• Marie Tattiana Aqeel

Date Night Selfie

I'm sitting in the back of a "slow food" restaurant in the eco-tourist center of Lençois, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brasil. Bro. I'm on fire. Ordered a glass of white wine and it's very good, from Brasil. Candles are lit and the stars are out. I'm wearing a sports bra as a top. No one cares. I feel pretty sexy and in this moment I am relishing in my beauty, because the last two days have been difficult for me to absorb as the men around me have tried to weasel more out of me than I am giving them, which is a momentary friendship. A traveler's friendship. To a degree, I've been open with them. Told them I like women. But still, they tried their ways and what I keep thinking to myself is, "wouldn't you rather have someone invite you in?" I mean c'mon. My friends are telling me not to shrink from my femininity or my attractiveness, which I have done and continue to choose to do at times. I just want to be like one of them. Not yet special. Just one of something that we all are. But nature rules, I know. It's cool. I'll get through it. I'll figure out like Beyoncé did how to make my pretty work for me and then back it up with my talent and skills. - Yo this food is so good right now I have to say. Japanese rice with curry chicken and vegetables. I need a finger-kissing emoji... okay back to the topic at hand - It is important for me to learn how to handle what I'm given and right now I'm talking about looks. Yes, I have them. I know. And I also have a bombass energy. I'm very sensual, very sensitive and fluid by nature. In groups of women I am usually comfortable being this way, especially with women of color cuz they got the swag sauce too. - I just realized that's my second Beyoncé reference in this post. I want to promise myself that it'll be the last, but we'll see. I'mma go with the flow. It seems to be working for me. Gracias Pisces moon. - I really could just roll around in this right now. Low-key, alone, in the night. And it's hot outside too?! This restaurant is made for romance. If they had an oil wrestling ring I would totally get in it. I wanna smack some asses, mine being the first.

Something interesting: I find that I'm more attracted to the appearance of men here than in any other place I've ever been. This could very well be because the culture I've been around is hippy, farmer, fluid and so they guys aren't as machismo as the more popular culture has them. Also they're beautiful. Everyone's beautiful. Jeez us. I take so many double takes just to admire the beauty, as I do with flowers and interesting, new-to-me plants. After all we are a part of nature, aren't we? I can easily tap into the beauty of almost anyone. I just feel their natural essence and I get happy. It really is marvelous to be on this earth with so many different specimens of one kind Creator.

My entire day was worth it for this moment. To love and accept myself in fullness. At first I thought that this move was a bust. I hiked up a rock mountain with a stranger to sit in a shallow pool of water for an hour and a half while we had scattered conversations about various uninteresting things and he tried it. I mean it was chill buuuuutttt..... THIS! Is more than I could have imagined feeling at the end of today. The sheer and utter romance of it all is very attractive to me. Doin' it for myself.

How about how I relish a little bit in being gross to people. Being odd or outside or maybe them thinking I'm a homeless vagabond. I am about that clandestine life. Having something, just one thing a little bit off all the time. Socks and sandals. Messy hair. A random nose ring. Wearing a bra into a fancy restaurant. Sitting on the corner where folks are enjoying conversation, drinks and food with their friends/family and just existing here without buying a thing. I can. And I think that's the game of it. That I can and these folks may think I can't. I think I just understood the attitude of the white punk anarchists who move to New Orleans and pretend to be homeless just for the hell of it- you know the ones who can always go back to mom and dad for more money, or who actually have jobs and are part of the system but pretend not to be on the weekends. Dem. I'm one right now. I got money in my bank and my bank card next to my hip. I have on 125$ shoes and those well-made traveling clothes and I'm holding this expensive ass cell phone which is like 5x as expensive here. But I'm brown (which doesn't matter as much in Brasil) and I have some random sarang on over my pants and nothing matches. In other words, I'm outside the accepted presentation of personhood in society.

It's Carnaval!I like how everyone stops for the blocos. Live music and drumming troops. The children are out in costumes, the adults are drunk and taking selfies, anyone is dancing. It's pretty live even in this small town. For some reason, fewer hippies makes me more comfortable to sit here and take it all in. It's almost like I need the juxtaposition of normal human life against my own weirdness. When a bunch of weird people are all in one place it's harder for me to sift through the bullshit and find the good ones.





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