Geography of Love
‘Think of a lovely future ahead’
The most beloved and feared man in my childhood was my uncle Ricardo (my sweet little Witch and a great connoisseur of world geography), who died of AIDS in 2011. His verbal wishes were that I should inherit everything he left behind him. My inheritance consisted of a plastic box that he kept in a cupboard for 30 years. In it were 454 postcards of cities, which he had received in the 1970s, 80s and 90s from nearly 160 people in 14 countries, including Portugal (there were also identity documents, medical test results, letters, drawings, personal photographs and newspaper pages).
He had met most of these ‘lovers’ at Posto 9 on the Ipanema beach (an idyllic place and official habitat of ‘mermen’ in Brazil) and in the splendour of the free ghettos in the middle of the military dictatorship.
In 2016 I opened the box and looked at that treasure through tears. I can still see it. It’s winter and it’s raining outside…
‘World geography’ for Ricardo was always about going to some fascinating and mysterious place. He had never actually been to most of the places he described to me, apart from Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Bahia.
With this theoretic knowledge, he constantly forced his imagination to reach out to the unknown. During his ‘classes’ when I was a child, he seemed to seek ways to take me there. At times he dressed up as a witch.