“What am I doing with my life?”, I ask myself along the way. The existential doubt has a culprit: my editor, this character that I imagine played by Francisco Milani. Apparently, he’s ready to start a series of stories entitled “Polzonoff Infiltrates the Bizarre Left.” In today’s episode, I enter a vegan basement and infiltrate the weird-party-with-weird-people that is this extreme leftist identity, environmentalist and cannabinophile.
The reason for the event in if it doesn’t matter much. This is the launch of the pre-candidate for re-election to the position of state deputy of Goura Nataraj – cycle activist, yoga teacher (not to be confused with yoga) and philosopher. In fact, the event is just a pretext to gather a gang of noise that likes to roll a thing. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). Again: the event is a pretext to bring together these people unable to tidy their own room, but who believe they can fix the world.
I arrive expecting to find a traffic jam of bicycles on the quiet street. next to the Municipal Cemetery. Anything. At the door of the bar, I am addressed by the unfailing advisor who requires a pre-registration to enter the party. Pre registration? I didn’t pre-register. But it’s okay, all in peace, you know? Fill out a form here and enter. Not without going through the magazine first. The bouncer gropes my pockets and feels a strange bulge. I take out my pen and pad and say: “I am a poet”.
The place is a basement with a stage in front of which there is a bicycle whose wheels, illuminated, form a “G” and an “O”. Because I’m punctual, I find the salon with a few souls as punctual as I am. Which allows me to carefully observe the environment. In the air there is a very heavy smell of… incense. It burns all over the room, including on wooden tops – which makes me fear a little, just a little, for my life.
I circle around the room. I feel all eyes on me – a single man, middle-aged, bald, white, without a samurai bun and who doesn’t stop writing on his cell phone. “My editor should have come with me”, I think, in front of a small table full of advertising material praising the deputy’s mandate. There are pamphlets and stickers advocating a variety of causes, from ending the riots and LGBTism to the legalization of marijuana. Later, I would find out that the patches for marijuana addicts were the first to run out.
Zé Dirceu 5G
I’m hungry, but the only thing on the menu is a vegan Arabic sandwich at the price of R$25. I curse the editor for the last time and… But what is that? What am I seeing?! Behind me, a man takes a salt shaker out of his pocket and offers it to a girl. She nods her head and holds out her hand. The man pours some salt on the girl’s hand, which she brings to her nose. “This salt-smelling thing must be new to youth,” I think. Did I mention that there were many children in attendance at the event? Yeah.
I get a little corner. On stage, a singer out of tune plays a few verses of “Mambembe”, by Chico Buarque. But it is soon interrupted by someone and mysteriously disappears, giving way to a slightly less unpleasant mechanical sound. Elza Soares or some of those singers with a child’s voice. The place starts to fill up. I notice that the t-shirts of all people express some kind of cause: “Generation 68″, ” The Future Is Ours”, “Politics Makes My Gender” and, of course, “Fight Like a Girl”. I myself am wearing a “Guns ‘n’ Roses” T-shirt – whatever that means.
As people arrive and take off their masks (the literal ones, because the metaphors are permanent) and by greeting each other, the inevitable political debates also begin. It’s time to sharpen your ears. I am struck by a tall young man, his 30 years old, who speaks to an audience of three as if he were a kind of José Dirceu 2.0. “Stalin said that…” he says, but I miss the complement. Damn it. “There are candidates who want to win and candidates who just want to show up”, continues the lecturer, but I don’t know who he is referring to. “The important thing is to build a political group, regardless of party, and especially to put your name on display”, he teaches. “So that’s about it”, I think.
Zé Dirceu 5G then starts talking enthusiastically about the dispute for the mayoralty of Paranaguá. He talks as if conquering power in the small coastal town here in Paraná was decisive for the future of Civilization. The subject annoys me and, moreover, I am distracted by seeing someone who looks like Leandro Narloch in college.
“I like to provoke an Uber driver”
Behind the stage there is a slide show that shows Deputy Goura enjoying life crazy. It even looks like the launch of a line of political-zen dolls. There’s Goura Santo Daime, Goura Mountaineer, Goura Kombi Driver, Goura Pedreiro (or at least he took a picture at a construction site), Goura Carpenter, Gouda Defender of Journalists, Goura With Someone Supposedly Important, Goura Does Like, etc. Meanwhile, in a corner of the salon, the real Goura takes pictures with beauties with blue hair and nose rings. The deputy and the beautiful girls hold up posters against pesticides (an idea that worked very well in Sri Lanka), for the legalization of marijuana and in defense of bamboo (yes, bamboo). When I say that democracy has turned into a grotesque popularity contest…
Remember those people who like to consume salt through their noses? Now they’re behind me and excitedly talking about…drugs. The man tries to impress the woman with a story involving a visit to a boca de fumo and a lightning friendship with a drug dealer. According to the account, he would have explained to the dealer how nice it would be to be able to legally sell drugs, paying taxes and all. “Ah, but then others say it’s against the family. And the alcohol?”, retorts the girl, who can’t stop rubbing her nose, poor thing. It must be rhinitis. Then the man raises the tone of his narrated heroic deeds to seduce the maiden with the slightly reddened nose: “You know what I like to do? I like to tease an Uber driver,” he says, imagining himself as a revived Che Guevara.
I check my watch. They are h. I went out to get some air, but I ended up catching THC. Without any embarrassment, a dozen people smoked pot. The breeze was heavy. “No, here you can smoke in peace”, someone said to someone. I stayed there, hoping to hear something interesting. “I feel the energy of change,” said one young woman. “Imagine another four years of Bolsonaro. People freak out,” she continued. Nearby, a big German captivated his friends with accusations. “There has never been so much structured corruption as today. They give licensing for everything. At the time of Lula it was not like that,” she said. Everyone nodded in agreement.
A pretty girl takes the stage. She asks people to applaud the VIPs present. Almost tutti buona gente. A councilor from the PT, a representative from the OAB, people from the PSOL, the consul of the Teachers’ Union, PCdoB activists and organizers of the Marijuana March (who are enthusiastically applauded by the chloridedesodiomaniacs, with the right to uhu! and all). There were even people from an organization called Police (did I hear boos? yes, I heard discreet boos) Anti-fascism (applause). I think these people love to say they don’t recognize authority, but run to pay allegiance when the feudal lord defends the same cause.
The text is ending and I didn’t even mention the ultranaïf painter and his brushstrokes full of artistic rage, but patience. The party is good, but I have to go because I forgot the clothes on the line. On the way out, while trying to avoid two colleagues who would recognize me there, I came face to face with the deputy. I cracked a smile, shook his hand, said “pleasure” and left. At least I think that’s what happened. His breeze was heavy.