Pedro Ávila

Here at the top it’s easy to talk. The city listens to me think, even though it won’t shut up.

Moments pass in the São Paulo night that never seems to darken completely. As if there is a porch light that is always on somewhere, the night in São Paulo is unnervingly light. A glance upwards towards the stars reveals the reason almost immediately, though at first you don’t believe it.

There are no stars, only cloud cover – smog that rises at night, just above the buildings. Reflected off of it are all the lights from the city that come seeping from all the tiny windows in the buildings, pouring forth from all the headlights, spewing onto the streets from the street lamps and even buzzing from the spliced wires in the favelas

It gives the city’s night a radiating feeling, as of respiration, as of perspiration as of… a leaking nuclear reactor.

But nobody pays attention to that here. Like their coffee in the afternoon that is so rich and takes forever to drink between the words, there are more important things for them: like lunch breaks and weekends…these people are absurdly good at taking it easy.

Tired as hell, I can’t get myself to go to bed…not yet. The scene, a moment that the Beast decided to spare for me is a masterpiece in time. It has to be allowed at least that much. It has the grandeur of kings, the omnipotence of nature and despite the darkness, it holds no mystery. A great architect must have stood here and not known what to say. He did his thing, left the words to me, and here I am, speechless.

What a waste it would be to not enjoy it, at least.

Estanplaza Hotel balcony, Sao Paulo – March, 2006

Pedro Ávila Pedro Ávila

For a reasonably sane & productive member of society (arguable, but let’s not complicate things), I’m far too mobile and unrooted. I travel quite a bit for a job that is simultaneously my greatest privilege and my worst burden.

So I write. And I write. Travel pieces, political journalism (a stretch from ranting but, still), short stories, poetry and other such riff-raff. I contribute to a handful of publications and will probably just keep going until something gives out, or someone gives in.


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