From Alexander Bloomfield’s apartment in Rockville, MD:
I caught a cold from Grampy’s helper Bertila on Monday, so I’m feeling congested and have a sore throat. I’m still cooking meals for Grampy and the rest of us with Mom’s help. Grampy’s spirit seems to rise when he eats good food, although sometimes he claims not to care about what he eats. He definitely has a sweet tooth, consuming a lot of cake and chocolate. Luckily, getting him back on his blood pressure medication has lowered his blood pressure to acceptable levels. Twice a day, Mom, Grampy, and I sit around the table taking our blood pressure and we all remind each other to take our pills each morning.
I went down to the front dest of the apartment building yesterday where I met Bev(erly) and asked her where I could go to buy a boombox. She told me where I could go, but then mentioned that she was trying to give an old one away and she’d be happy to bring it in the next morning. I told her a few times I’d be glad to pay her for it, but she said she didn’t want anything for it. When I asked ni9cely one more time when picking it up from her this morning, she mentioned that if I really wanted, I could get her three or four mangoes, so that’s my mission before leaving here on Saturday.
I’m lying around listening to the music I got in Brazil and trying to recover rapidly from this cold. I’m homesick for San Francisco and lovesick for Guille. I want to get myself set up at home to do yoga then write for a couple of hours each morning. I want a bicycle that won’t strain my neck when I ride it. I want to start swimming 2-3 times a week in a nice swimming pool.
I’m experiencing Internet withdrawal.
My first impressions on returning to the United States–
- I’m still hearing Portuguese chatter even when people aren’t speaking it.
- Three obese passengers requested “extenders” on the plane so they could buckle their seatbelts.
- I had a discussion with a guitarist named Mary in the Dallas – Fort Worth airport about political, economic, and social problems in the United States:
- Medical care disappearing
- Education system failing
- Corporate control of media
- Cost of taxpayers of wars — corporate lobbying and profiteering
- Effect on cost of travel abroad
- Intense effects on workers of corporate welfare capitalism — multiple jobs, long commutes, no time for political awareness or participation
- Concentration of increasingly immense portion of all wealth in decreasing proportion of the population
- Time to buy land abroad?
- Bloated faces of U.S. pod people
- People don’t touch each other as much in non-sexual contexts
Nothin’ much sadder than a
Beach town in the rain.
The place ain’t built for it
and the sky water leaks down
through cracks we never guessed
at onto the sunburnt necks
of frowning tourists who flee sunward
stranding only those who
have no better destination in mind,
afloat under thundrous skies.
From TAM Airline Magazine, May 27, 2006, pp.52-53:
The maracatu ritual orginated with Brazilian slaves, some of whom remembered ceremonies for the crowning of kings in Congo. The King Balthazar cult arose from these ceremonies and occurs in Pernambuco state. The ceremonies take place especially during Carnival in Recife and in Zona da Mata where the party is known as Maracatu de Baque Solto.
Chest sculpted by the sand and the waves
tufts of hair between muscled breasts
the young surfer flexes his bicep
carrying his board to the sea.
Wading then paddling in the waves
to sit floating, awaiting the perfect swell,
the chance to skim the surface
of the roiling water as it breaks
crashing in calumnous cascades
on the shallow ocean floor.
[written on Jeribucaçu Beach near Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil]