David Arioch – Jornalismo Cultural

Jornalismo Cultural

Archive for the ‘Love’ tag

The death of the lady next door

without comments


The announcement was made by two half-blooded dogs (Painting: Jonelle Summerfield)

A lady who lived on my street died. The announcement was made by two half-blooded dogs attempting to invade the house. They howled and left claw marks on the kitchen door. In a few minutes, they carved a tangle of risks, syncretism of sadness and despair. They felt her absence before witnessing her dead, fallen in the kitchen, victim of a stroke.

Together, they dug a hole in the yard, a naive attempt to reach her. They did not let themselves down. They just left the pit when they heard someone opening the gate. It was her son. “Mother … mother … I have arrived!” Lorenzo and Matino approached the boy. With muzzles full of dirt, they barked simultaneously.

Tuneless by their fatigue and disarticulation of surprise, they lamented as orphaned children who have not yet learned to speak. Tears streamed down, as did the long, fragile howl that floated like water wires drifting uncertainly through the mouths of the wolf. The son opened the door and the dogs moved forward into the kitchen. They licked the hands of the woman who no longer existed.

The boy covered his mouth and screamed, suppressing the sound and swallowing the hot breath like a burst of fire. He wiped the tears from his T-shirt and called the Fire Department. “There is nothing more to be done.” Circling the body, Lorenzo and Matino howled again. With a husky voice, the son shouted: “Sorry, mother! Forgive me!” Without making a sound, the dogs approached and licked the boy’s hands.

With the arrival of funeral workers, they packed the body in a PVC bag and left. The son went behind, in his car, accompanied by Lorenzo and Matino. With their heads through the window, they kept howling at nothing, or at all, since life celebrates death as much as death celebrates life.

Written by David Arioch

January 18th, 2017 at 11:14 am

A deep relationship with cinema

without comments


The Kid, American silent film comedy-drama, released in 1921 (Photo: Copy)

I have had a deep relationship with cinemas since my earliest years. When I was five years old, I was in front of the TV, next to my father. It was one of those TVs with a wooden box. I was mesmerized watching a child running and throwing stones at a windowpane, accompanied by a man with a mustache. “That was The Tramp”, my father said.

Then, I asked him: “Why is he throwing stones at the glass? The woman in the house is going to be sad. Will she have money to buy another glass? “My dad just kept laughing and told me to pay attention to the characters’ motivation and the scenario.

That’s when I understood why silent movies were silent, and why the aesthetics make so much difference, especially in art film. He was not mute only because of technological limitations, but because he instilled in the human being the ability to seek answers that could not be given in words. Children of my age loved kid movies and cartoons, me too. But not only that. I loved the films of Charles Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

In front of them, the absence of dialogues did not exist in my noisy child mind. The sounds swirled inside me. The movies had no color, perhaps, for others, not for me who always saw light in the sky, on the ground, and even in the darkness of the characters. “There’s no color there, let’s watch Dungeons and Dragons,” my friend Fabiano said one day. I answered: “Yes, it does! But it only exists if you want it to exist. “That day we slept after watching “City Lights”, twice.

Written by David Arioch

December 19th, 2016 at 11:08 am

The piglet from the showcase

without comments

The truth is that no one cared about his presence until the glass began to vibrate


“Oh my God! What is that? A live pig! Disgusting! How awful! What a joke! Lord, have mercy!” (Photo: Copy)

One day, the butcher shop queue seemed endless, extending to the far white wall, where the exhibitors showed up with hundreds of cereal boxes. And more and more people were buying huge amounts of meat.

“Give me twenty kilos of lamb!”, “I want ten kilos of pork ribs!” “Oh! And seven kilos of tuscan sausage!” “No! I asked fifteen kilos of termites!” “Yes! That’s it! Eighteen kilos of palette!”

Ground beef, chicken wings and drumsticks, topside, rump steak, skirt steak and bacon. The demand was so big that one of the butchers had to see if there was enough meat to satisfy all those people. Some customers became despaired with the possibility of missing one or another cut. “For the love of God! If I don’t get a good piece of steak, I don’t know what to do. This will be the end of the holiday for my family”, complained a man pushing a cart full of frozen and chilled meat trays.

While some people gnashed their teeth and others gnawed on their nails, the most discreet individuals subtly kicked the wheels of the cart and waited for the butcher’s response, who was given the most important task of the day. “I want steak, mother! I want bacon, mother!”, shouted a crying kid under eight years old. The little meatlover opened his big mouth to complain, and it was not hard to see meat lint between his teeth.

The tension increased as the butcher did not return. I noticed shaking hands, people scratching their bodies, as if taken by itching. With uneasy glances, expressions of dismay, anger and disapproval, swelled the bulwark of unrest. When the butcher returned, he nodded and smiled, and the crowd of customers applauded.

Quickly the voices and applause were drowned out by the sound of butcher saws slicing colossal rib pieces. No one cared about the mist of bone sharps falling over their heads. Thus the algid and assorted smell of flesh, a piglet was kept in the showcase.

With an apple in his mouth, he was ignored. The truth is that no one cared about his presence until the glass began to vibrate. The customers looked at each other and saw no hand or human leg touching the showcase. And inside, the piglet was trying to break the glass with an apple in his mouth. He made an extraordinary effort to get rid of the fruit. Then he grunted more than ever. Frightened, adults screamed and children cried. But no one was more thrilled than the pig who slipped on his tears.

“Oh my God! What is that? A live pig! Disgusting! How awful! What a joke! Lord, have mercy! This is so evil! What is this world coming to?”, they said. The image of the live piglet made customers leave the butcher’s queue, and if not for horror, at least for embarrassment. The exception was the man who was in line to buy fillet steak:

– What do you want, sir?

– I want the pig.

– But, sir, he’s still alive!

– This is how I want it.

– I will see what I can do.

– Well?

– It’s all right! You can take the piglet. You can pay for it over there, with the cashier.

– Alright! Thank you, my friend.

On that day, the last store customer abandoned the cart which carried many chilled and frozen meat trays. With the piglet in his arms, he crossed the market and ignored dozens of looks. At the register, he paid for something that he didn’t consider as one more product and walked to the exit as if carrying a baby. Outside, the night did not seem dark and cold. Then, the piglet from the showcase put his nose on the man’s shoulder and did not cry, just dozed.

Tony the cowboy

without comments

The man will wake up when the sky falls down on the ground. And we’ll all graze by pleasure of smelling the grass around


Outside, Tony whistled and Atalante appeared, a 15 year old robust black horse (Art: Amanda Kate)

Tony opened his eyes, sat on the bed and watched the billowy and reddish sky through the window on the Sunday morning. He was surprised by the silence of the rooster, but did not care. He got up and walked toward the sink in the corner of the room. He washed his face, moistened his hair, fixed his beard with his fingertips, and kept his hair down while the water was flowing. “I think that this day doesn’t want to show up. The sun seems to be a stubborn. Who is to blame? I have no clue!”, he said scratching his muscular chest.

Tony wore jeans and a blue shirt. He polished the sparkling bucket bringing the T letter highlighted and put on a pair of high boots. Before leaving for work, Tony straightened the hat on his head, prepared the coffee, looked for a mug, and wiped his beard with the back of his hand. “Now I’m ready”, he said smiling, slapping soles on the parquet floor and seeing his reflection in the mirror hanging on a nail.

Outside, Tony whistled and Atalante appeared, a 15 year old robust black horse. He prepared the saddle, climbed onto the animal’s back, and rode toward the meadow. In the early hours of the morning, without blowing his horn and getting assistance, the young mestizo of caucasian and kaiowá origin brought together more than a thousand oxen. He started to sing “Cabirúchichi”, a song that talks about the renewal of human love for animals after 30 days of tempests and thunderstorms.

– The man will wake up when the sky falls down on the ground. And we’ll all graze by pleasure of smelling the grass around. Today is the day, my friends!

The cattle understood Tony’s words.  Whenever he finished his song and his speech, they watched with attention and complacency. And the silence of seconds was overshadowed by a skyward bellowing chorus. The oxen’s reaction vibrated the meadow and shook the grass. That was the cowboy’s life for over 10 years, and lately his way to treat animals began to cause estrangement with his workmates. During the traditional crossing of the Saint Lucy Stream, he comforted the cattle as a psychologist or psychiatrist attending to a patient.

– Don’t be sad, Ruffian. You can! Look at you, man! Handsome and so strong. See how many of your friends are waiting for you to cross the stream. They respect you and follow you. Come on! Trust me. Please!

Hesitantly, and keeping the hooves on the bank of the creek, Ruffian attended to the Tony’s request. The crossing of Saint Lucy always frightened the cattle because it was part of the final route before confinement, followed by slaughter. They felt that the worst was to come. Across the creek, the cattle grazed plaintively, as if following a funeral procession. Tony tried to cheer them in vain. No ox wanted to see nothing, but the burnt grass and footsteps of his brothers who never returned.

Across the creek, cattle grazed plaintive, like following a funeral procession. Tony tried to cheer them in vain. None of the oxen wanted to see anyting beyond the burnt grass and footsteps of his brothers who never returned. Some of the animals supported their heads on their closest companions, believing that this would protect them and keep them away from death. Tired, they mooed softly until it disappeared into the sunny horizon and never were seen in that prairie.

One week later, Tony jumped into the Guararema Creek to save a baby calf, Ruffian’s son, dragged by the current. When he came out of the water with the trembling and moaning baby calf in his arms, he noticed three men waiting for him, sittting on the grass and smoking haystack. One of them, Cambuci, the eldest, stopped drilling the ground with a dark knife’s blade and said:

– We see that you’re different now, Tony. You stopped eating meat and eggs, and drinking milk. And began to treat animals like people. So far so good! I have nothing to do with your foolishness. Now what you did was too much. The boss heard everything and said this isn’t right. You betrayed his trust and need to pay.

Tony put the baby calf on the grass, patted his back and the animal ran away.

– Do what you have to do, but you should know that tomorrow’s world will not be the same as today, regardless of your will or the boss’s will. The land bleeds with the animals. You will say you never noticed? Look what it turned into here. This burned field, punished for more than 100 days of drought.

As he spoke, he received five bullets in the chest and lay on the creek’s bank. Without replicating, the three gunmen disguised as cowboys turned and left. Tony did not cry, scream or moan. He noted the sky more clearly than ever and felt a small amount of water caressing his ears and massaging his hair. Also, he saw the Ruffian’s son struggling to push his body out of the water with his head.

The baby calf groaned and made an extraordinary effort. Suddenly, a long stream of blood flowed from Tony’s mouth and mixed with water, following the stream as if it had life. “Follow the blood, follow the blood, follow the blood …” he repeated before he passed away. The baby calf was carried away by the Guararema and went with the flow, being dragged for miles.

Dazed and weakened, he was held by a sandbar. There, he lay crying. Within minutes, the baby calf heard a bellowing beyond the hose. It was his father, Ruffian, restless, trying to cross the fence. Surprised and thrilled, Mirela, Tony’s girlfriend, approached and asked two young men to carry the calf. Baptized as Obajara, that was the first day of the young survivor in the underground Sanctuary, Parassú, where Tony sent hundreds of animals in recent months.

Written by David Arioch

December 7th, 2016 at 11:36 pm

The goat of the mango tree

without comments

It was as if she tried to throw her essence beyond a shaky and noisy abyss

It was as if she tried to throw her essence beyond a shaky and noisy abyss (Photo: Copy)

It was as if she tried to throw her essence beyond a shaky and noisy abyss (Photo: Copy)

I was eight years old. Henry and Rick came to call me on a Saturday to go to their house to play with a “different” animal. My mother allowed me to go, and we went down the street. Arriving there, I saw a goat, and she was so white and portentous that simply the fact that it exists seemed to be enough to convey the most enjoyable serenity.

She remained silent tied to a mango tree in the backyard, and since the first time I saw her, I noticed her melancholic tiny eyes. Some parts of her body had a lot of scars; the goat might have been hurt in escape attempts. While I was drawing my own conclusions, she got tired of standing and sat down on a portion of dried leaves, ignoring the rotting mangos messing up her fur.

Her head was moving slowly from side to side. At the same time, seven or eight people were shouting, laughing and talking. Dogs and cats were running around the yard. It was like a joke without time to finish. For fear of being scolded, I stayed in a corner watching the goat whom I called Angel – without telling anyone.

Henry’s father didn’t take his eyes off her. Between sips of beer, he approached the goat. And she remained indifferent to everything, didn’t react to subtle slaps she received, accompanied by a smile and a cliché phrase: “It’s toooodaay! Yeah!” I didn’t understand what he meant and I kept silent. When I coughed, Angel perceived I was sitting on the floor’s porch, resting my back.

In her eyes, there was an opacity that sometimes turned into a fortuitous shine. It was as if she tried to throw her essence beyond a shaky and noisy abyss. Fifteen minutes later, she closed her eyes, looked at the floor and stayed that way. I got up and walked up to her, then Henry’s father suddenly appeared and suggested that I should depart from the goat. “Go play over there, David! Don’t get near the goat!”

Sulky and startled, I went to my corner. Angel opened her eyes again. Even with dirty paws and its slightly turbid loin, in my ideas she was still the most unpolluted being in that place. I couldn’t associate Angel’s image to dirt. The countenance and everything emanating from her reinforced my opinion.

