and the wind blows ...
It was Easter Sunday in Chicago, and my sister Amy and I were attending an afternoon dinner at the home of our friend John. The weather was nice, and he'd set up a table in the backyard so that we might sit in the sun. Everyone had taken their places, when I excused myself to visit the bathroom, and there, in the toilet, was the absolute biggest turd I have ever seen in my life - no toilet paper or anything, just this long and coiled specimen, as thick as a burrito. I flushed the toilet, and the big turd trembled. It shifted position, but that was it. This thing wasn't going anywhere. I thought briefly of leaving it behind for someone else to take care of, but it was too late for that. Too late, because before getting up from the table, I'd stupidly told everyone where I was going. "I'll be back in a minute," I'd said. "I'm just going to run to the bathroom."
"Just a minute."
“Hi, you are going to Redding?,” she asks. “I’m going to Chico.”
Since I didn’t know where Chico was, I stared at her like I had nothing to do with that.
“Here’s the deal,” she pauses with the tranquility of a monk. “I rent a car on my name, we head to Chico and you can stay over at my house. Tomorrow morning we find a way to get you to Redding.”
I call Tom back and tell him that I was going to Chico and that I would stay overnight at this lady’s house that I’d just met at the airport and that in the morning I’d try to find a way to Redding.
it’s 11 pm.
“I'm actually from Chico, but I am now here in the San Francisco area for a camp,” Tom says.
Sherry and I get the car and head out the airport. The drive begins on the jammed traffic outside the airport. Try to shortcut this way, turn left and then right. Stop at a traffic light ask some random people on the streets for direction.
“So, tell me how you ended up in the United States,” Sherry asks as we cross the San Francisco Golden Bridge.
Trapped inside the small white chevy for the next five hours, we had no choice but to engage in a long, prolific conversation that included my whole life story, metal sculptures, Japan, photography and walnut trees.
At around three in the morning we arrive at her beautiful house that hid behind storage facilities in the middle of nowhere. I saw no neighborhood houses nearby, the wind blowing making the trees look like it would be behind them I would be murdered.
“Here’s your room.”
At 7 pm I wake happy to be alive.I would never think Sherry would be able to kill anyone. I actually thought of how crazy she was for letting a stranger that looked like a foreign terrorist and was called LE-AN-DRO stay over her house. There’s always a haunting feeling that installs in the back of your head telling you you are about to be part of terror movie.
http://web.redding.com/specials/sundial/ - photo by Lucas Mobley
One a pleasant evening our hosts take us coaches to see the famous bridge. We watch the people walk by and the transparent waters of Sacramento river run off.
In this trip, I also “learned” how to play poker.
San Ramon, CA – Aug. 13-17
Seeing the Oakland Bay through the plane's window is entertaining. Beautifull views and perfectly squared neighborhoods, hills covered with million-dollar houses. I land to Oakland at the scheduled time. This time there was no delays or driving through the night. Nechia, the Dougherty High School coach and two other camp coaches were waiting to pick me up at the airport. We pass by a sign that says San Leandro. Eyes catching every single detail.
San Ramon is a very wealthy area, big houses and perfectly manicured lawns that looked like painting. Dougherty Valley High School was the most expensive High School ever built in the United States, with a bill going over 600 million dollars you can imagine what type of neighborhood you’ll would have there.
In this camp I work with Kevin Ring who's the head coach of University of California San Diego men’s volleyball team. We have a great time in San Ramon and work pretty well together. It took us a great deal of effort to make the girls understand what working hard really mean. They were mostly freshmen and sophomores, some of them had never played volleyball before.
Our host Nechia made our stay much more comfortable. She is one of those people who have genuine interest in you, she makes you feel special, is very enthusiastic about her job and works really hard to ensure all is going great.I get back to Provo on Friday night thinking on how Maine would be like.
Eating lobsta in MaineBiddeford, ME - Aug 20-24
City Hall - Biddeford, ME
What to expect from Maine? Well, I had to google it to see where it was located on a map. All I knew that I was in the east coast, but wouldn’t have thought that it was almost in Canada, in the extreme northeast part of the US.
