Welcome to the second installment of the Rainbow! Today, we’re talking about prejudice.
I lost count of the times Perse and I went to the Brazilian Consulate. But I do remember well how it was. Plain bad. Mostly because it happened during winter and winter in Milan is horrible.
This beam talks about some aspects of the brazilian woman and all happened before we could enter the Consulate, wainting outside in the early hours of the day, under a cold rain and a gasoline-reeking atmosphere. It was dark, there wasn’t enough room beneath the canopy of the shops to shelter ourselves from the rain and we had more than an hour of waiting ahead. Burocracy was a tough endeavor and we had a lot of papers to sort out. But here I’m not talking about what we went doing at the Consulate, after waking up at 4 in the morning, I’m talking about who we met in the row waiting to get in.
Prejudice about brazilian women is more popular and infamous than ever. My wife was a victim of it and I must admit that among the perpetrators were members of my family. I’m still fighting against prejudice to this day, even if my marriage is over. I always appraised my wife and had the highest regard for her, in every situation, before and after our separation. We are still friends, but this is now. Back then, we were young and foolishly in love. So let love rule and see how it was in the past, when we were building our lives together.
This is a tale of confrontation and comparison, of wisdom and ignorance and of their inevitable consequence; responsability. Get on the beam and go!
Note: the following excerpt contains some coarse language. I left it the way I wrote it back in the day for the sake of purity, doing only a minimal editing work. The text is the result of the personal impressions and judgements I had some years ago, when my temper and my presence of mind were different and in no way endorses prejudice nor false judgement, racism, machismo of any kind.
Jan. 23, 2013
For the second Wednesday in a row, we went to the Brazilian Consulate to legalize our new documents. But unlikey the last time, there was not just one person waiting, but five, except companions and it is a lot at 5:30 in the morning. When we arrived, the conversation had already started and a thin and wavy-haired “morena” * was holding the stage. She had a high-pitched voice and seemed not to take a single breath or start a new paragraph while talking. By her accent, Perse recognized her as a bahian. She had wide and expressive dark eyes with arched and recently done eyebrows; her mouth was large, her lips fleshy and refined.
She had to be used to suck a lot.
We hailed the all-woman bunch with all-brazilian enthusiasm. Some of them were there for the second, third time after multiple rejections; many of them didn’t live in Milan. A woman was talking loud about people who had skipped the waiting line and her wish to beat them up.
– Today I’m not alone. – Perse smiled.
The previous week, she had quarrelled with the receptionist about a woman who had passed before us even if she had come more than an hour later.
The woman talking loud was a miner, meaning from the state of Minas Gerais, she was in her forties and looked very much like a southern italian woman; masculine features, shoulder-length pitch-black hair, bushy eyebrows and a hint of moustache. The fire of the conversation was even more fuelled when the bunch learnt I was italian. The miner woman turned to me:
– You’re in the wrong place. – she said. – That is your place. –
She pointed out two men standing on the parking area by the side of the street, some feet away from us. They were chatting. I knew why she had said that to me and that made me sick with anger. But I held back, letting the clever part of me do the job.
– And why should I go there? – I asked in Portuguese.
– Because it’s there that italians stay. – the miner said.
The airiness she used to give that answer, along with its ignorant obviousness or the obvious ignorance, made me mad the next second. And my wife must have noticed at once. It’s fair to say she perceived my mood changing even when not looking at me.
– Why should I go there, if I want to stay here? –
In the heat of the moment, the costruction of my sentence didn’t come out well; my portuguese wasn’t so good yet.
– He’s not like the others. – Perse said, trying to save the day.
She must have considered wise to intervene and I should have thanked her to have thought about it. What the miner thought, I don’t know, because the chattering of the bahian girl overwhelmed every chance to have a meaningful dialogue for the subsequent two minutes. I used that time to realize that I wasn’t done with the woman who wanted to include me in the mass of her cheap prejudices yet.
– Why did you tell me that I’m in the wrong place? –
I took a step forward, lifting my face while asking it. I knew she was a tough one, the kind that talks straight in the face but I didn’t give a fuck about it. She was wrong and she had to know it.
– Because that’s the place of husbands. –
God, I wish she hadn’t said that. I felt like I was going to explode.
– I am not like those two. – I said, stressing every word. – I am completely different and I am in the right place now. It is you who married the wrong man. –
I didn’t say this out of nothing. I had picked pieces of her conversation earlier, when she was ridiculizing her husband and talking about divorce.
– Don’t talk like this, you’ll end up arguing. – Perse whispered, jokingly and worried alike.
