Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rain in Rio

I was excited because on my search for falafel, I had found a synagogue.  Maybe I would find my kosher Amazonian queen at services.

Friday came, and I noticed it was getting dark.  I got dressed to go.  I came to the synagogue at 6pm, but was told services were at 7.

I grabbed some dinner at a nearby cafe.  Leek quiche and fresh squeezed orange juice that I doctored with sparkling water.  As I am oft to do, I ate half, and wrapped up the res to share.

I returned at 7pm, and saw the women walking upstairs.  Great, how was I to find my kosher Amazonian princess if we were a floor apart.  I entered the services, and immediately was disappointed.  An ortho service in all its mumbling glory.  I couldn't even figure out which page we were on.  I wasn't the only one. I have no problem following traditional services, I have participated in those the world over.  But ortho services are something foreign to me.  No community praying together, just individual mumblings.  I stayed for ten minutes then left in my disappointment.  Not the most disappointing service (see under: Mexico City) but not good.

I headed down to the beach, stopping to get a small bottle of wine and a small loaf of pão frances.  I sat on a stone bench facing the sea and I gave my own benediction.

The wine was abysmal, so I bought a coke and made catambas.

As I sat on the bench, I looked up in the tall florescent beach light.  Little drops lit looked like snow flakes in the incandescent glow.  It was beautiful.

But beauty quickly became a beast, as the heavens started to open up above me.

I took cover in a nearby beach bar, to have a beer and wait out the rain.

Then the heavens open.  Le deluge, apres moi.

We all huddled under metal conjoined umbrellas as the torrent came down, soaking the ground and our feet. I stood perched on a wooden chair as I sipped brahma beer and dodged the sideways rain.

But I was content, swimming through memories.  I had a rainy last night in Rio once before.  I was at a samba club.  I was dancing with a cute brasileira.  I can't quite remember her face, but I remember the silhouted dancer tattoo on the front of her left shoulder.  We were dancing together, but fumbling with communication.  I was getting ready to go, but made one last attempt at non-verbal communication through a kiss.  And kiss we did.

We locked lips, and didn't come up for air for an unexpected eternity.  When we finally pulled away, we both looked at each other with surprise, and mumbled: woah.  And then we dived back in.

Under the rain in Rio, with the pulsating samba beat, we remained locked in lips-oblivious to the rain coming down and soaking our white shirts (at least her white shirt, I remember).  Eyes-wide shut, teeth-clacking passion while we swayed in the samba beat as the rain poured down.  We were in our own lock-lipped world.

Eventually, we pried ourselves loose.  I, to go back to my hotel, alone but in love with Brazil.  Can't say that that love ever went away.

Baal zichronot- an untranslatable Hebrew word that could best be described as a guardian or keeper of memories.  I travel on to unlock the past from memory.  Journey on.

PS: After I returned to the hostel to take a hot shower after the cold rain, I headed back out.  A young orthodox father and his 2 kids were walking past.  I smiled, and said shabbat shalom.  He lit me up with a smile back and wished me the same.  And thus I found my shabbas peace.

No comments: