Tara DePorte’s Brazil journal 2005, excerpt

June 2, 2005

Day 1 in brazil: Ponta Negra, Patrick’s

I almost feel like I have to lie to myself because this is a printed page, which might be indicative of the fact that I want to write this down on something less permanent….But my heart feels broken. I think it was broken long ago, but I didn’t want to give into it and I’m suddenly truly faced with “total defeat”, if I want to put it in such competitive terms. Which it’s not…it’s the fact that I want someone to truly love me and to love them back so much and I keep wanting to hide that feeling from myself—that vulnerability—the fact that once I love, or begin to love, I don’t know how to let go. I don’t know how to give up on that dream. Or any of my dreams. And that is one that just doesn’t fit no matter how I try to mold it and with whom. I am sitting on a bed, in such a warm house, with such loving people, where in the room next to me—two people in love with each other are making love to each other—or maybe they’re just lying there—happy. Comfortable in each other’s arms. Somewhere far from any puzzle that include me. I’m the outsider—and they’re beautiful together. And I don’t know what it is I want—other than to have that feeling. To be the recipient—and no matter how I try to pretend it’s not, that hope was somehow still alive inside of me inspite of all of the “evidence” and the signs—I couldn’t give up the hope. And I still have trouble—with that “someday” prophecy. And it just feels, looks and is pathetic, Tara. I feel like a disgustingly desperate, clingy, lying person—who is in a loving house under false pretenses and I just want to run, to keep running—to be away from everything I know—to martyr myself as I have done in the past—to enjoy the loneliness, to wallow in my own sadness and stories, to be alone. The funny thing is that it all sounds so negative, so pointless—but yet I know I grow out of these “types of experiences”. That I put myself in them and run and can’t stay still and can’t choose and don’t desire until I’ve cut off of the circulation of the hope external to my sadly optimistic mind. And it’s raining—pouring. And I’d like to say I hate that, but I don’t. I’d like to say (as I did a few minutes ago ) that everything is horrible. That it’s all flooded in on me in the way I knew deep down it would—that my stupid fucking fairytale wasn’t about to come true. That dragging sensation—that self-assuredness is creeping in on me—that I am going to be consigned to solitude. Developed and fully executed by none other than myself. Or just because there’s no one that I would or could meet that would really match me—and I think I need to do a lot of thinking about that one. What the hell is inside of me that I either am incapable of accepting? Am completely unmatchable? Or just plain suck? And I see myself, feel myself, hear myself bringing the “others” in—to increase a sense of misery, to excuse myself for wallowing for crying, for falling to pieces, for running home tomorrow and just lying in my safe Brooklyn bed. God I would love that right now. And what have I done? Have I lied to myself and developed this ruse to work in this region in the hopes that I would woo Patrick? Fuck. I want to say “yes” with such an affinity as to make myself even more disgusted and self-deprecating right now. I want to say “yes” so I can also say that I’ve fucked up everything in my life, that I’ve lied so fucking easily to myself—the self-proclaimed truthsayer that I am—with all of the bullshit that I spew from my mouth on a daily basis. I can feel the robotic kicking in—when the eyes of other with glaze over and they’ll either wish they had never asked, or they’ll be drawn like flies to the trap and then smooshed….trampled over like I appear to do. I feel like the one that came to dinner uninvited. In fact—I am. No wonder that everyone in this house probably either feels pity for me or that I’m a pushy, stupid fool. I don’t know if I