After a few minutes, a sudden breeze rustled the leaves of the mango tree. Angel rose, lifted her head skyward and felt the whiff of nature stroking her long thin beard. I had the impression of seeing her smiling while her fur swelled in their contemplative simplicity.

Once the zephyr left, the light gradually extinguished. The sun no longer shone on our heads. It was an early afternoon which seemed like an early evening. Worried, I ran to the house to help my mother to take clothes off the clothesline, believing that the rain would come soon, falling and dragging everything with rascality.

Back at Henry’s house, my legs trembled when I looked toward the mango tree. Angel had her throat cut and below it there were two buckets of blood splashing on the ground, painted red the leaves and mangos on the ground. I tried to touch her head with my hand, or at least the threads of her beard, but I was small and only could pet her legs.

I felt chills and cried when I saw her mellifluous rectangular eyes still damp. I knew she had been crying because her beard dripped transparency on my forehead. Angry, I walked to a men’s circle and asked why they killed the goat. “To eat! What a silly question!”, they responded as a chorus, making fun of my exasperation.

At night, before sleep, I knelt beside the bed, I prayed and asked God to put Angel in a good place, and do not let her wander aimlessly, because she died tragically and prematurely. In the morning, some people came to our house to offer goat’s meat, but my mom declined politely. Although angry, I didn’t say anything. Then, I was told that everyone who ate Angel’s flesh became ill.

Furthermore, four men who participated in the goat slaughter died in an accident in the same week, carrying cattle from one state to the other. Superstitious, Henry’s father never killed another animal. And I, over a month, continued with the same prayer: “God, put the friends of Henry’s father in a good place. But give priority to Angel because she died first.”


without comments

It all transpired truthful, as an antithesis of artificiality of the concrete world that surrounded us

Lada, the goddess of love and beauty that I met through Sonya (Art: Igor Ozhiganov)

Lada, the goddess of love and beauty that I met through Sonya (Art: Igor Ozhiganov)

I have always considered it intriguing to meet people at random, without planning or intent. It seems that everything flows more naturally, since there is no concern to surprise someone. You see yourself in one place and start talking without expecting anything from the other person, nor she you. No tension, no anxiety, there is only the moment that can be ephemeral or lasting – and may or may not turn into something else.

There is beauty in unpredictability, and maybe it subsists in the absence of expectations, the fact that sometimes you can be in a place simply by being, with no intention of getting lost or finding a way.  Clarifying the introduction, I will relate a story to be taken into account.

One day, as I finished my college assignment, I stayed away from my classroom. I went down the third block staircase and I passed a group of young people who were talking so loud that conversation echoed through the building. Then, I sat on a bench in front of the first block. I was quietly, paying attention to everything around me. There was little movement in the courtyard, which was quite predictable, since most of the students were in classrooms.

Occasionally some people passed by me, heading towards the other blocks. The conversations ranged from backbiting to academic concerns. I thought it was funny to see girls dressed in such fine form. I started to think about how long they took to dress themselves. Expensive clothes, haughty posture, pointed nose and shaped hair almost geometrically, everything endorsed in my ideas the existence of a fatuous world, who aspires the most tangible of the fragile perfections. It was beautiful and sad. But I was not there to evaluate or judge, it didn’t mean much to me.

“What interest I had in the way people get dressed?” I always went to college dressed the same way, often in jeans, a heavy metal band t-shirt and sneakers or combat boots. I saw the world through the jet-black hair that lay on my forehead and lined on my eyes, dark as night.

At the beginning of the second millennium, I was wearing a large labret spike, an elongated pointed piercing that blazed between my lips and my chin. Even in the dark, it sparkled and attracted curious and nosy looks. I lost the count of how many people approached me over six years to ask questions about it.

Even after so many approaches, I continued explaining that it did not hurt, it was not difficult to sanitize and it did not hurt to put it. “But how do you kiss someone with it? It is not uncomfortable?”, some people questioned. At the time, it was not common to find people with such adornment. And it was precisely because of this labret spike that I met an Italian girl with Russian descent.

That night, in front of Block 1, it was more than ten minutes that I was sitting on the same bench. I left the classroom because I did not feel well. So, I was out there aspirating a bit of algid breeze that night fortuitously sent to me. Together, she brought a handful of leaves gathered around my feet, forming a mixed carpet of green and brown. Time passed, and the greenish balm anticipating the rain intensified.

