These diary entries have become less and less frequent. The energy I used to expend on writing about my life, trying to make sense of it, and trying to frame it (and by extension life itself) into some beautiful poetic order, has taken a backseat to other things - those other things being work, my Burrito Fever project, and just that general laziness that afflicts all of us as we spend hours at night mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat with the time that we used to use for reflection, reading, watching intelligent films, and having sex.
I did just return from Rio de Janeiro a couple days ago and feel like the experience should be added to this diary project I have been working on for years now regardless of how little I currently write in here, that at some future date I will wish that I had written down some memories.
We flew out on Friday night, an overnight flight, landed in Rio early Saturday morning, too early to check in to the apartment where we were staying. We dropped off our bags and made our way to have brunch at Parque Lage. Holy fuck. Immediately in those first few cab rides around town I was blown away by the city, by the mountains surrounding it, by how magical it all was. I had been dreaming about coming to this city since I was a kid, was one of those places I had always seen pictures of and wanted to see in person. It was just as incredible in person as those pictures led me to believe, more so.
Parque Lage is one of the most beautiful places not just in Rio, but in the world. I couldn’t believe that that was our first stop in Rio. Unreal. This old colonial building that has a courtyard serving food from which you can see an absolutely insane view of the Christ the Redeemer statue above you.
After brunch, we hiked up to that statue, all the way to the top of that insane mountain. It was a workout that had all of us gasping for breath, wondering why we had all thought it a good idea to do this hike. But once we made it to the top, again, holy fuck! The views from there are insane. I thought up there that I should live here, what it would be to constantly experience such an insane level of natural beauty.
And from there the week turned into a blur. Lots of drinking, lots of time at the beach, very little sleep, very little food. I turned 35 that first night. We went out to various bars around town. Nick and I ended up heading back to Ipanema (where we were staying in a gorgeous apartment) and partied at Galeria Cafe, a small divey club until 4 in the morning.
I spent a day wandering around downtown with Mark, went to things that were closed, but it was still beautiful to see the city, to walk among its street and the daytime office workers. Another day was spent going to Santa Teresa and to Lapa, checking out the sights there.
Days were spent on the beach at Ipanema, nursing hangovers, drinking capirinhas, buying swimsuits, looking at all the beautiful men of Rio.
The men! I could write books about them. There is so much to say, but there were literally the most beautiful men I have ever seen in my life every which way I looked. I want to go back there again and again, and there are a lot of reasons for that, but chief among them is I want to again see and be near such insane male beauty. Bodies shaped by constant physical activity and whatever genetics they were blessed with.
Luckily, we went with Levi, who is Brazilian and so got to experience some magical stuff we wouldn’t have otherwise. His cousin brought us into Santa Marta favela where she is taking lessons at the samba school and we got to watch this massive samba school rehearse and drink at some divey storefront. It was such an amazing experience, one that I will always remember.
Another day, we drove to this amazing beach, Praia do Abrico, with one of his friends, this really cool guy, Jorge. It was a nude beach isolated from everything and just surrounded by insane natural beauty, a cartoon of what a beautiful beach is supposed to look like but entirely real.
And then our last night there, the memory that actually may stick with me the most from the trip is that we went to this divey gay bar in Lapa, Buraco da Lacraia, for a drag show. I didn’t understand anything being said of course, it all being in Portuguese, which is actually a lot harder of a language than I had imagined, and spoken nothing like Spanish. However, it was still a joy to watch and the basic plot points of the show came across. I loved looking at the packed room full of people, enthralled by and laughing at this show so much. At the end of their show, they did a Portuguese version of “We Are The World,” following by a reading of the 49 names of people killed in the Orlando attacks. All throughout the audience, people were sobbing as they read through the names, knowing that an attack on a gay bar halfway around the world was still an attack on them. It was an attack on all of us, that we are one big gay family. It was the most emotional, beautiful gay moment that I have ever had and really put the world into perspective for me.
I got back to the US Sunday morning and spent the last two days recovering from having partied straight for the previous eight days. I can’t wait to go back.