Afonso writes to me asking me to name the moments when I was happiest in life.
I won a “Christmas” themed clay competition when I was six years old. The teacher called all the adults in the school and they were all shocked: “How did she do this at that age?” The teacher said that my mother should take me to Fantástico, that I should exhibit my art in some museum. It was one of the happiest days of my childhood.
At twelve years old, I, who was just weird and invisible, went up on a theater stage, for a kind of talent show, and imitated Algebra teacher Áurea by shaking her bracelets and twirling in front of the blackboard. I imitated the biology, physics and physical education teachers. The nervous vomiting came up to my mouth three times, but I covered it up and made it to the end of the presentation. When I finished, about 200 students started giving me a standing ovation and I saw some of the teachers I had just made fun of with their backs bent with laughter. The children laughed, laughed, laughed. They applauded, applauded, applauded. It was the happiest day of my pre-teen years.
At fourteen years old, I went to Vale do Sol, in Serra Negra, and there was a tall boy there, called Carlos Eduardo, and he seemed to me to be the most beautiful and athletic sample of a boy in the world up to that date. I took consecutive showers crying, all summer long, because a girl like me would never be noticed by a boy like him. I couldn’t eat or sleep.
On the last day of the vacation, he and his broad shoulders and thick thighs took me to a dark corridor that led down to the cabins and we made out; It was my first real kiss. He smelled good, he was shy and sweet and joking and strong. We dated for three years and I don’t think he knows, but he saved me. Before, sad, anxious and unpopular. Then, loved, anxious and horny. Never again would I think I was shit.
At 19, I got an internship at W/Brasil and stayed there for about four years. Never again, in any job, at any time in my life, have I been as fascinated, dedicated and professionally obsessed as I was during this period. I went out every day at dawn and there I made plans for everything I am and have today. I already knew that I wouldn’t last long as a writer, because what I really wanted was to write literature, but that environment allowed me to dream big and big and infinite. I felt like I was in a movie. They may demonize money and glamour, but in my early 20s what I experienced in my first job was an overwhelming and eternal passion for creativity, humor and power. A young woman without ambition always makes me feel sorry.
At 24 I was unbearably happy, when I spent a few whole days walking around Firenze, speaking made-up Italian, with a boyfriend I loved exaggeratedly, trying foods from anywhere that were the best foods I’ve ever had. Poor of everything, young of everything, closing padlocks on bridges with promises of eternal love. Taking photos of an orange hairdryer in a trashy room, because I felt like I was in a five-star hotel.
At 30 something, I released a film that made almost four million at the box office and I released a book that was among the top five best sellers in the country for weeks. Maybe not both in the same year, but it seems like it was on the same day. It was like experiencing something hallucinogenic and unique and intense and spending the rest of your life trying to get back to that first experience with success. I never felt this way again.
At the age of 37, I took my first psychoanalysis class, at Sedes, with professor Daniela. I had the feeling that I spent a lifetime trying to get to that class, trying to get to those texts. Nothing I had studied or read until then had come close to the impact I was feeling. It was like coming off some stupid marathon, in the cold, and having a cup of tea, covering myself up, resting.
At 39 I had a daughter. In the delivery room, they wrote “Rita” on the board. Reading her name gave me more emotion than the nine months waiting for you. Than the 39 years waiting for you. Read my daughter.
And then, with his arrival, the violent olfactory frenzies began. The smell of my daughter’s head, the smell of her leaving capoeira class and getting into the car, the smell of her coats, the smell of her sweaty socks, her breath in the morning, the smell of gum on her sandals, the smell she leaves in the swing hammock, the smell of her sweaty, clenched hands when she was a baby, the smell of her drawer of unicorn pajamas, the smell of her still damp hair that she sticks in my face to prove that it is already dry, the smell from your pillow, the smell of cotton candy on your neck. Any smell of her, from the day she was born until this second.
Hot pool, coming home, beach out of season, half-cured cheese, handsome man with a beard quoting Deleuze, the first morning with a pain-free throat after the flu, the voice of my analyst, Lula walking up the ramp, my group of best friends , every day, together, however we can. My parents playing with my daughter. André trying to get rid of the immense trouble that I am and not being able to.
Do you have an unusual question, an unusual reflection or an unusual story to tell? Participate in the Worst of the Week column by sending your message to [email protected]
LINK PRESENT: Did you like this text? Subscribers can access five free accesses from any link per day. Just click the blue F below.