apart, together, bonded in a new word: Baopnadred. Coined now. In the beginning was the word and we were the word: Baopnadretd as she wends her way down to Sao Conrado then on to Leblon. She wanders them all when I’m not there, the locals say it’s to give them joy, but she tells me, she longs for me, and searches the crags and the seashells and the camarones, sniffing and searching for her broken soul and only soul love, so loved . . . so loved . . . so totally eternally loved.
And now I’m with her—real or just in my heart—it matters not, as our souls united and we play volleyball, my corporeal body living within her soul/my soul/ our soul, as our tight ass and smooth legs soar above the net and spike the ball and everyone shouts in ecstasy . . . or is it just me . . . or just her . . . or . . . more probably, just us?
There is no sadness in Rio de Janeiro—it was outlawed when Don Pedro became king and when our soul migrated there, across the oceans and the seas.
We embrace and make love there in front of everyone, next to the voodoo pits, the boys who sell Coca Cola and the coconut vendors at their stands who stand at attention, as do we, but in a different way.
And then, yes “then” there’s always a then . . . then it is night and the culmination of our love brightens the inky sky with fireworks that can be seen from every hotel window, everyone in the favela, every restaurant, every plane, and every bar as our love transcends the sky.
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