“Today it does not come”, I predicted, observing the partially clear sky that confounded the forecasters for several days. It was at that moment, when I decided to get up to go to the bathroom, when a young woman approached me. Her voice was sweet and gentle, full of a strong and unfamiliar accent: “That must hurt, doesn’t it?”, she joked smiling, showing the ball of her labret. I replied that it only hurts when I fall with my chin on the floor – and I smiled briefly. Then she asked if she could sit. “Sure, no problem …”, I said. Her name was Sonya, and to my surprise, she brought a sudden autumnal warmth which appeased the abysmal cold night.

Although she was a foreigner, she spoke Portuguese with astonishing fluency. We talked about music and cinema. Without delay, the conversation turned into a philosophical and existentialist flame – filled with satires, aphorisms and bifurcated and meaningless comments. Human behavior, the meaning of life and our role in the world appeared ironically between topics, as well as the essence of the non-existent. “Things can make sense, but do not always, right?” “Nothing does not necessarily have to be only nothing, neither more than nothing.”

“How can anyone know what the taste of the night is if it is not able to absorb its flavor with closed eyes, recognize her from her perfume?” “I don’t want to have a mechanical existence, which does not allow me to take time for thinking and questioning. If I completely surrender to work, I’m afraid I can cease to exist. Maybe in a few years I will not see anything in the mirror. I will have to embitter the disappearance of my own reflection. ” “Ni ni ni ni ni. ”

Looking around us, we were like two strangers, scattered between comedy and drama of a variegated universe, such as those that mix real people and cartoon characters. We were ourselves – unveiled without the need for simulation – and that fed our noisy humanity in abstraction. You have the same feeling when you are a kid and go out to play with your first little friend. Within minutes, your eyes no longer see strange, and you realize the lightness of a contact on the threshold of life is so essential and substantial as to hold the maternal hand, feel the sublime and domestic warmth.

After that day, we continued to see each other. My fascination and deference by Sonya evolved to the proportion of all that we did not say, though we understood. Talking, as necessary as silence. I saw her as one of those rare people who can make someone dive within yourself to rediscover bigger, livelier, lighter, more transparent, more free and so much more.

She radiated joy; not the fake kind, ravishing, effusive or ill-considered, but placid, unfeigned and melic as their kabbalistic brown-green eyes; itself lights illuminating more than any light in our surroundings. Her almond long hair sparkled as gold thread outlining her fine and graceful features, further enhancing her beauty.

Even without lipstick, her lips blushed as fresh and wild strawberries. When she smiled, displaying exquisite niveous teeth, her dimples sprouted sweetly, more beautiful than the most portentous illuminated manuscript. It all transpired truthful, as an antithesis of artificiality of the concrete world that surrounded us. We learned more about life and human nature between the lines of our eyes. It was not difficult, if we saw ourselves in each other, in the completeness of spontaneity.

One night, when I did not have class, we met in her apartment. We went to the kitchen, and I helped her to prepare piroshki, buns stuffed by her with fruits and vegetables. We ate and sat on the couch to watch “Ladri di Biciclette”, by masterly neorealist Vittorio de Sica. In the scene where they steal the bike of the miserable paper hanger Antonio Ricci, I noticed my right shoulder wet. When I looked to the side, I saw Sonya crying, with inflamed eyes and eburnean skin made red. I smiled, nudged her with innocence and made fun of her sensitivity. She buried her face in her fine hands, changed her mien and gave me two pinches.

At the end of the movie, she told me the story of Lada, the goddess of love and beauty in slavic mythology. “She had similar attributes with Freya, Isis and Aphrodite. She had long, golden hair. She prefered it in braids with a grain wreath, which symbolizes abundance. But she could also change something in her appearance if she did not want to be recognized. Lada was very popular among the ancient slavs, because she was able to replace the winter cold embrace for the delightful pleasant heat”, she narrated.

Later, with the arrival of a young woman with whom Sonya shared the apartment, we walked to the elevator entrance, where we said goodbye with a hug that lasted nearly five minutes. Residents passed us complaining about the cold that we did not feel. They were surprised to see me wearing a t-shirt. My jacket was resting on my right arm, unconcerned with what awaited me on the streets. I smiled and closed my eyes, absorbing the organic balm of her hair and the predicates that life emanated from her body.

Outside, the drizzle was falling and disappeared before touching my skin. Many people walked quickly holding a purse or a briefcase on their heads, fearing of suspended water droplets. I walked for a few blocks, and felt my body so heated that even the wind gusts, that twisted the finer branches of the trees, didn’t hit me. I felt the warm arms of Sonya around me, softer than satin sheets. Halfway, the serene dissipated and the cloudy sky cleared for a moment. Some passersby pointed to the sky, where a moving woman’s face was smiling while in primacy crumbles.

