Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Breakfast time in Fortaleza
Home again, absorbed in waves of overripe cajús. Loud conversations rattle and topple over each other at breakfast. Our hands and feet are kept warm by the moist wind that tastes heavily of salt. I quickly down cups of guava juice, to which my stomach loudly gurgles. The biting sugar breaks and widens the stuck, hard corners of my sleepy eyes. I know the day has begun because I hear the gas hiss and escape from Tio Byron's coca-cola can. I let milky tapiocas soak up my mouth until they taste pasty and thick. The kitchen door constantly croaks and whines, allowing the full and bitter smell of fried cheese to channel through. Our bellies feel heavy and lumpy, and serve to remind us that we're so full that we must eat more. I await Flávio's presence as I hear his clumsily loud, spread-out steps approach me, and when he does, he smells of chestnut-flavored popsicles. The wailing wind inhabits him as he speaks. And we all continue like this, in never-ending gorging on foods and talk. Until the day coils under its smells - my aunt's impossibly sweet perfumes, the plastic of toys, the burnt cheese, the leftover milk and the ripening salt that sticks to the walls.