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Cairo Braga's Music Journal
14 minutes | Jan 1, 2019
THE LONGEST NIGHT (or) THE DAY I BECAME A NUMBER
[powerpress] 2018 was an awful year to me. 2017 was an awful year to me. 2016 was an awful year to me. the matter here is not the total abscence of happiness, joy, love and other good things that happened, I’m not ignoring, diminishing or underestimating their value, but I’ll not talk about them here because I talked about them when they occurred, you can see that on my socials. the matter here is that, during the last three years, all of the transformative experiences I lived were awful. but 2018 was the worst of all, in the same way 2017 was worse than 2016. 2018 was the worst of all, not just of the aforementioned last three but of all the twenty-eight years I’ve lived so far. I literally started 2018 with the end of a 3-year long relationship, from a mutual and peaceful decision. in the middle of the first semester I followed suit with an intense love affair that ended after 5 weeks, badly and litigiously, although with mutual agreement. at the start of the second semester I lived thru another breakup, of a 4-year long relationship, peacefully but from an unilateral decision made by the other person. in the middle of the second semester my country screamed and yelled, for the whole world to hear, how much it hates me, thru a distorted and litigious election process. I ended the year living the most extreme experience of my life up to this point, the materialization of the hatred shown in the polls. exactly a week after the second round of the brazilian presidential elections, at three in the morning of the fifth of november twenty-eighteen, I suffered a homophobic murder attempt. five boys grabbed me (I was completely alone) at a bus stop in the central region of the city of São Paulo, simulated a robbery, threw me on the ground and kicked and punched only and exclusively my head while repeatedly calling me “faggot” and “little sissy”. I survived because their own cowardice was bigger than the act of cowardice they were practicing against me: at the smallest indication of someone walking on the other side of the street that could see what was happening, they ran away. the “courage” and “masculinity”, even in a group, turn into wind on the feet of those who don’t want to face the consequences of their actions. as quickly as I was able to, I got up and started to think about what I should do, while I cried, bled and paced around. the bus I was waiting for arrived shortly after and I asked the driver for directions to the nearest police station. I breathed as well as I could and fixated on the task at hand: get medical assistance. I walked back to where I originally came from: the plaza opposite Love Story (which is a nightclub), where there’s always cops watching the area. while on my way I walked past a few people, but none of them offered me help. “I cannot believe I’m gonna have to trust a militar policeman” was my thought just before I asked a couple of cops for help. they treated me as if I was a passing person asking for a simple piece of information, as if nothing had happened to me, or was happening, since I was literally dripping blood. they offered me a quick ride to the hospital. and quick it was: they dropped me off in front of the hospital and scrammed, not even waiting to be sure I got inside. so I got inside, asked for some directions and got medical assistance. during the many waiting hours between the stages of the care I was receiving (I spent a total of fourteen hours at the hospital) I was juggling a lot internally, trying not to lose my clarity of mind, trying to deal with the general physical discomfort and impact of the whole ordeal and the urge to simply lay on the floor and sleep (by then, I had woken up more than twelve hours before), trying to cope with the pain, trying to control my crying and urge to scream and howl, because I was in a hospital with other people and couldn’t let my suffering to worsen theirs. all the while this was happening and I made an effort to cry without making noise, I realized that I was not a victim of a violent robbery: all my objects were still with me, including my backpack that could’ve been easily taken from the moment they threw me on the ground. smartphone, wallet, headphones: it was all with me and untouched. it wasn’t a robbery, it was hatred. I’d been hated. the notion that I had, in fact, suffered a murder attempt only formed three weeks after the fact, after some friends pointed it out and I went through a completely devastating process of realization: they tried to kill me because of who or what they thought I was. they don’t know me, they don’t know my name, they have never seen me before, they don’t know who I am. still, the image of my strange person they saw and interpreted on the street was enough to make them want to kill me. the election of their fascist president (hello to my cousin who voted for him) gave them validation and permission enough for them to act and try to kill me. I wasn’t a person, I was a bleeding scarecrow. and, to them, I had to bleed until I bled no more. I had to scream until I screamed no more. I had to fight back until I moved no more. but I’m hard-headed and I survived. to survive is to deal with the consequences of our torturer’s actions. they ran from what they did, I don’t have that choice. I’m gonna go through years of identifying the layers and weight of the meanings of this single fact, some good, some bad, some more complex than that. they took me my right to the city. they took me my right to free transit. they took a piece of my mental health. they tore up my social tissue. they took away a hopeful illusion about “civility”. they broke my national identity without any chance of recovery because now I’m the one who doesn’t want it. they showed me I’m not alone. they showed me I’m hated. they showed me I’m loved. as a bonus, they took away the very small trust I had on the great press. two journalists contacted me, I responded with disposition, and they simply stopped replying. a TV news program that I took part in and spent a whole day filming, only to get cut out of the final edit that went to air, showing that the sensationalism and the pornography of the violence I suffered is only valuable to the private TV stations that openly supported the elected president if it’s not accompanied by my ideas and my identity, nor by my mom’s political views and social conscience, nor by my lawyers’ sense of community and human rights activism. and that’s why I convinced myself that I couldn’t not write something about this, on my terms and with my skills. I’m a communicator and I have many ways of transmitting my message. this story is mine, and mine only, and I’m the one who’s gonna tell it. this experience is a complex one. I have to deal with it, but I can’t let my life be led by it. I must welcome all the care, love and support that people sent my way because of it, but I have to deal with the fact that they’re also reminders of what happened that affect me on many ways. I want to reply to the more than three hundred people that reached out to support me, but I was not yet able to because the energy to deal with the triggers and memories is unstable. I know that maybe I’ll still have to re-tell this story many times, but I don’t want to relive it everytime someone asks me about it. I have to try and see the positive outcomes of this situation, but I don’t have to keep trying to extract something good from a murder attempt like it’s an obligation because it only makes more difficult for me to accept the fact that I’ll never be able to forget the day I became a number. may 2019 be better. please. P.S.: thank you to all my beloveds who made my survival during 2018 possible: original family, chosen families and friends! special thanks to my lawyers, Evorah Cardoso and Flavio Grossi, for not only advocating for me but also actually supporting and embracing me. I also thank the teams at DECRADI (Civil Police of São Paulo) and NUDDIR (Public Defense of São Paulo) for treating me with humanity.
8 minutes | Nov 14, 2018
#NaSoAlMo Day 14
São Paulo, the 14th of October, 2018. Dear Journal, once more I had my life plans frustrated. I sing to life, yes!: http://goo.gl/WS2zCU download: http://goo.gl/tcEBJU subscribe to the feed: http://goo.gl/v9D8jP spotify: http://goo.gl/W5ni2p itunes: http://goo.gl/SLgjBd blubrry: http://goo.gl/56c1UH tunein: http://goo.gl/mYZhki este podcast também está disponível em Português! follow me on twitter, instagram, youtube, twitch. listen to my music on spotify, deezer, itunes/apple music, google play, youtube music, amazon, bandcamp, napster, resonate, pandora, the internet archive, jamendo. send me an email.
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