Written by David Arioch

October 28th, 2016 at 10:55 pm

The cat of Paraná Village

without comments


Photo: Copy

Cherubim heard gunshots followed by meowing. Outside, on the sandy dirt road, Ranulph did not move, and was sprawled over a portion of sibipiruna’s fine sheets. His mouth was still hanging open, exposing the pain of death not even spared the most innocent beings.

The boy tried to stop crying because he was afraid to look too sentimental. Cherubim made so much effort that the hot tears, that threatened to drain the corners of the eyes, disappeared without gaining the principle of freedom.

Angry, Cherubim noted Matias on the mango tree, smiling and aiming the shotgun in his direction. “Do you want too? I give you, muggle!”, warned the boy. Cherubim said nothing. Only scratched his head, regardless of the dusty cloud that was forming around his head like orange mist.

Keeping his back in front of the killer, the boy crouched and made caresses on the cat’s belly. The kitten no longer felt Cherubim’s hands on his clear fur. Where there was a pair of blue eyes, it remained a small shapeless mass. Two bashful tears fell, moistening the cat’s dry mouth. It was too late.

The hours passed away, and the nature buried Ranulph, covering his body with sandy soil, gradually transported from the forest by south wind. “Cherubim! Take this animal here. It will start to stink”, they said. He just nodded his head in agreement, without even moving his legs that rested on the curb.

When the earth, dragged by gale, invaded the cat’s mouth, the boy approached and cleaned it using a washcloth moistened with water. In the late afternoon, he tried to bury Ranulph in his mother’s garden. He was reprimanded as he was digging the earth with his grandfather’s trowel. “Are you mad, boy?! This is no place to bury an animal!”, complained his grandfather.

The old man picked up the dead cat by the back skin and put him into a thick dark bag. It looked like a cadaver pouch in PVC. He hung the bag on the handlebars of the bike, and rode to a vacant lot used as a garbage dump in the nearest neighborhood. He returned without a word, walked into the kitchen, took a bitter sip of coffee and laid down on the hammock.

Cherubim was watching the old man, wondering what he did to Ranulph. Without the courage to ask, he recalled a law imposed in Paraná village in the 1970s, when three large dogs killed two babies. “No one can come here with animals. If someone kills an animal, nobody can cry or bury him, or they will have to deal with me”, said Mandino Counselor, whom the population resorted to whenever there was a problem in the neighborhood.

Under a papaya tree, Cherubim watched his grandfather sleep on the hammock. He cried and shouted with his hands in his mouth. The boy also lashed his own legs and back with the papaya branches. No one listened. The welts multiplied. He did not care. He lay on the ground and felt a bitter taste in his mouth, a mixture of dirt and blood.

He woke up at down, lying on his old mattress, wrapped in a dirty white sheet and full of holes. Through the orifice in the roof, the sun illuminated a dog food packet flanked by a water bowl. Cherubim got up and ran to the shack entrance, where he lived with his mother and his grandfather. The hovel threatened to fall for years, but resisted.

He sat on the floor and used a piece of stick to draw Ranulph. After he was finished, he dozed a little, with his back propped up on a wooden fence with barbed wire. In his dream, he heard a purr that prickled him. He opened his eyes and under his left hand, Ranulph was marking his territory again, rubbing his dirt and soft fur on him.

The smell of garbage went unnoticed, not the hunger meowing. Crying, Cherubim held the blind and overwrought cat in his arms. He took him into the house, and there they stayed the rest of the day. The Ranulph and Cherubim story changed Paraná Village in the late 1990s: “Who does not see love in an animal, does not see love itself,” said Mandino’s son.

Written by David Arioch

October 9th, 2016 at 11:24 am

Dio, the discovery of the little hawk      

without comments

I was surprised to see in the yard a small hawk perched on the branch of a brazilian grape tree


The little one loved living at home, going through every space he pleased or instigated his curiosity

I was eight or nine years old. I got home and I was surprised to see in the yard a small hawk perched on the branch of a brazilian grape tree. He was so young and my mother found him injured near a vacant lot. She took care of him and soon he recovered, but he didn’t want to leave.

The little one loved living at home, going through every space he pleased or instigated his curiosity. His plumbeous feathers contrasted with the clear sky on hot days. I said he was the lord of the rain because his plumes were gray as the misty sky. Whenever someone asked me why Diodon had orange feathers next to the right foot, I repeated the same story I made up:

“In a day of little clarity, he flew so high that the sun got angry and suddenly appeared just burning a small portion of his plumes. The shock was so big that even his blue eyes changed color – an endless memory of his stubbornness.”

