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The "jungle" I walk past in my daily commute.

            As I engage in my 5-minute walk back home, countless thoughts flourish amid fears of a shrinking end-of-month budget.  The light rain that falls this evening brings the gentle music one needs to feel happy or sorrow. Umbrella up, leaps down the watered street, my body reflects on the asphalt mirror like a character from a noir movie: Humphrey Bogart  or so, it only lacks the red-lip lady looking sneakily from a side porch.  Life’s a movie then, you play your part, sad or thrilling, giving up on a happy ending.
            Hiking’s cheap, flying’s much better. So many places to see, you can’t help remembering that song, “So far away from me”. The year was 1979, maybe a little earlier, people rallied on the streets for democracy, there were still militaries everywhere, overseeing us, lecturing us on whatever they wished or thought they should. We strolled pass them and glanced at the armored cars, because thoughts are free as far as they don’t get out of the enclosure of your mind; they can turn into anything from nonsense to glory. She wore bleached jeans, a white t-shirt with a light-hearted line written on it (“You’d better not follow me”), her breath could be felt in a distance – I mean, some meters behind.
-         You should go faster or we won’t make it to the bus station on time.
-         It’s your fault if we didn’t get a taxi.
-         Ok. Let’s call one.
-         Too late, look at that car pulling over.
-         You think that…
-         He will accept to take us up.
-         What do you mean, “he”? Hey, wait!
A lift isn’t something to turn down when you have a suitcase to carry and is trying to get to the city airport by 7 P.M, last call. How could I catch the guy stopped on purpose?
-         Where going?
She pretended not to know him.
-         To the bus station and then to the airport.
-         Coincidence! I’m going to Montalbino.
-         That’s…
-         Next to the airport, right?
-         Right across. Get in…

Funcionários neighborhood and downtown Acesita - Timóteo, MG, Brazil.
             Fifty meters up, I’m strolling along the wood that grows thick on both banks of the stream that flows at the bottom of the valley. It’s springtime, the first rains dropped three weeks ago, reviving the thirsty land and nature is now so lush. Drivers speed up, they don’t even notice this small piece of forest thriving in the heart of town. I hear buzzes, shees and light hammering crickets, sounds like the night party has just started and there is no time to lose. Abundance of insects and a favorite nestling time for birds, too. I wake up every morning and look out, mesmerized by the green blanket below, cause I live just three hundred meters ahead. The boy has already spotted the multitude of birds that take shelter in the trees with his hammer-and sickle-embellished binoculars:
-         We should watch and classify them by species, he says.
-         It’s easy now with the internet.
-         But we need a “real” camera with 20X zoom and Carl Zeiss lens.
-         Carl Zeiss? What’s that?
-                     They make the best lens, dad. We’ve got to buy a range-finding focus apparatus, as birds won’t come to our window to pose from up-close.
-         Must be right, but who will pay for that?
The boy’s right, we can’t hold back our dreams just by saying “it’s impossible”. Suppose someone has gotten fed up with his old Canon and would simply give it up to a curious eleven-year-old still in bud. Why not?
            We could put a notice somewhere stating that “a passionate bird watching infant seeks desperately the means to fulfill his dreams: a pro-rangerfinding camera with 20X zoom and Carls Zeiss lens”.
For now, we’ve got to close the glazed windows, as my wife complains that “the apartment has been filled with bugs, moths, walkingsticks and even ugly spiders, due to this sick jungle we live close to”.
The boy can wait. It’s never too late.

Night silence with city lights.

Abrão Brito Lacerda
30 11 16


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