Blackhumouristpress's Blog

November 2, 2011

Cleveland de Brasil

Mathew, Mark and Luke all lived in a gated community on a hillside that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.  All three of the men were part of the hated 1% of the United States that appeared to be flourishing off of the backs of those being displaced from homes and depleted of savings.
            Mathew and Mark had become friends with Luke and his wife Maria a few years back after Luke made a killing buying and selling real estate.  Luke’s name was actually Joao, which is John but decided to go with the middle name of Lucio or Luke. Understand?  Orange County in California saw home prices tank before the rest of the nation.  Luke moved from Ohio by way of Sao Paulo to southern California and quickly became a very wealthy man.
            Mathew and Mark’s wives, Martha and Myrtle were friends with Luke and Maria and really appeared to like them but actually were suspicious of them and wondered how it was that both of them could seem so in tune to one another and so happy and content and yet never speak to one another.  The quartet noticed that quite often, Luke and Maria would just look at one another without saying a word and it appeared as though they had a conversation with their minds.  Mathew finally said to Mark when Luke went to his wine cellar to get a bottle of wine that he had purchased at a small winery in Italy.
            “I think these two are aliens…  I know it sounds weird but how do two people look so perfect, act so perfect, never fight, never complain and yet look at you as if they know something you’re trying to hide something that they already know about.  Who comes from Cleveland and makes a fortune in real estate?  What’s their secret?”
            The three sets of couples sat eating and drinking wine in Luke and Maria’s backyard that had a magnificient view of thePacific Ocean.  It was warm as the sun began to set.  The wine flowed like water.  Luke had more alcohol than he had had in quite some time and could not contain himself any longer.  Luke was no longer the quiet observer as usual.  Luke went from being quiet to loud and aggressive yet maliciously playful all along.
            “Let’s play a game… Shall we?  A game of, ‘I know what you’re thinking’…  You all must agree to this first.  I want to make sure we are all on board,” said Luke.
            Maria grabbed her husband by the arm without saying a word.  Luke pursed his lips and held his hand up.  Maria blinked hard and took a seat with her arms folded.
            “This game is called Guess the Guests…Now then… One among us is sleeping with another among us while married to two others among us.  One among us has actually been set for life since birth and has set up a faux business to give the appearance of hard work while screwing the secretary while she shoves beads up his ass in his office.  One among us worried about insider information that they had knowledge of and is worried about the feds closing in on them.  One among us is fucking everything they can whenever the chance presents itself including with friends of their offspring.  One among is certifiably cuckoo and is on every sort of medication you could imagine to help this individual walk a straight line.  Straight enough so that nobody knows or suspects that something very wrong is going on inside their brain…  I’ll make this easy on all of you.  If you take me and my wife out of the running on this guessing game, that narrows the field to just the four of you.”
            “Luke! Nao… Por favor, pare.  Eles nao sabem que podemos ler suas mentes…”
            The guests were stunned that Maria could speak another language other than English.  She looked like them and sounded like them but then suddenly bust out in another tongue when the chips were down and out.
            “You see it for yourself tonight, my dear friends…  My wife and I are truly capable of disagreeing, of fighting, of disappointment in one another.  Here I am a Midwestern fly-by-night who happened to have that Midas touch… Like Goldfinger, right?  I make money hand over fist and you all wonder how.  How is he doing this?  How do these two manage to get along so well?  They seem plastic.  They seem fake.  They seem to be aliens who use some sort of telepathy to communicate with one another like some sort of weirdo Twilight Zone bullshit, right?  You’re goddamn right that I see it in your eyes and read it like a book.  I know your secrets…  I know your dirty little secrets and you can’t hide from Luke.  I  know when you’re being honest and that is far more than any of you know about yourselves…  So as they say in Brazil or shall I say Cleveland, after too many drinks; go fuck yourselves and cry or have another drink and dance…  I will be back.  I am going for more of the truth serum… A little of that Cleveland Indian fire water.  You either be gone or remain when I get back.  You have a choice.”
            Nobody left the table and nobody spoke while Luke was gone.  They were all stunned and shocked by the brash outburst of a man who had never said very much in the past.  Luke had never bragged or judged before. Loud Samba music accompanied Luke’s return.  Luke laughed loudly with a cigar dangling out of the corner of his mouth, holding four bottles of red wine.  He was singing along with the song in Portugese.   The guests all guessed it was Spanish.  They were wrong.
 
            Batom- a bala bate no meu coracao.  Dentes espalhados pelo chao- Natural- E a vezes social…  Vai la cou boi!
           
            Nobody in the backyard had ever really heard Samba music before or danced to it except Maria who had grown up with it long before they reached Cleveland.  They all drank and all danced and gave very little thought to the things Luke had said.  They may as well as have danced naked. Their inhibitions disappeared. The Mexican wait staff and the Vietnamese au pair joined in on the dancing as did neighbors adjacent to Luke’s property until the sun came up over Santa Monica Boulevard.
 
            At about two in the afternoon following the party, Luke stood and stared out at the water the way he had once done at the Atlantic Ocean as a boy and Lake Erie as a younger man.  He held a cup of coffee and suffered through a headache as he watched surfers off in the distance wading on boards, waiting to catch the right wave.  Maria approached Luke and without saying a word, spoke to her husband in Portuguese.  I could write what she said to Luke in Portuguese and it would really sound pretty.  In English, this is how it went;
 
            “You nearly let the cat out of the bag last night.  I really thought you were going to tell them how we know… They could never begin to grasp how we know things.  It would blow their minds.”
            Luke or Lucio, Joao or John, took a drink of his coffee turned to his wife and replied without opening his mouth with a big toothy smile.
 
            “Pessoas de Cleveland… pode ser estranho… 
 
             “The People of Cleveland… can be strange”

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