Full Moon

The house, simple but rather big, felt even bigger without children living in it. The oldest would marry soon enough, the twins were living in the neighboring city, where the public university had just opened its doors, and they only came home on Saturdays.

As ever, her husband passed every cachaça-and-domino night at the bar. But there were two developments: for one thing, he now showered before heading off to his watering hole; for another, he no longer sought out her body for their little weekly bout of lovemaking.

“The Boat That Doesn’t Float”

1He could still vividly remember the first time he’d seen his home: the sun, the summer, those who’d come there before him. He, who had grown up swimming in the ice-cube clear waters of the north, found the warm water of the dark lagoon irresistible.

A champion-triathlete-turned-angoleiro2, he’d forget the words of that old mestre: If one foot is doing a cakewalk, the other foot is stepping in dogshit. He watched the skinny, black boys diving into the water, doing his best to imitate them with his wide, pale frame.

I Have Shoes for You

1She startled me, as they always do when they come to my world. She stopped maybe half a yard from me, head lowered, wrapped in black clothes so that her iron-straight hair was all I could make out at first. Later, it occurred to me it might’ve been a wig that she wore. Her shoulders were hunched, her arms thin. Her hands, when she removed them from the pockets of a jacket slightly more old fashion than mine, were gloved and quite small.