can handle this. I might have to run away—or bow out “gracefully” in the eyes of others. It fucking hurts. I feel like such a stupid prick. Why am I here? Why am I sleeping in Patrick’s old room? I feel like it’s so obvious, that I’m wearing everything I’ve ever thought of on my sleeve. Again—the pity. I think I’m going to have to go—I don’t know if I can swallow this and not show my true feelings…And that, I definitely can’t do. I guess I’m trapped here for at least a few days. And I really don’t want to think of it in that way—I don’t want to feel trapped in a place I felt so happy before. I don’t want to be reliving memories and ideas of being giddy. I don’t want any of this. And I should have just stayed away. A long time ago. I don’t know what’s wrong with me—I don’t know what I’m feeling other than overwhelmed yet I don’t want to be overwhelmed atall. There are so many things I don’t want to be and yet I always seem to relapse into being those exact things. I am a stranger here. There’s no doubt about it. I don’t fit—I don’t speak the language, I’m not the one being loved, I’m not the one loving—I’m from many lands away. And yet they’re so kind and open to me—but I’m not. I don’t feel like I am—I have been pushed into, no, I have pushed myself into a role that I am playing right now. And I want to hide. I want to stay in this room until everyone is gone, then sneak out, then sneak in, then be unnoticed and just wake up in my bed. In MY life. Not in theirs. I want MY LIFE back. The one that no one else can take from me. The one that I can control. And that one doesn’t exist and it never has. And it hurts. How many times do I have to say that it hurts? It hurts! It fucking hurts! I want to scream or sob or do nothing all at the same time. I want to relapse, to rewind, to restrict, to react to choose the right thing to do. And I can’t. I want to let go, to accept, to love, but I don’t think I’m strong enough. And I think a lot of me doesn’t want to do that as well. I could feel myself start to shift on the plane. To start to think of Patrick. To get excited, to have Jon fade…because he should fade. I need to listen to my instincts and not get sick, not get hurt. Know what’s real and so much that’s not. That I can convince myself of anything and then tell the story to my friend’s in a way so that they will totally agree with me and back me up with it. I wanted to say, yeah, my boyfriend was upset too. I had to at least say “yeah the guy I’m seeing”….why do I have to be so childish? Why is it an eye for an eye? Why am I here? I’m scared that I’m going to find myself in two months—and more—of misery. Of total isolation—just like I wanted—of timidness, of unproductiveness, of fucking pouring rain. Nothing. Nothing that I was “planning for”. All of which I truly new was on the way for me. What the hell is wrong with me? And John is real in some ways. So unreal that he becomes blatantly real. And I don’t want to “be with him” and I want to convince my ego that he really wants to “be” with me—but we all know that that’s bullshit. Maybe he likes me. Maybe he has some genuine admiration….maybe. But that’s it. I shouldn’t fool myself again. I should read that fucking book “Maybe he’s just not that into you”. Yes, that would sum up and make all of my little complicated fantasies so easy: that is the summary. The title page. And it makes me want to vomit. To go numb. To hurt. To go flirt and find another one to add to the page of “those not that into you”. And to fuck up another thing. I hear voices out in the hall and the last thing I want to do is go out there and face anyone. I don’t want to say one word in Portuguese and I don’t want to see them smile at me, or say a nice thing to me, or pity me, or not pity me because they don’t know the TRUTH. That I’m writing furiously in here and helpless. Helpless in my own fucking skin. And I’m the one to blame for the stupid fairytales. I should ban those thoughts….fairytales…forever from my life.