The girls were crazy! They had so much energy that made me wonder if that was normal. There were many characters in that high school team. Laurie the “English girl”, SKINNY, T-ankle, The Sistas, Borboleta, Sasha Powerhouse.
On our last camp day, we were taken to the Saco Bay. There I ate my first Haddock Sandwich, burned my tongue on hot seafood soup and spilled my Coca-cola over the rocks.
Era essa pinta amarela sobre o fundo denegrido da olheira, era essa destilação incessante de pus que a tornava repulsiva aos olhos de toda gente.
Morava numa casa pequena, paga pelo filho único, operário numa fábrica de alfaiate; ela lavava a roupa para os hospitais e dava conta de todo o serviço da casa inclusive cozinha. O filho, enquanto era pequeno, comia os pobres jantares feitos por ela, às vezes até no mesmo prato; à proporção que ia crescendo, ia-se a pouco e pouco manifestando na fisionomia a repugnância por essa comida; até que um dia, tendo já um ordenadozinho, declarou à mãe que, por conveniência do negócio, passava a comer fora...
Ela fingiu não perceber a verdade, e resignou-se.
Ela compreendia tudo e calava-se.
Aquilo exasperava-o; respondia sempre:
- Eu tenho nome!
Na rua, muitas vezes, ele ouvia de uma ou outra janela dizerem: o filho da caolha! Lá vai o filho da caolha! Lá vem o filho da caolha!
Entretanto, o Antonico escrevia, num papel fino, a sua declaração de amor à vizinha. No dia seguinte mandou-lhe cedo a carta. A resposta fez-se esperar. Durante muitos dias Antonico perdia-se em amarguradas conjecturas.
Depois começou a desconfiar de outra causa; por fim recebeu uma carta em que a bela moreninha confessava consentir em ser sua mulher, se ele se separasse completamente da mãe!
Vinham explicações confusas, mal alinhavadas: lembrava a mudança de bairro; ele ali era muito conhecido por filho da caolha, e bem compreendia que ela não se poderia sujeitar a ser alcunhada em breve de - nora da caolha, ou coisa semelhante!
O Antonico chorou! Não podia crer que a sua casta e gentil moreninha tivesse pensamentos tão práticos!
Depois o seu rancor se voltou para a mãe.
Passou um dia terrível; à noite, voltando para casa levava o seu projeto e a decisão de o expor à mãe.
Ele, magrinho, curvado pelo hábito de costurar sobre os joelhos, delgado e amarelo como todos os rapazes criados à sombra das oficinas, onde o trabalho começa cedo e o serão acaba tarde, tinha lançado naquelas palavras toda a sua energia, e espreitava agora a mãe com um olhar desconfiado e medroso.
Ela o acompanhou, fechou com estrondo a porta, e vendo-se só, encostou-se cabaleante à parede do corredor e desabafou em soluços.
O Antonico passou uma tarde e uma noite de angústia.
Voracidade do tempo que passa mas que não deixa resquícios dos segundos passados, das rugas na testa, da oxidação do portão da frente de casa. O tempo passa sem a interrogação do que pode ser. De uma indagação desnecessária. De um sentimento jamais expressado. De um orgasmo reprimido. Da gente feia que se penteia, maquia e tenta esconder os dentes mal formados, o formato inexpressivo do rosto, o nariz quase inexistente. De um olhar que não atrai atenção e que se esconde num esboço de sorriso demasiadamente singelo.
O sujeito jamais fora bonito de nada. Um rabisco no papel. Amassado. Jogado fora. Sem natureza que evoluciona. Sem a coragem dos épicos mentirosos. Nada, absolutamente nada lhe fazia sorrir de alma. Sorria por conveniência diante daquilo alheio. E andava, andava. Sem permissão de gente humana, ele seguia chorando a vida que caíra por casualidade e infortúnio naquele corpo cariado, esquelético. Sem cores que lhe desse ar de alegria. Não era branco, nem preto. Opaco por DNA. Feio por destino e às vezes feliz sem motivo.
