February 21.

Mr. Modeste likes social photograpy. We saw a scene we were keen to capture. Two young kids were collecting cans for money. We shot dozens of pictures of the kids, of the huge transparent bags full of Skol beer cans, juice cans, cola cans; one of the kids with a pacifier in his mouth. A picture can say a lot. A woman came and asked us
“Why do you take pictures of kids?”
An allegation we’d better not think of lied hidden in that question. Well, we do have a good reason. This scene tells us something, this scene demands to be recorded, we are working in the name of Art, in the name of something higher than the transition between the seconds, everyone should understand that (paradoxically, Jack seems to be one of the few people who understand it). I like to take photographs. Taken in a dancing crowd, photos can be standstills, freeze the movement to our imagination. A good still is a cold still. It should freeze the beholder too, he should feel heavy and icy as his breath stays away. A good still is all about showing movement by showing its very opposite. The observer indulges in inertia, the unspeakable continuity of motion is expressed.

The Carnaval is a continuum: 24 hours a day of dancing on the streets, in bars, in parades, everywhere. It is an extraordinary experience. In order to serve cold drinks in the streets, large bags of ice cubes are used. Diligent men and women carry them along on their shoulders.
In the evening, I walked around on my own, observing the crowd. There were a few French people, I had a little conversation. A big-breasted hairy French guy danced francticly to the Samba beats, stepping around like a madman. Virginie was friendly, but our conversation was to meek for considering a closer introduction. So I was off, ran into some Swiss people who had booked their Rio Adventure a year ago, and were enjoying it now, thus working against the spiral of the financial crisis. They had nice, decent wigs and hats. They lodged in the Favela Chique that sounded interesting, it’s not dangerous and you get to see some real Favela while surrounded by all comforts a Westerner needs. Our conversation was, again, too lame to result in closer introduction. So I was off, and sat down for a while, observing a woman with a kid collecting tin cans. Gave her 2 Reais, don’t expect a humble “Obrigado”, expect a fierce nod of the head. A couple saw me and asked me if I was allright. If a Gringo sits on the pavement he is asked if he is allright. It was a funny couple: A Brazilian woman with her boyfriend from Arizona, a man in his forties listening to the name of Paul. He tried my John Lennon glassed but his view got all misty. The couple was looking – seriously – for a woman Paul could kiss. His girlfriend was actually organizing some kind of bachelor party for him! He asked random girls he found himself attracted to if they’d kiss him, and when he got a no they moved on. I followed the curious couple back to the Lapa aquaduct, we struggled through the crowd and ran into some Irish tourists. One of them was called Peter and I said he wait a minute, we’ve got Peter and Paul and up there is the Christ Redeemer, isn’t that funny? Isn’t that damn funny? But they didn’t think it was funny. We went further up, Paul asked some more women, a tiny man tried to sell peanuts and a very well-formed man danced up horny to Paul’s girlfriend. Suddenly, they were gone. Our conversation had been to lame to result in a closer introduction anyway. I indulged in solitude, and slid into a curious mood of all-encompassing happiness.

Jack walks around in the crowd, too. He feels horny and he is ignored. Suddenly he sees a woman sitting on a pole crying. He says bom dia why are you crying and starts a conversation which he has to conduct in his poor Spanish and even poorer Portuguese – but he is successful, because he knows that people who cry appreciate consolation and consolation sometimes can result in love-making, which we may assume Jack’s intention was that night. So they walk a bit and go to a veranda where she teaches him how to dance samba. They start kissing, Jack loves to gently stir around with his tongue, make the tips of two tongues meet in the unified cavity they for this instant share, expressing the person Jack is that second, expressing all the loneliness that lives in his throat. Jack likes kissing. So he gets a little wilder and bounces with his tongue, licking, plopping, sucking, biting – the woman pushes him away and says:
“Beijas como um negro. You kiss like a black person. Eeeh!”
Jack tongue is adjacent now to the tongue of a racist, to a tongue that has gone bad. Mr. Modeste is black. I hope Jack undertakes something to fight racism, I hope that it doesn’t leave him cold.
Indeed, Jack doesn’t like racism. He does not need any moral reasoning for that. It’s just annoying him, it gets in the way of his pleasure, he is reminded of a world where people have to work like hell to secure their negative identity (because it is negative, defined by its negation, they will never be satisfied), a world thus where people need to exclude the Other and live in a constant presence of that paranoid self-constitution, a world where people need longer timespans, yes years, decades, whole millenia as benchmarks for their identity, it gets in the way of Jack’s pleasure. His seconds are already stuffed with all-too-human vanity, he can’t take in any more. So he didn’t like the situation. But he couldn’t say no the the woman, who had started to explore Jack’s promising bulge. But Jack is creative. He could regain the paradise of his pleasure by showing the woman how damn equal all human beings are.Yes he can, he can do it, Jack can be more moral by coincidence than all the Popes since Saint Peter combined. In his case, there are no strings attached. We would call it pureness but I will be reluctant to use that word since it would make Jack puke. So Jack kept kissing the woman, dragged her with him through the crowd and every time they ran into a black person, he shook his hands, high-fived him, gave him his best smile and thereby showed the woman how cool that black person is. I hope Jack reached his goal (my goal, Jack hardly has goals), because racism is one of the most detestable things. So he walk on with the woman and it got light, the sun rises really fast in Rio, and they had fried coconut with cheese more like some sort of pancake it was not bad. The woman makes a proposal: ficar. In Portugal, that would have been an innocent though somewhat awkward thing to propose, apart from being grammatically not exactly correct. In Brazilian however it means to fuck but Jack doesn’t really want it she’s not that beautiful and the woman takes a taxi and Jack goes home too. He arrived when I was already in the hammock, dreaming about the beautiful Brazilian woman.