#PoolMeIn Rio de Janeiro

I rarely write the actual full-length stories of what happened in my life. This story is too funny//crazy for me not to though. I’ve decided to submit it to my professor for my creative writing class. Enjoy!

We were all living at Mambembe Hostel in Santa Teresa for two months of our lives, a group of 10-15 strangers from around the world that found each other’s souls in a brief blip in time that felt more like a glimpse into infinity. The first of the original Mambembe family was leaving to return to his life in Chile, so we had a huge going away party//BBQ//official opening of the bar at the hostel.

We were all singing songs, playing music, drinking caipirinhas and being merry, until the neighbors behind the hostel started firing gunshots in the air and throwing flower pots at us because they were sick of our drunken happiness. Well, some of us disappeared into the streets of Lapa to continue the celebration, some us just went inside, others passed out (probably just me actually), but before everyone dispersed, my French friend, Sophie, invited me to a pool party the next day. I had no idea what she was talking about, so I just said yes and went to bed.

The next day I tried to pick and prod for more information about this pool party, but no one had any more information than it was just the best time a girl can have in Rio. Well, duhh I was sold. So, the four of us leave the hostel: our Rio party tour guide, Glossy, the house cook, Moshe, Sophie, and me. We decide to walk there because it’s located around the corner in an unknown ritzy mansion. We arrive outside the door and we see who’s all standing outside: yuppie hipster, art kids, with rich swag. We look like the corner hoodrats compared to them. Whatever, we’re going to fucking party!

We get to the entrance and the woman says it costs 50 Reales (about $20USD). Well, Moshe and Sophie decide that’s way too much money and leave. I don’t care because I’m already there, I don’t speak Portuguese so if they’re judging me, I wouldn’t even know anyways, and I’m never going to see any of these fools again anyways. LET’S PARTY!

50 Reales later, I’m getting a glass of champagne or an energy drink, I don’t know some sort of beverage that’s supposed to suffice for the outrageous partying costs. I didn’t care, I just entered the Las Vegas of Rio de Janeiro. This place was stacked with the who’s who of the city’s contemporary art scene. I felt like I was on that rooftop party that someone used as a background video for Nicolas Jaar’s “Mi Mujer“. The ambience looked, sounded and felt the exact same.

There were two stages: the pool, which played the deep, end-of-summer house mix, and the side of the mansion, which played all the American club hits. There was a bar behind each stage and apparently no one was drunk enough to not care what was happening yet, because there were about five people in the pool and everyone else was awkwardly standing around it, trying to get as much liquid courage in their systems before taking that first dive.

Glossy and I said forget all that and jumped right in! The cachaça was pouring and things were starting to become less nervous and starting to flow into a harmonic wave of good vibes. The pool filled up, one of Glossy’s friends arrived, and I went off to discover some friends of my own. I disappeared to the American stage.

ENTER: the guy sporting the gold booty shorts with an American flag thong hanging out underneath, the glitter queen, the posh friend, and the girl with the ass that couldn’t stop twerking. As soon as I saw them I knew I would become best friends with them for the night. They blew all types of glitter all over my body, we popped, locked, dropped, and just damn right stole the show. Then two random people appeared and started passing a joint around. The guy with the weed started making out with me. I lost track of existence for a while and remembered there was a pool with my name on it. I disappear again.

NOW things were popping in the pool scene! The DJ’s spinning the exact right sounds at the exact right moments. Somehow I snuck behind the DJ booth and just started dancing, then I stood in front of the DJ booth and danced on the stairs that lead into the pool. My new friends from the American stage reappeared and we continued to explore infinity on the pool stairs once more. I disappear again.

This time I go to explore the tent next to the pool. It was as if I was transported to Burning Man. I sat down and meet a guy from America. He tells me he’s been in Rio since October, planned on leaving in January, never got on the plane and decided in that moment that he needed to find a place to live and a job, and did just that. He was living under the radar, illegally on a tourist visa, he was my new idol. They invite me to smoke a little bit. I say sure, but disappear behind the DJ booth instead.

I don’t know what happened to the harmony that once existed at the pool, but now it was a chaotic storm of belligerence. I was standing on the stairs again staring out into the madness. Suddenly a guy appears in front of me and licks up my thigh. I look down at him, “What. the fuck.”

We start making out. He gets weird, I disappear into the trees next to the mansion, somehow the first guy with weed from the American stage reappears, we start making out again, the guy that licked up my thigh reappears and starts screaming at me in Russian. I have no idea what’s happening so I disappear again.

I run and jump straight into the pool.

