ISSN 2359-4101

Brazilian Literature in Translation / Literatura Brasileña en Traducción

Issue / Numero

year/año: 2012
issue/numero: # 04

The bittersweet syllable

Author | Autor: Marcelo Mirisola

Translated by Fabia Vitielo de Azevedo Cardoso

Yesterday, after one more “little recommendation” of Frank’s, I was introduced
to Sol, my new bungalow neighbour. Sol is Thais’s friend, comes from Sao
Paulo and is involved in the project “Mongoloids in Greenhouses”. She has
Princess Sapphire1 tattooed on her shoulder, and wants to fuck my ass.
“Is that all?” I asked.
No, of course not. There is more. She told me that cold cucumbers can help
avoid baggy eyes, gave me a vase with white violets, and I went to my own funeral
without being invited. That was nothing. So, in spite of the little holocausts that appear
here and there, I have found myself a new way to get hand jobs and a new source of
irritation? Or else: was my distance simple pretence, while her dick was for real?
Sol is bony and has wide hips. A matron from the future, distracted and
detached, who – who’d think? – wears plastic dicks strapped to her waist, “in several
shapes and for many purposes”, as I had deduced and as she’d told me herself,
giving the dildos a name: “They’re my dickies”. There is no contradiction in that.
Now, what I can’t say... and maybe she doesn’t know, is this: is it, on her part, a
consummation or an improvised calamity? Anyway, I don’t believe, although the
never subtle appearances mix plastic dicks and distractions, that the two things go
together. I don’t think so. The fact is that Sol seduces as an amateur female, and
makes use of a sincere, focused affection whose danger could be misunderstood
(or shared, my God!) as a close, friendly, fun cynicism. She is aware, in spite of all the
pretences (mine included) and all the schemes she invents to fool herself, to win the
asses of the unsuspicious, and to make distances dangerously shorter. Sol told me in
confidence: “I would like to be a transvestite”, and then she said she was in love with
me... but I (sincerely...) didn’t listen.
Her genitalia are fat and I have no ice cube in the place of my heart. Much the
opposite – I need this damned affection to fool myself (or let myself be fooled). Sol’s
situation, by the way, is identical.
“I will give you my ass, Sol.”
I also made some threats. The way things were going, I could only make threats
and count with myself. It’s always been like this.
“Here it is.”
Well, I have always used a lot of excuses to justify the unjustifiable. To fix the
irremediable, like a less full-of-himself Caio F. Abreu.
“Sometimes, I make magic!”
Sol left very, very clear that she didn’t fuck faggots.
But what about the day after? What would I say to Frank, when he asked me to
“do him a little favour”? Oh, well. I just wanted to see where (apart from my own ass,
of course) that desperate (?) woman would stick her lying dick. I just wanted to see
her breaking down in tears and laugh at the endless rubber thing strapped to her
waist. She, with a hard-on. Me, in total madness.
“So you feel something there? The ridicule, is that it?”
My erect dick.

But she incorporated priapism for real. I took up my ass the infernal contradiction
(hers?) and brought her soul – which was the bug rubber dick – much closer to
me (more than I would have wished and that she could have imagined); and now,
instead of giving her love in return (look at that... I got fucked anyways), I crapped
on her dick – for real: actual crap. After that, Sol made the distance between us even
shorter and the dimension or equivalence of her own horror was projected on that
crap-covered dick. We could not pretend.
“I’m gonna suck that lollipop, Sol”, I said, finding myself obliged.
The intention was doing some cleaning. In the beginning, she was disgusted,
but soon (after I had sucked all that chocolate), she kissed me on the mouth. I
didn’t understand. Maybe she wanted to thank me? I don’t know. The question I was
asking myself was; why was she sucking on crap and tears, copiously, and I – as I
had arranged with the little man – couldn’t even get some compassion out of that
embarrassing situation?

