SALTY BLOOD

SALTY BLOOD

To read the original version in the author's native language click here

November 2016

I opened my car’s trunk to pack the backpack, in which I kept the oxygen bottle, and found my surfing wetsuit. I stood there, paralyzed, staring at him, as if I had ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, and with whom I wanted to remember moments lived before, in a frenetic and excited dialogue.

But the conversation turned into a monologue, and the enthusiasm was replaced by a tired melancholy.

In that trunk, I found a longing already forgotten, but still humid, smelling like mold. The sand glued to the neoprene brought memories of those days:

when I would happily wake up early and ate the first menu the fridge offered;
when I would put on the swimming suit under the wool sweaters, and get on my way, with bags distributed among both hands, wrists, shoulders, and elbows, like a walking hanger;
when I would walk for some miles through the train tracks, and for some others through rushed and fugitive feet, in the expectation of someone who is being called by the sea, afar;
when I would bury my bare toes in the freezing sand, which later became numb as they touched the water;

when I dove into the ocean as someone who just got home, and let myself be guided by the waves, in paths drawn in an improvised synchrony;

when I sat on my board, in the patient wait of someone who is filled with what can be reached, without the ruthless ambition of resting the gaze on a horizon away from sight.

Now, my skin is uniformly pale, without any trace of melanin above the neck. My hair has already lost the dried, colorless highlights that the sun once painted;

and the knot in my throat when I see the ocean, far enough so I can’t sense its smell, is too dense for the waves to undo the ties.

But today, when I opened my trunk to make space for the oxygen, and found the fluorescent wetsuit, I let it stay exactly as it was, without pushing it, not even a centimeter, to the side, to make space for the machine they say holds the air that I lack.

I didn’t take it out of my car, because it is the smell of the seaside that expands my lungs, and the blood running through my veins is salty.

Novembro 2016 Abri a mala do carro para guardar a mochila onde embalei o oxigênio, e dei de caras com o meu fato de surf. Fiquei ali, parada, a fitá-lo, como quem reencontra um amigo que não vê há anos e, juntos, revivem momentos já vividos num diálogo frenético e entusiasmado. Mas a conversa virou monólogo, e o entusiasmo foi trocado por uma melancolia cansada. Naquela mala, encontrei uma saudade já esquecida, mas ainda húmida e com cheiro a mofo.
A areia entranhada no tecido de neoprene trouxe-me vestígios daqueles dias.
Quando acordava cedo, com todo o gosto, e comia a primeira ementa que o frigorífico me oferecia; quando vestia o fato de banho por debaixo das camisolas de malha, e seguia caminho com sacos distribuídos entre as mãos, punhos, ombros e cotovelos, qual cabide ambulante; quando percorria uns quilómetros sobre carris, e outros tantos sobre pés apressados e fugidios, na ânsia de quem o mar chama ao longe; quando enterrava os dedos descalços na areia gelada para depois os deixar de sentir ao roçar a beira-mar; quando mergulhava o oceano como quem chega a casa, e me deixava guiar pelas ondas, em caminhos desenhados numa sintonia improvisada; quando me sentava na prancha em jeito de espera paciente de quem se preenche com o que alcança, sem a ambição desmedida de quem assenta o olhar num horizonte fora de vista. Agora, tenho a pele uniformemente pálida, sem qualquer vestígio de melanina do pescoço para cima; o cabelo já perdeu as madeixas secas e descoloradas que o sol, um dia, pintou;
e o nó que se enrola na minha garganta, quando vejo o mar suficientemente longe para não lhe conseguir sentir o cheiro, é denso demais para que as ondas o desfaçam das amarras.
Mas hoje, quando abri a minha mala para dar lugar ao oxigénio, e encontrei o fato fluorescente, deixei-o estar como estava, sem desviar um centímetro que fosse para dar lugar à máquina que dizem ser o ar que me falta.
Não o tirei da minha mala, porque é o cheiro a maresia que me expande os pulmões, e o sangue que me corre nas veias é salgado.

MARTA D'OREY

My name has an easy laughter and a rooted character. It is written in words printed in the stories that, in me, I pack, and express out loud with a stuck-up attitude. My name is tangled in messy hair and rooted in bare feet. It is told restless and curious, assertive and stubborn. It is printed on the ground in which it steps on, and expressed in a sky it can’t locate. It dreams, but awake. It knows, but not all. It searches, but enjoys along the way. Does it live? Without certainties, but with immense joy. My name is all of this and much more. To friends? Marta will do. Pleasure? Hope not all mine.

LISBON, PORTUGAL

/leave a reply/