A girl starts fire dancing at the end of the pool with a candelabra. The entire pool is entranced by shiny objects. She disappears. I swim to the head of the pool near the DJ booth again. The party is starting to wind down because everyone is just a hot mess by this point. The guy in the gold booty shorts and American thong is now naked, mounting another man in the pool. I’m not even mad. The DJ stops playing music and everyone exits to the American stage. I stay on the stairs and a French guy swims over and gives me his bottle of cachaça. I chug the remnants of the bottle. I grab the inflatable toys from the pool, run over to the American stage and start putting inner tubes on innocent party-goers. Some guy comes up to me, laughing, telling me I’m funny. The party-goer rips the inner tube off, I run back over and put it back on him. Same guy reappears, laughing and blows yellow powder on my face.

Somehow I have officially lost everyone I once knew here. I have no idea where anyone is and run into the weed make-out buddy again; he offers to walk me home. We enjoy a night walk down the street. He tells me it’s too scary because it’s dark and no one is around and he runs away. I get back to the hostel, sit on the front balcony stairs, smile ear-to-ear, my friend Mikael comes over and says, “looks like someone had a good night.”



Bad Girls by M.I.A.

Nothing in particular or relevant to the moment seems to trigger some memories inside of me. I was cutting out these two Spanish girls from a Dolce & Gabbana advertisement in some bougie magazine and for some reason I just started imagining this random surf party at the co-op in Eugene before the start of summer in 2012. I couldn’t think of surf music that would be relevant to the moment and then I remembered, this is one of about five songs I was listening to back then.

“Live fast, die young…”

That lost & found front lawn wet suit and snorkel gear, the flourescent green tutu, a rainbow onesie on the girl with flowers in her hair, West Coast dreamin’, Ben will only make it half way before anxiety sets in, his nervous energy transfers to the exuberance bubbling out of our palms, a small party, the band sets up, I’m already drunk,

“Bad girls do it well…”

Mysterious photos in a wooden toilet sauna -infinite free years of public transport!, I emerge, Christian’s love for the Turkish bath becomes my front lawn final fantasy, a college indie wet dream on the side of some suburban sorority home, the party is overflowing now,

“When I get to where I’m going…”

Ari K and the OSPIRG brigade emerge from the front porch stoopin’ crew, the surf theme turns into a water bottle being thrown, spit’s flying now!, punches are thrown, fear bubbles up inside, Christian emerges fully aware of what has begun, the crowd fights each other, the police show up, we frolic away like the gypsy children we are,

“Gonna have you tremblin’…”

Coquettish heart patters and a blink of an eye, the man on the bike taxi escorts us to another place, we are the modern day Cinderella’s, the wrong burritoville, preposterous turn of events, we run, screaming “GET SOME!” to the same phonetics, we enter and leave again,

“Damned if I do…”

11th Street, the Hiron’s beach ball rainbow extravaganza, kickball, volleyball, summer sports in the middle of an empty highway, Cueyo, Kunu, the boys appear on bikes, Ari K, her OSPIRG friends, we are rollin’ through downtown now, high on speed, light speed, we cruise through downtown howling like hyenas, no time to be skiddish, we are the children of generations XY&Z,

“Who’s gonna stop me when I’m coming through?”


How to Be a Heartbreaker by Marina and the Diamonds

This memory has been floating through my mind space for the past couple of weeks. I don’t even know how it happened, but alas, this song correlates to the events leading up to it all.

“You’ve gotta have fun…”

14 hours in the Madrid airport, free wifi, 6AM boarding pass, goodbye email to Guapo, leaving the last month in Spain behind, slumbering travel excursion, a tour bus in another city,

“Don’t get attached to somebody you could lose…”

a passing thunderstorm, writing postcards to past lovers, the number 42 lingers above the door frame, the electricity in the air is apparent, the doorman across the street appears distraught, the air thickens as he passes, I disappear,

“Wear your heart on your cheek…”

Exit the metro, the doorman descends the stairs, our tongues common language is lust, our eyes link followed by our bodies, we are entranced in seduction, a flirtatious devil-dance, his lips meet mine, a whirlwind romance, time is spinning around us, he catches the next train, I am left to my own vices: giggling wondering how this always happens to me, I love the universe in these moments and it’s coquettish ways,

“Gotta be lookin’ pure…”

March 31, the Englishman in the bar, he buys me a beer, I tell him about my adventures, he’s intrigued, an invitation to his room, modest declination, visits to my own room find me two Brazilian boys waiting to party, the cave beneath the hostel, a club rager, the tall blonde man has been eyeing me up since I arrived, he goes in for the kill,

“Leave him wanting more…”

He is Russian, gentle caresses as he traces my hip line with his fingertips, we dance and kiss all night, happy birthday to me!, the club closes, we spill out onto the street, a nighttime stroll, “You must come with me, I will buy you anything you want!”, “I’m not interested in things that can be bought”, he pulls me closer, I lay on top of him in the park square, his body warm and inviting, I get off quickly, “I have to be up early to go back to Paris.”, “I must see you again”, we walk back to my hostel, he gives me a keepsake and tells me he loves me, “How do I see you again?”, I enter, smile ever-so-slightly, “You’ll find a way”, the door closes behind me,

“This is how to be a heartbreaker…”