You Changed Me, Brazil the Beautiful

In the middle of the humidity I stood sweating,
The mosquitoes biting me, the lizards watching from a satellite camera.
Mud streets filled with olive green puddles from the last rain storm.
A skinny man with a pot belly stood at the corner of the alley way taking a piss
There was no such thing as policemen, a police state.
The bacteria in the water was growing into a sickening monster with no effect on local natives. Where was the fastest way for clean water?

My mouth was dry and sticky, lips chapped and bleeding.
I had been walking out in the jungle heat for over five hours.
My skin was burnt red and my pours full of oil.
An old fragile man with a white scruffy beard and a blue baseball cap road passed on his rusted bicycle, strapped to the back was several large 1 gallon bottled mineral waters.
His stony coarse voice yelled out “Agua Mineral!”
I looked at the tall dark skinned man I was working with. His hair short enough to see his scalp and his musk smelt like feet.
He could see in my eyes that I was dying with thirst.
“lets keep walking” he said. “lets keep walking.”

Passing each shack, with stone walled gates around each home.
The top of these white bricked walls had broken glass bottles sharp enough to cut flesh, green, brown, clear, red. They glared in the sun light giving off warning from any local fence jumpers or thieves.
“This was not Kansas anymore, Dorthy.”

Children played in the streets with no shoes on their feet.
Bright yellow and blue t-shirts with dark green and brown shorts
that looked like they hadn’t been washed in weeks as the cloth lay on their small bodies.
A homemade soccer ball came rolling down the street towards us. Plastic bags with rubber bands holding it together in an oval shape.
My co-worker kicked the ball back towards the kids. They stared at us with curious eyes, but forgot all about us, about me. The game continued on its way.

We kept on going, passed the children playing. I almost didn’t notice the small body sprawled out on the side of the dirt road. Silently I stepped over his legs and on to the road. I stared at him for a while. His dark skin basking in the sun light. His rib cage sticking out like a dying patient at a hospital, no shirt. He had curly black hair and a stubby nose. he wasn’t dead nor in a state of consciousness. A deep sleeper with dreams bigger then he. Stunned, I couldn’t look away.

Back home I had a car larger then most of the homes I was around. Certainly with nice leather seats, air conditioning, and a cd player. I lived in a middle class Mansion, I was filthy rich, I had food to eat and belly that was full. I thought I had everything these people didn’t. I was wrong. I never had what this child had. How could one person not be worried about anything going on around him? I thought. This child had something I’ve never had. A carelessness that I desired. He was free to be him. Free to be alive, and free to rest. He didn’t know nor cared for possessions. All he wanted was to lay in the sun. He was happier and more content then anyone I had ever laid eyes on.

The man I was with grabbed my arm, “lets keep walking. keep walking.”


9 thoughts on “You Changed Me, Brazil the Beautiful

  1. You create the images right in my mind…reminds me of NIgeria…and yes, these children carry dreams bigger than what we think is their nightmare.. .”A deep sleeper with dreams bigger then he. Stunned, I couldn’t look away”.
    – I really like this sentence. I wrote a poem to this effect- “In their eyes”

    You did a great job with this post sir, a great job!!!

    1. Thanks! You always say the kindest things. Hope your having a great day today. I’d love to read that “in their eyes” poem you did. Is it on your blog?

  2. Brilliant, I love how poetic the whole piece is, sounds like a wonderful place as well and yes we are kinda lucky with what we have but kinda not – I watched a documentry about children coming to live in England and there was one from Pakistain the audience loved him because he was dancing all the time laughing smiling so beautiful but to the English kids he was weird and as time went on his spirit was crushed it was so sad. At the end the kids now teenagers came to the front to answer questions and he just simply had nothing to say no confidence at all..I just wanted to tell him I’m so sorry.. childhood in these ‘rich’ countries are so awful you get judged so much and bullied its unreal. (i’ve probably gone off the subject matter slightly oooppss!) Its just what you said re the kids, I completely understand.

  3. Mineral water is water that has either naturally or artificially added minerals. Many forms of mineral water are also carbonated, which may also be the result of natural processes. Unlike sparkling water, however, mineral water does not have to be carbonated, and is defined by its having over 250 parts per million (ppm) of a mineral substance.:

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