Day 2: Still….

I get such a sick pleasure from knowing that instead of happy cuddling all of last night, Patrick and his girlfriend were breaking up…It’s another excuse to keep my mind alive in stupidity. And I shouldn’t do it. I certainly wouldn’t act on it, but it made me feel so damn good. It almost doesn’t matter that they got back together, but still. Really, I had a great day with Wilma and Guillermhe. And know I am incredibly tired. There will be more tomorrow. Hanging out with “them”….the unmentionable….and more.

Day 3: June 4, 2005

Well, I am stuck in many ways. I do enjoy Patrick and HIS Girlfriend, but I have my limits. I don’t want to hang out with the two of them and it sucks that that’s how it is. I understand her wanting to be there…but it would seem that Patrick would at least offer to have some time just the two of us.. I guess he did the other night. It’s exhausting. To be the third person, to be the one who the other two would probably prefer not be there…and to know it. And to be in such an awkward position. But I also see myself finding—and probably looking—for more bad things in Patrick. If nothing else good comes out of this, I hope that my infatuation is truly able to leave for good. He’s definitely getting fat, which I don’t like atall. He’s interesting, at times, to talk with…but is so hard to speak with at the same time—and I don’t think it’s just a language thing either. I feel slightly bored around him. That I’m the one providing the energy,….And again get that doom of thinking that that will always be the case. And then I wonder how much of it is trying to convince myself that it’s all okay…that this is what I really want and I didn’t like him anyways. A big nanananana to myself? A big, who gives a fuck? And then I can feel myself not liking to be staying at another persons house…No matter how wonderful it is here. I don’t like the feeling of dependency (fears of intimacy too? I’m not sure that I think I have these..but I might). I don’t like not having a key. To have to worry about doing the right thing…although it’s not hard to do. And to feel like others are wanting or feel the need to entertain me. I guess I don’t have a full comfort, and never did, around Patrick. It’s not easy around him and I suppose never has been. Hindsite pretty much sucks and is a complete phallacy in that it becomes whatever you want it to become—good or bad, no matter. And I can see myself starting to want to focus on my studies…to look into matters, to explore on my own…to get away from others. At the same time I can feel myself rushing. Although I don’t perceive that Patrick really wants me around. Which, again, is not the most wonderful of feelings. He hasn’t said anything as such, but as before, there is not wanting me to stay…and I did invite myself AGAIN. I should remind myself of that. Although I guess it was more of a question this time as to where I should fly into. I don’t know…..Again, I find myself tired. I found myself tonight dreading the idea of a big rave with the two of them…and with all of their friends. It would be nice if Patrick acknowledged that it might not be the most amazing of situations for me. But I don’t think he will. His priorities are elsewhere. What makes me the saddest, as I’ve said before, is the death of a dream. And the death of love of some sort…if there ever was any. He is not the person that I created in my head. Some day I will totally come to terms with that one. Maybe not today….Also, he’s not what I need. No matter how I can try and convince myself of otherwise. There are many, many things that are bad and were bad. Why do I forget that? I seem to hold on to the bad for a short amount of time and then continue with the good…which I guess is a positive trait??? It sure doesn’t feel like one right now, however. I’m wishing again that they are fighting in the other room. That they will break up and he will come begging me and then I will have decided I’m just not really that into him….that’s my honest dream right now. And I’m not happy with that. With those feelings, with that undertone in my every move, even if my other sentiments are genuine. I don’t like it….And I’m nervous. I’m scared that I wont feel good in Fortaleza. I don’t know what to expect—from the place, from myself. From anything. I want to live in a safe apartment, near an artists area—young and with places to hang out in the evening that I don’t have to worry about going far from my house. That I can paint and draw in my apartment. Have a view. Be near the beach….learn portugues, surf. Go out into the Sertao a bit with renzo, but maybe even stay put for a bit this time. To work and to write. Have internet at my house and learn about all of the local libraries and universities. Make some money. Be shy or not be shy as I will. Be alone some. Not have a fucking exboyfriend and his girlfriend in the next room. Especially one with which I have questionable feelings……Well, all that said. I did enjoy today. I enjoyed hanging out on the beach with the two of them. I enjoyed talking with Moara…even though I don’t like her name (what a bitch I can be). I enjoyed playing basketball with Patrick and the other guys (although not one of them was even remotely cute). I enjoyed saying no to going out and retiring to my room. At telling Patrick that it made me tired to be the third person the whole night. All of this….all of this….

