Everybody who knows me, knows I am an impulsive person. Everybody who has spent some time with me knows I do things in the spur of the moment. For better or worse.
When I was in Brasil I arrived there against my will. I had broken my foot then. I wanted to run away from inside. I wanted to go back to being a traveler in Asia. Listening and watching the stories of others. I could not see a place for me in Brazil. My friends and family had the Brazilian inexhaustible joy and patience to put up with me always having existential crisis. They heard me buy and cancel numerous tickets back to Asia. And somehow I just could not ever go.
While I was in Brasil I went every week to the simple bar of Cidao. Cidao was something like a legend. A tall black man that owned a small super simple bar that had great music every single day. I went numerous times to Cidao. I took dozens of different people there. I sat in uncountable tables with strangers. I knew his wife, his child, the musicians, and the people who went there as much as I did. I would often, stop there alone. I was always certain it would be great music and there was always Cidao.
Cidao was nothing short of a legend. People had many different stories about him. He was a simply guy. An ex truck driver. He was never too customer friendly like people learn in Marketing classes. He was just Cidao and I guess that is why people like me went there.
As I flew to Israel almost a month ago I got dozens of messages via mail, text, whastapp, facebook of different people telling me that Cidao had just died. I was alone in an airport. I knew no one. And I was quiet, still in total silence. I had competing emotions. Sometimes I felt really happy I had gone there so many times in this few months.
I also felt sad I did not go more. I felt sad when I thought of his wife, and his now orphaned child. I wondered about the musicians, the bar.. And I tried several times to remember how was my last goodbye to Cidao.I could never remember it precisely. It was probably a hug. And I was sad it was not a longer one. I remembered that as I was leaving early, he said ” Ja vai?” “So soon going?” I explained I was about to go to travelling to France and that this was my last time there.
He replied that it was the last time on this trip to Brasil.
During these weeks so many times Cidao has come to my mind. I always pushed it away. I always tried to focus in where I am. Where I should go next. But yesterday morning it flooded me. And I decided to stop and think about it. And I realized that Cidao meant somehow a feeling of home for me. And that I keep going thinking that home will always be there. Cidao’s death represents for me the impermanence of life.
I noticed I would never be able to be there again. It is such an obvious statements but somehow I felt a cold shiver through my spine. And I suddenly missed not knowing about all the wrinkles I am missing the story of. All the children that were born in my family whom I will not mean anything to.
It came to me the image of me and my cousin seating with my grandmother one month ago in Arles in the South of France. We were happy. My grandmother described that state of life like a dream. ” I can’t believe I am 88 and I can still travel to such a beautiful place with my two young granddaughters.”
We were all happy.We all found what we needed in that trip.
When they left to go to Brasil and I was left alone in the airport I felt devastated. Airports are the most familiar places to me and yet I felt they could not be anymore. I still took another flight and this time I came to visit those I already knew. I planned to go back to Asia to see the places I had not. But I just could no do it Not without first having a home.
Everyday I wanted to go home. And today I impulsively bought my ticket. Was it an impulse. Yes and no. It was, in the way I bought it for tomorrow. But everything inside of me is looking to be home. And for the first time in a long time I know exactly where that is.
I have finally reconciled myself with the place I come from. As the great musician Benjamin Taubkin had once told me. It is a place where there is always space for creating something new. I am ready finally, for a new life!