january 12
The demons of solitude threw a big party here at the bungalow. There were
cashew sweets and guarana. I kept myself to myself, and it was not due to ingenuity
that I didn’t plan an ode and a twisted curse: war and victory – on the contrary
(and then things would get tough), I would have to answer to myself. In other words:
I held my head up. I ignored the visits, watched little boats go by. Until I couldn’t
do it anymore. So that all crossroads and all lights from the darkness – there wasn’t
any wind, the lagoon was totally still – disappeared on their own. Solitude, however,
made me forecast disasters, and I – in a counterpart, let’s say – once I had given it all
up, but was unaware of that, could see the calm of the lagoon as if somehow I could
give it back distributing cashew sweets and all the horrors spinning around me with
whisky and guarana. It is worth saying: counting only with my discredit (the least,
the least), I tried to give back to the lagoon all the ignominies and presages that
came from nowhere. The demons, sons of bitches, put on a CD and started playing
the blues. But I couldn’t. Simply because I chose not to believe.
“Oh, God! Give what back, and to whom?”
Well, among so many disagreements with nothingness, I couldn’t – as if I had
had a chance – get rid of the night and of the misadventure of being with myself.
The night was very hot.
I didn’t know fuck about the night. I saw little boats, I waited... but I could do
nothing. Ever.
The lagoon kept still.
God damned melancholic blues. Sometimes I think that we have to “watch the
boats by negligence”. Or else – I’m not sure if it’s about severity or prudence – give the
nightmares back in the same measure. Maybe this is better than suicide. Somehow, I
mixed up whisky and guarana, betrayed my fake diamond and, after Aldir Blanc and
Joao Antonio (come on...) I learned, among other tricks, to embrace my resentment
and suffocate it. In short: I was really fucked up. The difference (on my favour, why,
God?) is the sophistication of this suffocation. I suppose that, much beyond the little
boats, my resentment has the exact measure of sadness, and the sterility that I have
always wanted; embracing it and using it, however, does not free me (in spite of the air
that I lack, almost by enchantment) from the weight of this fucking soul that suffers.
Negligence, in this case, is only the overloaded work of someone (this “someone” is
me) that will not refuse suffering and walks willingly to his sacrifice.


