by Jason Weiss
"I’m a guest here. If I wore a hat, I would hang it over there on that hook. At home, I prefer to take off my shoes, and when it’s hot, like today, I would rather wear shorts, so if you don’t mind. Good, much better. Ice? Yes, please.
But some day you do something differently, and then it becomes a habit, so people see you differently, even just a little. Like you start wearing a certain hat. Or you grow a beard. Excuse me. I grow a beard.
Last October I started to grow a beard, and haven’t cut it since. Can things really be that simple?
The beard has been an amusement, for a season or two. And then, like all things external, it will go.
You look Byzantine, declared one friend who happens to be of Greek heritage. Others said a rabbi, or a learned man, and one guy at the gym kept asking what new role had I been asked to play. My daughter was horrified, visiting from college, but my son cheers me on and it’s always been for him somewhat; his own beard is still a year or four away. My wife has never approved of facial hair, for me at least . Early on, she was ashen with anguish and said she couldn’t look at me, poor thing.
It feels funny when I’m swimming laps. I’m not sure I like the feeling.
Doubtful that I’d last too long with a hat either. I’d forget it the first place I went, or decide it made my head itchy. Would you mind, now that I’m here, if I finish that rabbit stew you left in the refrigerator?"
Sure, enjoy the stew Jason but would you mind if I smoke?
I just received this text and I still have that smile on my face when I finish reading something witty... not the exact word... never mind.
Jason Weiss was one of the gifts and one of the reason that makes me keep blogging. One year ago I posted the excerpt of an interview he did with Julio Cortázar.
Last month he sent me an e-mail and we started exchanging some ideas. He is interested in literature, music and art and knows a lot of Brazilian musicians and some writers.
He has been working as a translator, writer did some reviews and is also an editor. and he has friends that are musicians, painters, writers in short, his universe is artistic.
Visit his site Itineraries of a Hummingbird and look at the authors he interviewed when he was in Paris:
E. M. Cioran, Julio Cortázar, Brion Gysin, Eugène Ionesco, Carlos Fuentes, Jean-Claude Carrière, Milan Kundera, Nathalie Sarraute, Edmond Jabès from the book "Writing at Risk".
Wait till next month for the book
"Always in Trouble":
Interviews with Bernard Stollman plus 40 others, including John Tchicai, Gunter Hampel, Gato Barbieri, Milford Graves, Roswell Rudd, Sirone, Sonny Simmons, Tom Rapp, Richard Alderson, Sunny Murray, Marion Brown, Alan Silva, Peter Stampfel, Steve Weber, Burton Greene, and Jacques Coursil.
There is more at his site and I was very touched that he did a review of a book of chronicles of the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, an Ukrainian that came to Brazil as an infant because of the first war.
Thank you Jason.