Dio was quiet and silent, but he didn’t like to interact with other animals. He only watched them from a distance, as if from the branch where he rested, he observed the vassals of his kingdom. He had an inquiring look and at the same time simple and pure. He couldn’t hunt, so the responsibility fell on us to feed him with ground meat plus calcium carbonate powder.

The first time he went up on my finger, I felt a tickle. When I started to laugh, Dio opened his beak and screeched. I had the impression that he wanted to answer my laughter in his own way. As Diodon grew, my fingers became insufficient to safeguard him, and he decided to nest in my arm and shoulder, especially around the neck, where he learned to poke me subtly with his claws. Over my shoulder, Dio always called the attention of onlookers in the center of the town.

From time to time, he opened his wings like a fan, reaffirming its grandiosity. His popped eyes gave me the impression that his painstaking vision contemplated all around him, like his hearing. Nothing went unnoticed, not even a solitary leaf swept by the breeze into a manhole.

Occasionally, he cowered in the presence of strangers, hiding part of his body behind me. I was tickled and laughed when his grizzly beak poked my head. Then he moved his feet to the left, to touch my deltoid, and watched me carefully, since ignoring the visits that he regarded as intrusion. Despite the estrangement that lasted months, he no longer saw the poodles Happy and Chemmy as threats. By analyzing them, his behavior has changed considerably. I remember when I caught the fond Chemmy licking Diodon’s feathers. Silently, the little hawk was aiming the nozzle towards the indigo sky in contemplation.

At late afternoon, after the restless Happy came to lick his beak, Dio wasn’t positioned to peck the dog’s nose as usual. The truth is that he didn’t care. The little hawk may not have noticed what happened and continued admiring the celestial vastness, abstracted from the earth and released to the heavens where he floated under soft dreams as his feathers.

Happy thought that Diodon’s passivity was strange, and examined with exultant and ensnared expression. The poodles retreated when the little hawk flapped his wings and walked toward the brazilian grape tree in the backyard. Climbing from branch to branch, he reached the top and hesitated for nearly a minute before he jumped with open wings.

During the flight, Dio squealed with excitement that caught the attention of neighbors and strangers who passed through Arthur Bernard Street. He was happy and even the most inattentive person realized it. It was as if the cloudless sky gained a new owner, a young animal which discovered that the breath of life also exists in the concession.

Every day in the afternoon he flew at the same time. I was finding it curious and I started to time the duration of his flights. One, two, three, four hours. Each week that passed I noticed that Diodon spent less time at home. That’s when I realized that his home was no longer a place, but a space where his wings bobbed with the purity of a winged horse.

The last time I met him at home, he gently pecked my head. His feathers were more vibrant as well as their glittering eyes of citrine that conveyed me cunning and conviction. Diodon was no longer the small hawk who came home wounded, malnourished and with few feathers. Although he didn’t like hugs, he allowed me to involve him quickly between my arms, without even pointing his long, sharp claws. I let him, and he played the same way he winched the first time that he came up on my finger. Within minutes, Dio left and never returned.We didn’t try to seek him because there is nothing to find when the departure is motivated by the untimely desire to fly.

Written by David Arioch

September 25th, 2016 at 3:21 pm

The love and the pomegranate

with one comment

I never understood how love, so colorful symbolically, could have baleful constitution


I continued visiting mister Ofer until 1993, when we lived in Progress Garden

Throughout life, many times I’ve heard someone saying that love, mistaken for passion, is overwhelming, as if made of sparks of foolishness. When it comes, makes you blind and averse to sense and reason of serene things. It consumes you unexpectedly, leaving your lips parched as dashed ground by severe drought. I’ve heard many stories in my town about suicide for love; people jumping from buildings, throwing their cars against trees, hanging themself, consuming strychnine and shooting themselves in the head. I never understood how love, so colorful symbolically, could have baleful constitution.

Love should not be like mourning, a sorrow manifest. Neither deserves to be related to death if it embraces in essence the fearlessness of light. The heart that loves in abnegation only darkens when it stops beating, irremediable fact of our epilogue. But while living is colorful and robust as a mango harvested in march. It is beyond good and evil. Love is beautiful in literalness, in the purity of its semantics. Not so unilaterally or less distorted and depreciated by clumsiness, confabulations and deconstructions of sense.

