Of Mais & Men

10 de Julho
Val’s Lanches, Parati, RJ 7:00PM

Another city, another world.

We walked into a weird one this time. The fleeting, smoky rumors we heard in Búzios were true, and we stepped off the bus into the dead center of a literature festival.

All the pousadas, full. After an hour of wandering, bags in hand, we found a spot at three times its real price on the wrong side of town. Stick it to the tourists, the universal Brazilian anthem… But these, these are not your normal tourists. These people are a breed apart, thousands of teachers, bohemians, and book dorks at large descending on cramped and colonial Paraty for a four-day literary shitstorm. A ton of no-name writers and… *intro music* Salmon Rushdie! The hunted man himself. We’ve been wandering from bar to bar, drinking heavily and searching for Sal. He could use a couple of bastards like us, highly educated and literarily indoctrinated martial artist bodyguards. I will fuck an Islamic bounty hunter up. I don’t give a shit. There comes a time when one

*much later*

Devil cachaça.

You do it to me every time.

Sal was a no-show at the bar scene, the fuck. A Paraguayan poet named Leransomething told me he heard Rushdie had been captured after sunset by Goiaba Indians, taken at spear-point to a black hut in the south mountains. The Indians here are a wily and isolated people, and they plan to hold Rushdie ransom until some sort of separatist jungle indigenous peoples state is established. “Listen here, you frumpy hack,” I told the poet “These Indians are a kind and quiet folk who make hats and baskets. They wouldn’t know the first thing about negotiating with corrupt regimes or ransoming a prize like Rushdie. You’re a damn liar.”

These book people are worthless. A city full of English teachers who don’t speak English. Liberal arts, friends…

Let me tell you: Liberal Arts does not know how to party.

Knit beanies and corduroy skirts, brown scarves and wire rime glasses… you fucks. The men are chickenshits, pensive and fragile. The kind of men who pay other men to fix their fences or change their oil. The women are short and mousy, giggling coffee addicts who own more umbrellas than shoes.

Two virile, opinionated Americans like ourselves are an Unknown Quantity. Leering at their women and bogarting their drink, we roam the muddy streets like a couple of wolves when the shepherd’s away. You spineless bastards… I want to grab every writhing, stooping fuck here by his magenta turtleneck and scream “Do you even know who Kurt Vonnegut is?!?

Portuguese is a language for pop songs and flirting, not serious literature. These people don’t understand that.

Instead of wasting our time with the teeming ivory-tower multitudes, we walked over to the narrow and gravelly beach this afternoon. We ate delicious fried fished and watched the children fight kites. We discussed important topics, like quantitative measures of human worth and the true value of “progress”. Long and heated arguments ensued, but conclusions were achieved. Working universal truths out over cocktails in southern Brazil is, honestly, the only way to do it.

Our guide, Yara, is a delinquent Bahiana half-breed who scammed us into going on a jungle trek with her tomorrow. Fluent in English, Danish, French, Spanish, and a local Indian dialect, she spends her days harassing tourists and making her own leather pants. She’s completely dishonest and greedy, which in a way is gracious honesty rarely found in Brazil. We haggled her down 30 reais, and are still getting ripped off, but less so than the other twats on the hike so we win. Yara is a strange one, a heavy drinker on others tabs and a remorseless commercial predator. She’ll likely lead us into some sort of cannibal ambush tomorrow, picking digital cameras and loose change from our warm corpses as the natives retrieve their poison darts from our necks and prepare the barbecue. She speaks perfect English, and I never trust Brazilians who speak good English. To speak good English you have to think like an American. God help you when you meet a Brazilian capable of thinking like a gringo.

We spent most of the night with her, drinking horrendous “figos” cachaça out of worthless Brazilian plastic cups and looking for horses to steal.

Squealing brown children climbing in the trees, mimes, poets, and Indians roaming the avenues, pompous, wool-clad professors crowding the narrow, muddy streets, and us.

The grinning, towering, vicious Americanos.

Welcome to Paraty.

Now I must rest. Our expedition heads for Trindade at sunrise, and there are many miles of unforgiving Atlantic rainforest to be hacked through.

The only real tragedy of this town is that I don’t have my tattoo yet. I’d rock that shit here like rednecks rock Z28’s. Reppin all day.

Look upon me, cowering Brazilian intellectuals.

Behold the future of American literature, and know fear.



/*Editor’s note: Here there is a drawing of a six-fingered fist with Freak Power written under it. Who knows.*/

P.S. Also, Nate pulled off the best mistranslation of the trip thus far.

*In line at the ATM*

Random Brazilian Peasant (Portuguese) “Are you in the line?”
Nate (Portuguese) “Yes, sorry, we are already in your daughter.”
RBP(Portuguese) “What?!”
Me(Portuguese) “We’re in the line. LOOK FIREWORKS!”
RBP(Portuguese) “Ooooooo.”


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