I Love São Paulo

All I remember is that we said good-bye when he was about to get in the taxi cab that would take him to the airport. We had spent the night drinking and snorting coke, talking about marginal writers, punk rock, our old town, and sex. Sometimes we were silent, listening to the humming coming from the neon sign of the hotel across the street from the room I was renting. The red light would shine on the blue walls painted with oil-based paint. It was a pigsty, but I had everything I needed there: an old computer to save what I was writing, a record player and over 80 records from Elvis to Nirvana, a library card and some change to buy a few bottles of wine and cigarettes. Oh, yeah, I also had three capsules of cocaine.

Not much was happening outside and we didn't give a damn about the rest of the world. He loosened up his tie and took his shoes off. Soon I realized he had stripped down to his underwear and was by the window, yelling.

“All you rats should burn in hell! Imbecile bureaucrats wearing ties, whores charging 1,000 bucks for a fuck, old decrepit academics, journalists who can't even spell, grotesque syphilitic teenagers, spoiled obese brats stuffing their faces at McDonald's, and guys that like pumping the iron, but can't get their dicks up and like taking it up the ass! Your diseased bodies should burn in hell, so there's not gonna be any of you left to keep this damn city going!”

I was rolling on the bed, laughing. It reminded me of our childhood in a little town, when he would do the exact same thing after taking his clothes off, climbing up a tree, and shouting blasphemies targeted at different groups.

He sat by my side. He was sweating and laughing like a maniac. We drained the fourth wine bottle and cut the second capsule of cocaine, making lines on top of the album cover for “Out Of Time” by R.E.M. “Near Wild Heaven” was playing and burning our hearts while he recited something about old Buck.

“Do you use that litter box often?”

“Go fuck yourself!”

“I don't see any cats around... Is it some sort of superstition, having a litter box in the bedroom?”

“The cat must have jumped out of the window... Maybe someone stole it. How the hell should I know? It was a black cat that picked its own name.”

“Really? How did he do that? Did he write it on your ass?”

“No, you idiot! After I found it in the streets, I was sitting here with it in my lap and asking, 'What should your name be?' Then it jumped and started rubbing itself against James Joyce. I swear, that's how it picked its own fucking name!”

“James Joyce? That's probably why it jumped out of the window!”

“Stop fucking around!”

“This damn city... Even cats commit suicide!”

“Why did you come then?”

“I needed to find out some things about my life.”

“Oh, so that's what you call pussies nowadays?”

We both started laughing.

“One of the things I've learned in this fucking place is that you always need someone you can trust and a little bit of money on the side to post bail. That's all because you can't touch a sixteen-year-old broad. Fuck, fifteen-year-olds are already screwing their classmates in the bathroom. How come they can't learn how to do it right with people like us? It's a crime to just lose your virginity to a fifteen-year-old boy! Do you remember how stupid we were back then? Holy shit... Another thing I learned is that if a girl smiles too much at you on a Friday night, when you didn't even bother to shave and clean up, it's because she's probably a whore and thinks you're full of money. Lastly, the third thing I learned is that if you don't get shot, die on a flood, get trampled to death, or get a lung disease, but your actual greatest accomplishment is dying in your sleep, then you're a lucky motherfucker who ended up being saved by the Creator, who came to rescue you from this shit. In person, you know? Maybe it'll happen to you. You look like that could happen to you.”

“Shut the fuck up! Do you know how many times my heart started racing because of this shit? I snort three times a day, man. I don't give a shit about dying in my sleep. Dying is always horrible and, at the same time, it's a blessing in disguise.”

“You're high...”

He put his pants back on and sat on the floor, looking through my last short story. It was damn hot and I had sold my fan to an Arabic that was selling kibbeh in a decaying food stall at Avenida São João.

“This shit you wrote... It embarrassed me. This thing about the little girl that is forced by her own father to prostitute herself at night while he's drunk. This girl that would steal some change from his wallet to go buy a doll she had seen at the mall. That's crazy! That's fucking crazy, man! How many kids in this city are sniffing glue, selling candy by a traffic light? And, sometimes, we forget that they're just kids, you know, like our nieces and nephews, sons and daughters, younger cousins... You gave me something to think about... Or is it this dope that's making me emotional?”

“Fuck, this shit is happening all over the place. How come you have to read it on a piece of paper to feel emotional or angry about it? Just look around! I don't understand it, you know, these people who go to an art gallery to see pictures of ragamuffins and, when they see these kids during the day, they just rolled up the window so they won't be bothered. They're all hypocrites! They're only moved when art imitates life, which is almost always done in a superficial way.”

“Calm down, bro! I didn't want to offend you with my interpretation! You know what? You need another line and another glass. Let's go get more wine. And fuck art!”

“Let's rock!”

On the streets, anything would become the subject of another discussion: homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk right in front of expensive stores, whores using flyers as fans to cool themselves off, and nightclubs with their perverse symphony of lights, smiles, and blood. Everything was crumbling down. Everything was about to happen. However, everything stayed the same. Post-everything.

We walked under the army of pigeons at Sé Square.

“My flight leaves in a couple of hours... Let's look for a taxi cab. Don't forget what I told you.”

“What was that?”

“You need to have someone you trust.”

Then he went away, leaving me with a full capsule of cocaine, a smelly room, and half a bottle of cheap wine on a sleepy October morning.

GUI NASCIMENTO was born September 1st, 1988 in Diadema City, State of São Paulo. 

Besides trying his hand at writing, he also goes to Journalism school and has a band called Jack's Revenge, in which he's the lead singer and guitar player. 

He entered one of his stories at the 7th Arts Exhibit of Diadema and was soon invited to participate at the São Paulo Cultural Map. 

He is currently working on a book of short stories influenced by marginal and beat literature, rock 'n' roll and alternative movies.

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