Not that there is no pain in love, after all it is inherent to life and sends us iterated signals that suffering also dignifies the existence; teaches that we are defectives, fragile and ephemeral as all beings that inhabit the Earth. However, a feeling becomes harmful only if we allow it to. At least that’s what my life shows me since I started to recognize its entanglement and depth.

When I was seven years old, I lived with my parents in an old house on Pernambuco Street. At the time, a part of the population of my town still had the custom to hold funerals in the own residence hall. One day, across the street, just over 50 meters from home, walking and moving the fingers of the right hand by the wall painted with lime, I stopped in front of a gate where I saw and heard people in a shy crying, talking and scratching their eyes.

They were around a glossy black coffin that looked like a newly unmeasured greased shoe. The room was small and the people, depending on the height, almost rubbed the navel and chest at the deceased’s head to get to the bathroom.  Because of the distance, I could not see her face covered by a snowy cloth that more resembled a bridal veil. I knew she was a woman because I remember when someone said that the deceased was mistress Stela. “Hey, they will bury her with that party cloth?”, I asked myself in a burst of spontaneity and simplicity.

The next morning, when I went out to buy bread, I found mister Ofer, the husband of mistress Stela, walking slowly, laughing alone, and without pointing eyes to anything that surrounded him near a bakery at the Federal Avenue. It seemed like a solemn trance and perhaps meaningless in the strangers conception. I approached, greeted him, and in a typically thoughtless act of a child, I asked: “Mister Ofer, your wife died yesterday, so why are you laughing?”

So he kept quiet for three or four seconds as he watched me and straightened the last button of his flowered shirt, such that retirees use when they go on vacation to a tropical paradise. His complexion and his eyes sparkled so much that I could see my little reflection distorted in his almond-shaped velvety pupils.

“Look, David, you’re still too young, I don’t know if you will understand, but I will reveal to you a secret. I’m not happy, but I committed to rediscover a new direction in my life. Before Stela died, she knew how much I was dependent on her. She was my first and only companion for more than 40 years, since we were teenagers. So you know what she did when she became ill and they told her she wouldn’t live long? She was not lamented. She took a notebook from inside the nightstand, picked up a pen and planned my life, day by day for the next five years. She always knew that I am a mess. She said it was for me to follow straight, so I wouldn’t feel lost. If I started a new life, I could leave the notebook. Otherwise, I just needed to restart the tasks. The first day is today. Take a look!”

I took the notebook with both hands and there were the first suggestions. “Dear Ofer, my great love, get up tomorrow, take a good bath, wear the flowered shirt that is on the first hanger, put on the beige shorts in the second drawer and the almond sandals that are in the first row of the shoe rack. Walk slowly to the bakery and smile. Remember the first time we met, when we got married and when Laura was born. Be sure to smile, even if the people judge you. Ignore all the negativity. Sooner or later this exercise will brighten your heart, turning pain into a new form of love. ”

I returned the notebook and walked to the bakery. There, he bought me a snack and a soda. He preserved the smile most of the time, even when he reported the difficulties in the 1950s. “Our house was practically a shack. We had no fridge, so I only could buy food that did not spoil quickly. We were young, very young, but we were happy in a little place in the woods, “he said, already teary eyed.

On the way back, I noticed that while he was walking, mister Ofer fondly massaged his wedding ring on his left hand. There was a warm and stuffy silence like a diving suit that blended the sounds of motorcycles, cars and trucks crossing the Federal Avenue. Suddenly the uncomfortable smell was overshadowed by a uniform and subtle scent of a blue lily bouquet transported on foot by a young employee of a flower shop. “It is her favorite. Stella called it a Blue Darling”, commented mister Ofer in a laconic laughter.

In front of his house we said goodbye. When I was leaving, he yelled my name and asked me to await. Soon he returned with pomegranates in his hands, picked from his backyard. “That never miss love in your home as never lacked in mine,” he said with a candid smile. I continued visiting mister Ofer until 1993, when we lived in Progress Garden. Over time, my routine changed and his too, then we lost contact.

One day in 2002, I received a letter signed by his daughter Laura, who lived in Curitiba for more than 15 years. I thought the correspondence was sent by mistake because I no longer remembered her. When I opened the envelope, I found pomegranate seeds, brought from Palestine, and a small letter. “My dear and good friend David, all that dies today reborns tomorrow, if the heart accepts it. Never forget that even the Dead Sea couldn’t overshadow the scent of pomegranates that radiated to Jericho”, wrote mister Ofer.

Written by David Arioch

September 23rd, 2016 at 11:17 pm