Once you got there. It was believable. The green hell was overwhelming. It enveloped like swaddling cloth. This green cradle was ever on the verge of smothering its children with maternal overabundance. The liquid air whose lackadaisical stirring swayed palms, ceibas, the whole ark of creation. This air felt like a sloppy overeager kiss. Yes, I believed it.
This is where we were born. This is where our cities were born. Here were all the combustible elements needed for launch. The fuel that propelled a thousand ships, like seeds upon primeval air, to land in Egypt, Greece, Babylon, and Thule. From such ground they’d flourish till the blossoms withered.
What we have been collecting, collating, and binding are but febrile petals. A gossamer chaff. It was better than nothing and so a commendable pursuit. But there were other ways other methods.
And I imagine that’s why we were here. We were here to meet the dreamers. Those who can trace the ruins of Babel and make it stand as it once did.
There was an element of eschatology to P.LA.T.O. Yes, of course, behavior modification was the primary objective but…one must know which behavior to modify. The etiology of extinction…
I understood all this as we thumped along the knotty boards protruding from a river of might beyond all reckoning. It was mystic. I felt awash in profundity as her aroma lilted up from beneath and all around like some hoary Thurible.
My spiritual zeal was quickly shattered by the scent of Feijoada. The natural, sensible man, returned as our solemn track ended and we were met with the clatter of plates and chattering voices.
“Ah, Senhor Bohm! I am so happy to see you again!” A tall pretty girl in her early twenties ran up from behind the counter and threw her arms around Leo.
Sam started humming. Then Chuck caught on. Soon there was a chorus.
“Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking….”
She released our guide and turned to regard us with dark, exuberant eyes, that sparkled with tranquil curiosity. There was some Portuguese exchanged.
“Ah, so you are fans of Tom Jobim?” She inquired with only the slightest tinge of accent.
“I’m a fan of you,” Sam said with the characteristic overenthusiasm that he somehow managed to make charming.
“Great, now I have to worry about disappointing my fans.” She replied playfully.
“No chance of that…” Sam said with an over-dramatized expression of wistfulness.
“Your friends are funny Leo.” She laughed. “Are they the ones who are here to see uncle?”
“Si. That one there,” he said pointing at Graham. “Is a Hoyt.”
Her face grew solemn as she looked at the pale, thin, towering, barrister faced cipher that had once been the fair-haired favorite of venues from Nashville to LA.
There was some more muttering in Portuguese though this time it was dark. But she seemed to be one of those wonderfully buoyant types whose effervescence wouldn’t disappear for long.
“Well, I suppose that even if ghosts are real, they still need to eat. Vamos!”
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
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