O sujeito anda sem paradeiro aos passos curtos e rápidos dessa multidão asombrada que se apressa para não perder o coletivo das duas horas da tarde. Pára no semáforo que anseia um verde sangue, de libertade e desoclusão. O verde é para os carros que aceleram os motores ruidosos desta metrópole de muitos donos. A multidão pára assustada, apressada, no vermelho do semáforo. Alguns cortam a avenida expressa por entre os carros acelerados, sobre o asfalto quente das quase duas horas da tarde de uma segunda-feira atrasada.
Black Canyon National Park
Not even a week have I had to get used to Provo again and I am already taking off to Colorado. It’s my very first volleyball camp. It’s an eight-hour drive up to Montrose. In the car, we are in four: Chris, Josh, Dan and Me. I don’t know them very well. I had seen Chris watching one of the volleyball practices, I knew he’d played for BYU in previous years winning two national titles, but that was all. Josh was in the team in the beginning of the year, but left without I had the opportunity to meet him more closely. Dan is from New Zealand, he’s spending some of his summer in the States.
Colorado is perhaps my favorite state in the U.S. I've been there countless times and it always feels good to come back. I love the mountains, the aspen trees, the lifestyle. In Montrose, our daily routine is simple: during mornings and afternoons we coach volleyball, after that the fun really started. Chris, Dan, Josh and I head out to the fields in search of prairies dogs, Chris had brought guns and he taught Dan and I how to use it. While looking for prairies dogs, we jumped the rental jeep we were driving, and laughed our bellies off. With no luck and plenty of fun, we come back to the house.
Josh, Leandro, Dan, Chris
On one of the last days of the trip, our hosts took us to the Black Canyon National Park in the Gunnison Valley. The views blew me away. The precipice makes you dizzy and the rock formations take your breath away. _____________________________________________
Coming back to Dillon brings great memories. I am excited to see Jan, Erin and Captain Riley. It’s been almost a year that I’ve been there. The mountains. The Lake. The rivers and creeks. All combined make of Summit County an unforgettable place. With the altitude of 9,000 feet, the air is drier than usual, the sun hits harder on your skin. It’s summer time. It’s time for a bike ride. 6 miles from Dillon to Keystone, then, 6 more miles from Keystone to Lake Dillon. Dillon. Enjoy the breeze and work out your legs.
On a warm summer morning, I go fly-fishing with Sean in the Blue River. Fresh water. Thousands of trouts waiting to be caught. Sean is patient, teaches me lessons, I cast the pole, reel in nothing. Try again, try to improve the technique. Watch the master do it once again. Soon enough I catch my first rainbow trout. Then my second, and third. 21 is the number. 20 rainbows and one kokonee salmon. Pretty happy with the catch, we come back to the house and the salmon becomes dinner.________________________
On the 4th of July, streets are filled with blue and red. Fifty stars. The elderly and the young gather together to celebrate the most important American holiday, the Independence Day. Veterans are applauded and the thousands of voices sing the sing-along songs. Freedom is rejoiced. This is the land of the free. Orchestra playing in the background, violins and cellos, clarinets and trumpets. The maestro leads the show. ________________________
Many Movies in Wyoming ...
Wright, Wyoming (July 16-20, 2007)
We land on the smallest airport I've ever been in. Three gates and small commuter planes take care of business in Casper, Wyoming. It fells good to touch the ground, two hours flying on a small, shaky, Embraer plane, scares the hell out of me. Stomach's turning.
In Wright, there isn’t much to do besides coaching volleyball. In cattle country of northeastern Wyoming, small towns reign absolute. Wright has a population of approximately 1,500 people and its economy is based on agriculture, oil, gas and coal. There are buffalo ranches, antelopes run freely around the town. All is plain in Wright.
Buena Vista High School Girls
Tyler, Leandro, Josh
Josh, Tyler and I, come to Colorado trying to make the most out of this trip. Our host, Jamie, is an incredibly chill, down-to-earth lady, she takes us the hot springs in Mt. Princeton. A nice treat after a long day of volleyball. Build a little pool by the river, sit down and let the muscles relax.
The camp goes exceptionally, the girls work hard and we all have tons of fun.
On the way back, we drive up to Aspen, stop at the Independence Pass at an altitude of 12,095 feet to take pictures, shoot some video. Aspen is beautiful as expected. Million dollar houses. More mountains and pine trees. I can only imagine all of that covered with snow.
I’ll be back!