But the miner didn’t seem to mind my words. On the contrary, I was still burning inside; she had no right to say those things to me. Brazilian women have such a radicalized idea of italian men; all of them seem to be convinced that any marriage or engagement between an italian man and a brazilian woman has to go wrong sooner or later. What I took from her chatting was this: the miner woman is married to her over-sixty years old husband for seventeen years, they have two teenage daughters and a very big load of mutual intolerance. They are already separated and today she’s here to complete the younger daughter’s passport, because in ten days they are going back to Brazil too.
– That jerk. – she said pointing out her husband with an anger-fuelled look. – What a piece of shit. Just look at him, with the other one. They got in the car and turned the heat on and we’re freezing our ass here since 4:30 in the morning. –
The other she was talking about was the bahian’s husband. – You really are different. And I married the wrong man. –
Before she could come to this conclusion and being vocal about it, we spent time talking about Brazil and all things brazilian. She had seen that I was way more akin to her country and the brazilian way of being than any other italian man, so she said what she said without compulsion.
Thank you, miner. But I already knew that.
I tightened the hold on my wife. It is damn cold out here.
The bahian girl has a slender body, the dancer kind, a harsh tongue enriched with two-way jokes. She shows us some pictures of herself on the cell phone and from what I can see, she is a real samba dancer. Her husband, nearing sixty, divorced years earlier and has three kids with his former wife. He is retired and met her in the place she used to work as a dancer. He liked her, she noticed and thought about taking a chance in life, got pregnant and the very moment I learn about this, I see a little curly kid stirring and screaming in the car where the two men are. He is four years old and I guess the nonsense the two men were talking woke him up. The kid already looks intolerant and mimed. Just my fresh deduction.
The bahian’s husband, a bright faced north-italian, is the typical disillusioned and bored retired man with still a good looking aspect that witnessed better times. His good gab betrays the regret to have bitten off more than he could chew. The miner’s husband’s face expression is that of one who’s looking forward to seeing the nightmare his life was being over for good.
When I heard him talk for the first time, he made an inadequate intervention during our “so brazilian” conversation and these are the words he used, referring to the women of the bunch:
– I bet you all are from Minas Gerais or Bahia. –
If I had a shovel, I would have buried myself very deep down. Poor Italy. Poor me, that still had confidence, hope and brain.
Brazilian women are way more sexually active compared to sexually active italian women. A brazilian woman has to fuck at least once a day and if this does not happen, she doesn’t hold back in humiliating the partner or the husband, using every kind of term or word related to his poor performance under the covers.
Most of the times, brazilian women have neither respect, nor shame and nor actual moral sense. Most of the times they are sluts, meaning they behave conceptually and practically like sluts, not that they hitchhike or get money for sexual performances. This aspect can be found in many italian women as well, but in an extraordinary lower level. If we had to assign a score to brazilian and italian women about sexual activity, brazilians would beat italians 10 to 5.
The slut theory I just explained is not machismo, it is just my wife’s opinion. Her devoid and realist point of view. And from what I witnessed in the last couple of years thanks to the circle of our acquaintances, I could not agree more. It’s in their blood, they do it because they feel it’s right, like a call of the wild and when they see they’re failing, that the fish they thought they caught is not a proper fish, they let all the frustrations out, humiliating the man and discrediting him all around.
In a way, I understand them. In a way, I encourage their will to shit on these men who are shitty themselves. These jerks, as the miner called her personal one, that in the heat of the moment, jump on the first pussy they meet and get fucked in turn. They will never learn; there will always be an italian middle aged fool, divorced with kids that will fall in love with a brazilian cubist with a wonderful ass and a blow-job face. He will impregnate her after two months, will grow bored of fucking her, they’ll both end up hating each other, he’ll stop buying presents for her and will have to support their newborn kid for the rest of his life. But given the age, it would not be for a long time.
*Morena: a dark-haired woman.
I still could not control myself then and looking back, I think I would have talked to that woman in the quieter way, expressing the same thoughts. Seeing those couples at the verge of rupture and taking it so easily made me feel sorry for them but also quite bewildered. I felt lucky too, because then my relationship with my wife was still at the top of its game, I could never imagine what would become of us later. I held my position of happily married man as a flag waving in the wind and showing off to the world. I was living in a golden landscape of beautiful hope and possibilities and didn’t know it yet.
And you, gentle reader, have you ever been the victim of any kind of prejudice?
This excerpt is taken from the memoir “The End of the Rainbow”. If you liked the excerpt, please leave your comment as a vote to see the full-length book published.
Thank you and have a great day!