June, 21st 2017 — Paris came to me
This article is part of the series “What is like to attempt suicide and fail”. Start there, if you have not read it yet.
A beggar hugged me. In the dead of night. Under the red of a traffic light. Beggar’s clothes, beggar’s dirt, beggar’s hair, beggar’s mounds and beggar’s breath. He hugged me tight. To my ears, whispered two or three sentences in a beggar’s dialect. Incomprehensible. Then, in clear Portuguese, he asked me for a Harley Davidson like mine, as a gift. I explained that I only had that “barely”.
He greeted me and left to the sweet melody of the Municipal Guard siren, put to work exclusively to him. The beggar said goodbye with the certainty that he had left the best hug he could. It was a great hug, indeed. I received it and logged it to the annals of my memory. After all, I’m changing. Trying to improve. And for this new self, a beggar’s embrace is worth two points, rather than no point, as has been the case in the not remote past.
Growing up hurts. After a certain age, even more so. At 40, I am a container of childishness finally giving signs that it will break. My cracks are stubborn, but they will eventually give way.
The maturity that arrives wants to take many things away from me. It took, 80 days ago, any trace of appreciation for alcohol. I have not had a drink in almost three months. It’s a little thing, but it’s also a lot. It’s 80 days more than no day. I intend not to drink for three more months, then six, and twelve, to infinity.
The boose was never my friend. It loved me in the first sip. It embarrassed me in the second and knocked me over in the others. Made me lose a lot of everything. Beginning with composure. Ending with the respect, affection, and love of many. I lost bad people. I lost good people. I lost what I could have. I lost what I could not have. Everything from my drunken twist, which ended in time to save my life, but too late to save the rest.
And here I am. Giving place to her. Maturity, who still have not convinced me to give everything up, weak that I am. I like to cry when I see beauty. In music, in art, in books, in verses, in nature. I like the cry of longing. It’s stupid, I know. Missing hurts. Maturity, I suspect, intends to take it away from me. I hope it doesn’t succeed.
I changed therapist. You wanted “The Doctor”. Me too. It’s not going to work. I wanted to explain, but I’m not in the mood. So let’s forget about this and focus on the fact that there is a new therapist. In four visits she already thinks I like pain. That I need it to live. She must be right. It’s the only explanation for me to hold on to things that bring me suffering. Another one to blame on my falling in joining arms with maturity.
I’m enjoying the therapy, though. In the first two consultations I spoke almost 100% of the time. In the last two I spoke 98% of the time. Talking so much distresses me a little, I confess. It gives me the impression that I should listen a little too. But that must be how it works. My experience with therapy is minimal. This week I’ll come back to talk some more. I do not know how to evaluate the result, so I’ll say it’s excellent.
I have a psychiatrist. She dresses wonderfully well. She has an incredible haircut. I notice these things and almost always evaluate everyone’s competence by appearance.Is that good? Of course not. But at this point in the game you already know me and you know that there is no good thing coming out of here. The important thing is that she prescribed me new meds and I already feel better. Except for the fact that my vision wento to Limbo. But I still have not been able to associate things. Let’s wait.
I got a call from my French friend, Christian. He is French inside and out. But he is Brazilian too, and so he knows all about the troubles of the Land. From a café in the vicinity of the Arc de Triomphe he called me. He wanted to offer me words of comfort, encouragement, “stand firm” and all derivatives of these. He is a great comrade. A good pal.
But I, who am not so good, distracted myself within two minutes of conversation. The thing is, in the audio of our call, I noticed that the sound of Christian’s background was… Paris. With the song of the great pleasures of the Earth. I turned off the ear-canal which was listening to Christian and indulged in the delight of that uncontroversial tune. The beating of bowls, the spinning of the spoon in the coffee cup, the couple talking to the left, the movement of the waitress’s hips, the handsome boy to whom the hips moved, and finally the blonde girl with a ponytail, blue eyes As we have never seen and the smile of a fairy. An angel showing off the electrical connections of my head, using Christian’s call as a transport to a blue, white, and red space on my chest.
At that moment, while poor Christian spoke with walls of the Brazilian countryside, I went to Paris. I found myself inside the city, savoring its smells, flavors and glimpses. There I stayed for a long time before I landed in ecstasy, slapping my face, explaining everything to my friend, and thinking that it was time to have coffee with him in person. This courtesy I owe.
My life is normalizing. Slowly. And with that, strangely, losing grace. The more stable, the more innocuous. With time and remedies, the depression disappeared. But nothing came to replace it. There is a blank space, without function, anesthetized. Waiting, who knows, for the visit of the angel with green eyes and sweeping smile. Or the hug of a smiling beggar at any traffic light.
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