Sunday, June 17, 2007

Chapter 8 : Rubicon

"Hugo, dude, you have no idea, but the other day i had the craziest dream, and you were in it... I can't remember much about it, but we were playing PES in a stadium type thing, and everyone there looked like they were all cloned from your brother, and they were all shouting those typical Virgil phrases,"
"Oh horror upon horror!", we both said at the same time.

We were in a ditch somewhere in Bairro Alto, and we were drinking a very cold beer.
It had been a hot day, today, and the heat, oppressive.
One of those days that turns even the quietest of persons into someone quite temperamental.
And fact is, the music didn't help none, it being of the kind favoured by long-haired heavy metal bands who don't really have a clue that the 80's had already passed...

"Jesus H. Christ, the things i remember...", I said. "Did you ever have to take... humm.... what was it called... i don't know, like Religion class in school?"
"What? No.", he replied. One of his many virtues is that he doesn't smoke.
I have nothing against smokers, I would just like to banish them to another star system.

"Yeah... Moral and Religion, or something like that... my parents tricked me into taking that class. The bastards. I have a kid one day? He's not gonna go through half the crap I had to go through, that's for sure..."
"So...", Hugo said, "that drivel mean you want one more?"
"Yes", I answered, "but this one's on me. You having the same again?", I asked as if I didn't know the answer beforehand.
Men do prefer Sagres, after all.

The girl who was working the bar has a charm second to none, and for half a fraction of a second it actually seemed that she was going to smile.
She just sneered in her usual constant PMS kind of way.

With his bottle of beer halfway to his mouth, he said, "I've been reading your blog lately. I saw an older post where you talk about Rubicon..."
Rubicon was the name of a river that existed (maybe even still exists, i don't really know) in the south of Rome, at the time of the Holy Roman Empire.
It was a sort of DMZ (which is an acronym for De-Militarized Zone), that no legion was allowed to cross, under penalty of death.
It was this very same Rubicon that Julius Caesar himself had to cross, in what was one of the boldest moments in history.
To this day, it stands as a metaphor for that point we all must go through, that final obstacle... the point of no return.

"I recall", I said. "I wrote it before I left."
"And soon after writing it, I thought I had found my Rubicon in the departures area of an airport... I really thought that was it, I was... I really thought I would never return."
"I didn't think that there would ever be a way back, you know? And... heh."
I confess i didn't know what explanation to give to another one of my glorious failures, and after a small sip from my drink, I said "Ah, it's just another one to be chalked up in my already very long list of bad ideas... and even worse outcomes."

"Man, I'm thirsty, and I'm feeling a wee bit crazy today. All this talking has worked me up a mighty thirst, and I'm going to ask for another, this time a Bohemia. I'm gonna go over and talk to Miss Congeniality at the bar. You want a Bohemia too?"
"Oh horror upon horror, no!", Hugo replied, "Get me a normal beer, ok?"

I somehow survive the grating look that the poster girl for niceness throws at me, and return to the table.
"Ahh...", I sigh, "This, sir, is magnificent! Mellifluous nectar, amber hued, cold as sin... it's as if there's a party in my mouth and everyone's invited!"
A moment's madness, and its contents are emptied in one, two, three goes.
"Another one for me!", I said, making the now familiar trek to the bar.

When I come back, I feel a certain warmth, a somewhat pernicious heat taking over me... I felt my neck, my ears, my entire face reddening... I can't believe it, I was getting excited...
"Man. But why? I know that Ms. Bridesmaid at the bar isn't the nicest girl around, but did you see the pair she's packing?", I asked Hugo.
"I know!", I continued, "I Just had the bestest idea ever! What if all men were born with breasts? You know, real breasts like Sylvia Saint? Then we could even lick ourselves!"

He smiled, then answered, "First, Sylvia Saint is a porn star, and no way those are real, ok? Second, I'm sure you know what really real breasts look like, right? Third", he concluded, " Thank God that women have no idea what goes on in our minds... then they'd never speak to us again!"
Wiping tears from the laughter that ensued from my eyes, I say, "I might be wrong, but I think we haven't come here in what two, three years?"
"Yeah, I guess, something like that," he replied, " I even think that the last time we were here was with that girl Sara."

"Sara?", I asked, "What Sara?", and by now what little blood I had left in the alcoholic flow was dwindling.
"Not the one from that party you told me about, the other one, you know? The one who took her Master's degree in England.", he reminded me.
"Oh, that Sara! Poor girl. Do you know, she really liked me? A toast to Sara!"
But it is kind of hard to propose a toast when there's nothing to toast with...
"Grand Vizier", I said, and this Grand Vizier reference begs an altogether different story for another time, "Will you get us another round?"
"Will do. Same for you? Then again, maybe not, considering the state you're in already..."
Hugo looked at me and said, "Yeah, you're looking good..."

"Looking good?", I asked, "Hah, my shoes look good! I look great!", I said, so loud that everyone looked at me.
He rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, right, of course you do. Look one more and then we're off?"
"Sure thing", I replied.
"And if you want, ask for a plastic cup, that way we can get out of here quickly. This music is making me sick."

Later that night, in another place whose relatively dumb name became doubly dumber due to the fact that once we, and just a little bit drunk, read the name of said place back to front, and laughed our asses off, I asked ,"Do you remember that question I asked you a few weeks ago? The two more years question?"
"Yep. Why? Because if it's an answer you're looking for, I still haven't got one."

"When you think your chance is passing by
When you blow your moon away
I'll bleed like the reed, fall with your knife
It's here I'll be with you!"

Peter Murphy, I'll fall with your knife

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