City of God

Before Roz knew it, she was in the land of Caipirinha’s carnival, mystery and the sultry golden rays of the sun. She had always wanted to see the Christo statue over the city of Rio.

Somehow in a very distant corner of her mind she believed that she had been here before, and she laughed to herself. Perhaps it was a past life memory.

Rema and she took the dusty worn out looking cab from the airport to the host family they were staying with. She glimpsed Christo again; this time it felt like her vision of him was becoming stronger.

The house that they were staying in was like a sandwich – a favela on top of them and a favela underneath them. She could feel the heat and the excitement of the city; everything was alive –even the little gecko was dancing about refusing to leave his spot. He definitely was not going to sleep in a tree tonight.

Fire crackers were taking off in sequence; it seemed that there was a party all over the city of God.

Bags dropped off, eyeliner and fresh red lippy applied – the two women headed out the door. They were told that the party would start at 2.00 in the morning, when everyone would be there. The music was going to be somewhere between bossa nova and samba.

They took the cab to the middle of Ipanema, and they could hear the cab driver mutter under his breath “stupid tourists why?”

They had the address, but when they looked at the sprawling ill-shaped houses that were the colours of the rainbow spread over the mountains known as the sugar loaf, they did not know how they would find the party.  Perhaps they just needed to listen out for the music.

She noticed that everything was running off the same cables, mangled and twisted with sparks coming off some. No one seemed to care.

Just as they were about to give up, climbing the winding stairs, they heard someone shout, “Meninas you are looking for the party let me show you”.

Both women looked at each other; they were ready for an adventure. All three on the motorbike, they went up what appeared to be half steps of broken concrete for an eternity.

Getting off the bike and nearly losing her flip-flops, Roz realised that she really was on top of the city. The world seemed to be in full swing; the music was loud thumping, beating, stomping.

She suddenly realised that everybody was watching her, and there was kindness and love pouring out the core of their souls. The smiles were fixed; their eyes soft and mesmerising. The bodies were moving in the same direction not missing a beat.

She looked around for Rema, her eyes skimming the crowd. She recognised everyone, but they all looked like Rema. At this point Roz was sure that the caipininas had gone to her head.

There she was, Rema standing in front of her glowing, she said, “Enjoy the party, Roz. We have come together for you – it is a celebration of life. Did I ever tell you there is no such thing as dying? We are really just in another dimension of time and space.

We remembered this as one of your favourite cities that you visited with those you loved and disliked at the same time. We wanted to take you back here for a few hours.”

Roz now realised that everyone at the party were the souls that she had lost. The faces beamed at her for what seemed a lifetime, but it was only a minute or two. They reflected happiness, sadness, feelings of love and belonging. Roz felt warm and tingly; her head was slightly giddy.

She awoke from dreaming, and she knew she had travelled between two worlds. She smiled to herself once more; it wasn’t a past life she remembered.

It was the place we may go to if we believe our existence is never ending.  

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