May God’s will be done... or any son of a bitch’s will. I prefer the first alternative, in
spite of it all. This, however, is just a detail, since I give myself the right to “have my
own will” and choose whoever chooses me. I mean, since one or the other will end up
fucking me up, and I have no different option, the best thing is to “support” these guys
and pretend – in the measure of verisimilitude – that I chose to be the chosen one.
... when all wishes are answered... isnt’t that it?
And there’s more. I run away to chase things that don’t belong to me, except by
the fucking date. So, it’s silly to talk about comings and goings, if I can’t avoid escaping.
If I did so, I wouldn’t do it right by myself even in suicide. The desolated landscape is
embarrassing. I’m against it. So I generally go – I mean, I always go – nowhere.
I have learned how to die here.
If I’m unhappy – as I’ve already said – it’s because God exists and I cannot do
anything but invoke Him and go ahead, committing the wait, the normal assassinations,
and the abortions that made me be like this, so grateful and compassionate in my
defamations and injuries; a nice guy, in spite of the non-negotiated exchanges and
the losses that are given to me as miracles. Everything’s under control.
The nightmares, little boats and sunsets I submit myself to – or would I be
submitted to? – force me to hate as one who loves, and vice-versa. Or, at least, to react
(!) and fight back – and offer my ass in the same measure. I cannot look for hope and
faith when oblivion is nothing but an artifice and forgiveness is only a faraway untold
desire – and it is worth saying: uselessly –disguised as distance and isolation.
There are two images I associate to faith and hope, and that also – at a similar
degree – can be associated to forgiveness and oblivion. The first one, evidently, is
the sacred heart: closer to the appeal, to official languidness and to precariousness.
The other one is Sol’s dickie: also asking for something impracticable, which wasn’t
worth her abandonment or even the rent she left me to pay (because she fucked
my ass and left). The quails are next: they are responsible for what I call “the great
intercession”. A diagonal cut – deep and two-sided – to the effective and necessary
realization of miracles.
Even so, there is no defence. Ort any kind of reaction. Inequality is patent on
my favour! So I discard the alarms, and in my last analysis (that is, if there is any
resistance...), I resist as if I was a giant, but with all the merits and diligence of a
worm. Which is a curiosity. In short: an infernal little man like me, having shame – as
if having “desires” wasn’t enough – and hell served on a tray.
Tomorrow will be the same. What can be done? The first thing to do is to tell
the shop assistant that I have given up the game: “how much is it, miss”? Next, I
will make things right to the pizza place girl, and then I have to face Joana’s fake
sweetness (or would it be a consecrated Cris...?) What else? Oh, yes. The inexcusable
ideograms tattooed on Janaina’s pubis. “How much is it, miss?” Look, I’ll pay for it.
Let the curses and damnations come, and together with them, if possible, a little
love story and a beautiful sunny day, and may my life be changed into a margarine
commercial, with all the comforts and happiness of this calamity that is to wake up
to yourself and live for the others, before and after the nightmares. Something that,
by the way, I claim as part of my “legitimate discredit”; any small things. I want to
watch the blue sea, the earth down there, and the ruins. Ah, girl... a shotgun.
How much is it, miss? Ah, girl... for all that you were promised, and for God’s
sake, “how much is it, miss?” I will confess you something. Before the fall, I wanted to
write for entertainment, like Paulo Coelho and Shakespeare. To embrace Heidegger’s
isolation and grumpy anguish, and to read the author of “Being and Time” and
uncle Freud together – but that was before the fall, and it was the same as reading
your horoscope before entering the gas chamber. Ah, girl. Before it all, I wanted to
make a big mess of everything. Now, girl, I am satisfied with changing my star sign
according to my needs, and would never “be loved” or “love” without a warning,
or exchange fear, an unfolded, sensual feeling, for any suffocation method similar
to hope or anything that brought up puzzle games, Legos or other lies that would
fatally cause an increase in taxes and a mandatory political party television time. Ah,
girl. I just wanted to write a five-hundred page book in one single paragraph, and
kill mother, father and brother, and leave all my money to the Jews in the last line.
Or to write a love letter to a talentless suicidal friend and, before my own suicide,
to make adjustments and rewind some stupid archetypes and bedtime stories. I
don’t know, girl, I wanted to kiss women’s thighs and apologize like Fausto Wolff’s
acrobat (who could be me) and then fall... naturally, in vain; but you know, girl, I
haven’t drunk enough yet... so... I would like to know: “How much is it, miss?” and
if my sweet, consecrated Cris...............................................................................
........................................., I mean, called me? I would call her “My lady Macbeth”... and
then, I mean, after the silk scarf she wears around her neck and together with her
“elegant views” – which I have decided to call “our pre-established lies” – I would,
girl, just because of the enchantment, invite her to fornicate with me and convince
her to wait for me so we could repeat an early afternoon like we had the other day,
when I held her hand and kissed her mouth. Well, she wouldn’t take me seriously.
But what matters is that I would convince myself, and consider myself invited. Me
and her, suspended like that. You know, girl, Cris is a strange person, and I suspect
she’s the only woman who accepts my strangeness. A sadness that is no sadness. I
wanted to have her beside me, and never ask: “What’s wrong with you?” Her silence,
her weirdness, the suspicion that has something melancholic to it, nothing of this,
almost nothing, not even the everyday pettiness and a self-service Indian restaurant
where she likes to eat, nothing, almost nothing would make any difference between
us, and our little affair would be merry and insufficient. Until a day came when Cris
would throw glasses at the walls and cry in the balcony, imitating something that,
perhaps because of our unmeasured love and my scepticism, she would never (“in
practical terms, baby”) would be able to or have a reason to give back to me: “it’s all
my fault, I’m the crazy one!”... I would agree, of course: “That’s right, you’re crazy”.
Maybe to make things better – something useless... or maybe because I had no way
of persuading her, I would also say: “I don’t understand what happened, either – and
I will never love you (I would never use the phrase “take care of you”) as I should”.
Well, that would cause me a lot of trouble – it would be hard work to explain to her
what “I should” was doing in the place as “love you”. All this so that she, Cris, and I,
the one who got fucked in the ass, could meet again, suspended like the first time.
Why doesn’t she call me? Her almond-shaped eyes, sweeter and sadder than ever.
Eyes of someone – like me – who doesn’t know what to do to love, and loves, lost in
herself, much more than she should, beyond love itself.

1. Ah, Sapphire! Japanese cartoon from the mid-80s. Prince Sapphire fought against his enemies with
the same weapons that the guys from the 5th grade (myself included) used to fight against the guys
of the 7th and 8th grades. But at night, Sapphire dressed as a Princess and became a woman. The
little faggot (who was actually a girl) used to throw our minds into a twist. We, the 5th graders, who
did not know where to put our desires or what exactly to do with all that pent-up tension. From that
time until now, the confusion just got worse. That was a low blow from Sol.

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