It was a sunny day of March when I saw her as I would never see anyone. Her dark hair fell upon her red solid blouse, her feet tapping against the steps of the auditorium, a pair of sunglasses hiding her sight. She saw me shaking my head to the beat of the Brazilian tune I was humming, and she smiled. As she would many times through the years. You see, now that it is over people would expect to me to mercilessly complain about those many times she made me lose my temper, or to elevate her to the highest choir of angels since she made me happiest amongst men. None would be the matter, not in this note at least. I have got to say she is a regular woman, with flaw and virtue, with times at which she wanted to kill me, and others at which there was no one but me. Yet...

It is sunny today. I have had two cups of vanilla ice cream, a bottle of orange juice, and half a liter of plain water, and still feel hot as hell. There was supposed to be AC on these buses. I mean, they are way more expensive. But what did I expect? It is almost noon, it is the spring, so of course it was gonna be like this. But what the hell? You wanted to see her, didn't you? It hasn't been long since I saw her, but so much has changed. There is so much I want to show her, to tell her. I mean, I can't wait to let her know this dream I had of her. It's silly, it's corny, but, what else can I do but share it with her. I went like this...

-So, what do you feel? -Warmth... Softness... -Open your eyes. -What is it? -A canvas. You can paint whatever you want. -How? -Think of a colour, and use your index to paint with that colour, just like that. -Show me. -So, here's the sky. There are some cirruses, some birds in the horizon. Here's a field of grass, and we can add patches of roses, some red, some white. On this hill, there's a tree, a peach one. And that's you and that's me. -Why are you holding my hand? -Because in that painting we have been ten years together...

-You know that I love you, right? -Do you think we would be here if it weren't so? -It is such a lovely day. How did you find this place? -I once read that every single time you dream of the one you love, this dream becomes a spot of paint, and little by little, spot by spot, this paint starts forming a place this beloved one has dreamt of once. And that once the place, the painting, is ready, you can dream of the place in a map. The actual trouble is finding the map, but all you have to do if you remember the dream, is to look deep for it. -How did you find it? -It was behind the letter you gave me on my last birthday.

Happy birthday to you, honey. Enjoy your day as every year. As we have every year together. I love you.


I hadn't been to a church in a while. Quite a while. When I was a kid, I used to feel scared. Scared of the bleeding Jesus, of my sins, of the promise of hell or paradise. It stopped one day. I guess it had to do with my fear of disappearing after dying. I wanted to believe that it was going to be like eternally sleeping. You see, I did not fear not feeling, not being able to see anyone: I was afraid of vanishing. Heaven seemed like an ok promise, you know, being able to see your loved ones ever and ever, without thinking of dying once more. But the words of the priests felt like hogwash, for they only infused me with fear. Fear the almighty and obey, they would say. And I did not want to be scared no more. So I stopped believing cause there is no greater discouraging idea than doing things out of fear. Still, I feared disappearing. I feared becoming nothing. I feared not being to see or smell or feel or taste. You know, I once read a tale about a little kid who died in a traffic accident. He had been a good kid, so obviously he went to heaven. Before that, he asked to see his parents once more. At the burial he saw them cry. He shouted that he was alright, that he was going somewhere better, but they couldn't listen. At the end, while going to heaven he told an angel he felt so sorry about not being able to tell them so and comfort them. And I did not fear that, you savvy, for I suspected there would be nothing after I went. It would only be a shut window, with no one on the inside to look at it. So, there is no faith in me, perhaps there never was. I see the bleeding christ and the pointing saint, the suffering virgin and the condemning priest, and I feel nothing within. Not even mockery. I just breathed, waiting for something to happen. I heard the heavenly voices chanting, the smiley priest and the old women arranging flowers, but nothing did move me. I once felt jealousy. Of people's conviction and focus, of their love and their trust on someone they could not prove existed. It is gone. And it is not that I wanted to believe in which they believe, no. It is that I wish I were so confident, so brave and confident. That I knew there is no void into which I will unavoidably have to jump. But such jealousy is gone. Now I sometimes think of my having to jump, and not of whether I will have to. And that sometimes depends upon my faith in love. I like to believe it will save me. That it can save us all. Yet sitting right here, all by myself in this sea of people, this sea of uncertainty, I am empty, and doubt this what I feel happens to be love.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral
December, 1999