June 11, 2005

Things have changed. The rain, again, comes down outside as the palm leaves sway and the loud speakerphones announce the days produce, “ovos, mangas, bananas!” I was planning on leaving on Friday—yesterday—that I couldn’t take anymore of my mixed feelings, but I’ve felt differently the past few days. Maybe it’s the beautiful joy coming from Wilma and Guilherme—the fun, the beautiful weather, the time on my own, the good book on the beach? The rainy season doesn’t end in May like all of the IRI literature says—it’s definitely until July—or so they say. But the rains here are different. The clouds roll over the dunes of Ponta Negra and you can feel the constant heaviness in the air. Everything is damp and heavy. The air moistens your lungs…the streets are inundated with water, but everyone is still driving on—on motorcycles through 3 feet of standing water, just lift your legs. And there’s so much rain…it’s hard to imagine that most of the other months of the year will be dry—or so they say. Although the papers say the rainy season is January to May, May and June are said to be the time for rain—particulalry June, which is evident now. But everyone tells me it’s different in the Sertão—like the man who rides the beach on his horse, dressed in the revolutionary garbs of those who freed the north—the Sertão represents other. Just as in true throughout the world—the city and the country are different countries, different people, different foods—“carne de sol” and “quejo de Sertão”—and although it is raining here, the word is that only the coast is so fortunate. Just a few hundred kilometers from here, it supposedly might not be raining and they will only get a small percentage of the rain that is here.

June 12, 2005

It’s hard to think about which “decisions” are best. Most of me says that my decision to stay in Natal and find an apartment here is good—I can explain it and it has very good “sounds” to it—It’s safe and comfortable here, I can find a place cheaply, I like it here, I know people here, I have contacts at the Secretariat and could possibly work with them on some of their participatory projects,..I can play basketball twice a week, know where the capoeira is, know where everything is….but yet I have the same old knot in my stomach right now as I think of Patrick and Moara. It’s not a healthy thing and that I know. I gently told Patrick that I didn’t want to hang out with them…and I hope that being on my own will avoid me feeling this way…but it’s still hard. It’s like choosing between the lesser of two evils, not evils, but hard choices nonetheless. I need to learn how to relax my stomach and to talk more with Patrick—I guess. Part of me just wants to try and forget, but part of me can’t. It’s so confusing in many ways. And it goes in waves. I wonder if he feels anything for me other than friendship? I wonder if he really would/could when he is still with Moara? I grimace at my subversive hopes that I will ruin their relationship, that he will dump her for me….similar to what I think happened with me. I wonder…if I had stayed longer? How does life change with small decisions, with small actions, small words. We are so delicately imbalanced….so consistently on the apex of a mountain..sometimes with paths that are treacherous, sometimes soft slopes.

June 23 2005

I just went out with the most ridiculous guy…I can’t stop laughing in that I don’t know if I was suffering from heatstroke or something when I actually thought he was cute yesterday…I must have been delirious…He’s tiny as hell, had his hair combed to the side, was chomping on his gum the whole time, didn’t offer to pay for anything (including his own drink!!!) He slouches…I was laughing because I am stoned but also at how ridiculous he is and we looked together….Wow. What an experience. I will definitely say that Dennis went up to the top of the charts with that one!

Well this is just too much thinking for one stoned gato.

June 25, 2005
Okay, now I feel like a masochistic bitcch..Or really happy, which ever you want to take seriously. I just had the perfcect night. I made a fucking amazing dinner for Wilma, guilermhe and Patrick,…we went out dancing and playing pool….and we danced a lot…it was really fun…adnd I danced a lot with Patrick, and it scares me how much this makes me feel good…Like a repayment, like I’m getting control…part of me fears that I a in it for the game, but really I feel genuine all of the way, which I think makes me feel that much better. I am happy being friends, truly happy with it…and then this happens and It makes me feel that much better. It’s a bit weird and conflicted, I know, but somehow, right now, it’s conforting….Ahhhh…my weird head..I can’t figure out what is left and right here—maybe because I don’t know the words in Portuguese, but it may be because I’m retarded right now…yes, that’s probably it. This is going to be a journal of complete incompetence, which I will NOT include in my fabulous thesis that I’m not working on at all…hmmms, maybe I should be drunk and high when I write my opinions…what on earth? Uhh…I’m dealing with a really mixed bag with these guys….

We’ll see, as I always right in my “prophesizing statements”.

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