Sunday, February 27, 2011


Today is the first day I can remember when I have not eaten any meat, at all. I did have a large cheese omelet, so a vegan I am not. Although I would like to reduce my meat consumption, I don't expect this feat to be repeated anytime soon.

Today I did not leave my house. This is not the first time this has occurred in recent history, and I expect it will be repeated relatively soon.

Carnaval starts this week, so I expect I will be leaving the house with some frequency over the next few days. We also have guests arriving starting tomorrow, which is always kinda fun. I'm a little nervous about Evani's slightly bizarre cougar friend who is supposed to spend the week here helping out- she may drive me insane. At least she means well. And she will help out.

In more important news, Lucas' new teacher has suddenly decided to resign, for 'personal / health' reasons. They called us parents in to a meeting to tell us. Lucas is bummed, he likes her. He's liked almost all his teachers, so I hope he likes her replacement as well. The meeting, after we got over the teacher-leaving part, quickly degenerated into a group of frustrated mothers complaining that their kids can't read yet, even though their public-school friends are all reading and writing already. I'm not worried. Lucas will be reading soon enough. I only hope he becomes a real reader, like me, and enjoys it.

Finally, be careful what you put on Facebook, because your old acquaintances might figure out things about you. I often wonder what happened to old friends and roomies and so forth, and until this social networking thing came along I did just that- wondered. Sometimes Google helped, but now all I have to do is search a name in Facebook and it comes up, more often than not. Then, the next time I wonder about that person, I can go and see if they've done anything interesting, like gotten married or had a kid. I enjoy seeing old friends with their kids that I've never met, and probably will never meet. Well, I got wondering about this guy I shared an apartment with about twenty years ago, so I went and had a look at his profile. We'd friended one another, but as so often happens, never really made contact beyond that. This guy was super nice, and an excellent roommate, but one thing has bothered me about that time in my life- and I discovered it needn't bother me any more.

You see, I had just turned 21 and was just getting used to the idea that I could walk into any store that sold booze and buy myself some. I liked beer, so that's what I bought. Six packs of Red, White, and Blue if I remember correctly. I'd hang out in the living room and watch TV, drinking the beer, and not thinking much of it. My roommate would almost never share the living room with me, instead, he would stay in his room, reading the Bible.

I discovered he was religious as soon as I moved in, but didn't think it was going to be a problem. Lucky for him (or for me) I wasn't smoking anything at that time, so that was never an issue. I was 21 and oblivious, and it wasn't until much later that it occurred to me that it might have bothered him that I was drinking in the house. This became more and more of a concern of mine, to the point that I remembered myself as this nasty punk-rock drunk trying to lead his virtuous roommate to temptation. I kinda wanted to apologize for my insensitive behavior.

Well, all that changed when I looked at his profile and saw him with what looked like a mixed drink in his hand. A bunch of his status updates mentioned meeting various people at different bars. And there was more than one reference to 'partying hard.'

No more guilt. I don't believe he started drinking because of me- my guess is it happened long after we shared the place. So he probably doesn't remember me poorly- after all, he did friend me.

None of this would be a big deal except that I know, because of the faith he was a part of, his drinking is a very big deal. He is almost certainly no longer part of the church. This was probably as radical a life change for him as my moving to Brazil was for me.

I'm not a religious person, but I try to respect all religions, even when I don't agree with a lot of the doctrine. I must confess I was a little saddened to see him with that drink in his hand. Or maybe just a little shocked.

So now what? Do I write him something on Facebook, put something on his wall: "See you like to PARTY now dude, rock on!!!"

Nah. Too awkward. I won't do anything. Or rather, anything beyond writing this post. I still have fond memories of the guy- he was one of the first people I met that was interested in electronic music and he was waiting for electronic beats to get mixed up with Jazz, something he was also an avid fan of. When I first discovered Acid Jazz, a couple years later, he was the first guy I thought of.


Fabio Bossard said...

Hey, man!
How are you? well, about the religious guy all I can say is that you both were young. People change, and maybe he was going through this religious phase at the time. Don't blame yourself or himself. Keep thinking of the fond moments you spent together.
happy carnaval!

markuza said...

Hey Fabio-

Sumiu meu chapa. Yes, I think you're right about that. I mostly wrote all that just because it was such a surprise. Hope you are enjoying your Carnaval as well!

Fabio Bossard said...

oh man, I will spend carnaval cooking and watching dvds. It's been raining real bad in Rio. Bummer!

markuza said...

That's too bad- we could use a nice, hard rain storm to clean off the streets right about now, it's starting to smell pretty strong.

Fabio Bossard said...

I can imagine.