Day 19 of the Writing Challenge seemed such a great idea when I came up with it: go to Wikipedia, select random page and wherever you end up is what you write...
That is, it sounded a great idea until I randomly turned up Pedro Aznar, an Argentine jazz bassist. I have to admit, I hit a real writer's block with this for some time - desperately trying to think of something, anything, that would make a good piece of writing. Finally, I hit upon an angle I was happy with an and wrote this is an about twenty minutes...
I hear the music of Pedro Aznar, drifting from an open window as I walk by on the way to work and I find myself suddenly detached from the present; I’m no longer in London, I’m in Rio de Janeiro again.
The concert is on Ipanema beach, out at Posto 9, and a sizeable crowd has gathered to listen to the eclectic blend of dance music interspersed with Latin rock and smooth jazz. The air is warm, thick with the smell of weed, and I clutch a half empty beer bottle in one hand as I sway in time to the music. Pedro Aznar has been playing for the last half an hour or so; mixing instrumental and vocal numbers, working the crowd with a dialogue I struggle to completely follow but I don’t care. It’s my last night in Rio and I’m just soaking up the last vibes.
I catch sight of her off to my right, a white dress, a flash of honey coloured hair and a pair of startlingly green eyes that meet mine and hold my gaze for a second, and then she is once again lost to me in the crowd. However, something stirs in my drunken mind and find myself stumbling towards the point where I saw her dancing, excusing myself loudly in my best Portuguese as I bump gently through the crowd. And then the crowd suddenly parts and she is right there in front of me, even more beautiful than I first imagined, eyes half closed and moving in time to the music as if she is totally lost in it, as if she is the only one here.
I am so spellbound that I only notice she is looking at me after I’ve been staring (I’m sure, open mouthed) at her for what seems like an eternity. I feel my cheeks instantly blush red but she is smiling, this dazzlingly broad smile that I can’t help but try and return and my blush fades in an instant. I try to lean in to introduce myself but she circles around me, one finger over her lips to silence me, and holds out her other hand. It’s warm to the touch and, empowered by alcohol and a sense of rhythm I’ve never experienced either before since, we dance.
One song, two songs. Edging closer and closer together; she is playful and teasing and wonderful wrapped all up in one and, as the second song ends we end up closer together than ever and for a second, a brilliant second in which time stops deliciously, we stare into each other’s eyes, both of us lost in the moment. When we kiss, her lips taste faintly of cachaca.
We are together like this for four more songs. Both of us lost in the music , lost to each other, until the crowd suddenly surges forward towards the stage and we are pushed apart from each other. I can do nothing but watch helplessly as the crowd sweeps her away from me and, despite struggling to push my way against their flow, despite then walking the beach on my own after the concert has long since finished, I never manage to see her again. I fly home the next morning and find that she is all I can think about.
I never knew her name, the girl in white. But, when I hear the music of Pedro Aznar I am immediately transported back to that moment on the beach, never once failing to dream of what might have been.