It’s a pity that literature doesn’t arouse in today’s readers the same interest as the most recent leaked opinion of Belle Belinha . A pity for me, who don’t write much on the subject, and a pity for the non-reader, who misses the opportunity to have a broader understanding of politics and life.
Without the literary basis, for example, the title of this text seems like the cheap provocation which, of course, it is not. The image proposed in the question is a reference to “O Beijo no Asfalto”, a play by Nelson Rodrigues that I had read almost thirty years ago and in which I immersed myself last weekend. I’ve never seen a montage of “The Kiss on the Asphalt” – and I don’t want to. There are no ham actors or modern direction in the theater of my head.
In “O Beijo no Asfalto”, a man is run over by a bus when, suddenly, Arandir approaches, bends down and kisses the dying man. In the mouth. Oh, how absurd! Oh, the columnist has become an LGBT activist now! Calm down, my lord and lady. That’s not it. The kiss is an act of mercy, not lasciviousness, although this idea seems so absurd to all the characters that it could only end in tragedy.
“It was someone! Somebody! That died! That I saw him die!”, explains an exasperated Arandir to Amado, the absolutely unethical journalist who absolutely cannot conceive of a world in which a single act of merciful love is possible. Arandir, in fact, spends the entire play explaining the misinterpreted gesture, the charity that in the eyes of others is lust. All around him, everyone has some kind of interest in the sinful version – the simplest and seemingly most logical. However, at no time does Arandir hesitate or change his version of what happened: it was a kiss of love for a dying stranger. As strange as this may seem to me, you, Selminha or Cunha.
As we live in hyperpoliticized times and my imagination is already contaminated, there was no way around it. When I finished the book, I fantasized about a contemporary playwright who had daring and talent, but not originality, to write a story in which a bolsonarista more bolsonarista than Bolsonaro himself, when faced with a PT (with the right to Lula’s shirt and cap of the MST) dying, bends down and, in front of a crowd attracted by the macabre promise of being run over, kisses him. In the mouth.
Overall, the reaction would hardly be different from the original version of “O Beijo no Asfalto”. With a difference that is perhaps fundamental: part of the public would point the finger to “accuse” the Bolsonarista’s homosexuality and, soon after, call anyone who insisted on this homoaffective interpretation homophobic. Instead of headlines screaming the sodomy scandal, we would see reports with supposedly impartial titles, accusing the Bolsonarista and the PT of some kind of electorally promiscuous relationship.
And, as with Arandir, no one, absolutely no one, would believe that a man (even a bolsonarista!) would be able to sympathize with the suffering of another man (even a PT!) who asked him for a final kiss before boarding the ship of Charonte. Or was it just a little raft?
Oh, and before you ask me why I didn’t propose the image of a hard-line PT kissing a Bolsonarista ditto, I explain that the kiss of ” The Kiss on the Asphalt” is a deeply Christian kiss (Mariana Trench level). As a communist is, in essence, an atheist who believes in man’s ability to replace God, the image would make no sense.