Ana and Mary
My name is Ana, I am Brazilian and I met the love of my life two and a half years ago. I will name her "Mary" here.
As you know, Brazil is a very homophobic country, extremely formal and traditional unlike the images given through "Carnival" and "Rio beaches" show. Everything began as an innocent friendly internet chat, and as time went by we grew closer and closer. At that time, I had just ended a very troublesome one-year marriage (I already was aware of my sexual duality), and was working for a large international company. I had plans to travel for vacation to New York CIty, close to where Mary lives, so I thought I could meet this person I was begining to grow so fond of..
As time went by, we began to talk everyday, we could practically know where the other was and what I or Mary were doing any given period of the day, but because of Brazil's bad economical circumstances I was laid off my job and my vacation plans were ruined. I am a historian and such occupation is completely disregarded in Brazil, and as much as I would enjoy studying in the US (and being near Mary) or working with something related to this area there, I only have a tourist visa - that lucky me, at least, is good for ten years. Studying in the US is crazy expensive for a middle-class Brazilian girl, and working is something that has become more difficult everyday, bearing in mind recession has grown vertiginously after 9/11.
With a lot of effort and savings by both parts, we managed
to save and I finally met her after a year of internet chatting.
There would be nights we'd both cry all night long wondering when
it would be possible to finally meet and stay together. In January,
2000, I finally met her. It was the most fantastic one month of
my life. But I knew that would end in a month. The day before
I returned, she drank until falling asleep, and I silently covered
her with a blanket and packed my bags. I cried most of the night
til I fell asleep on my own tears. The following morning was
a blur... I was afraid of talking, I was afraid of saying how much I was going to miss her because the mere thought would break my heart.
The day I arrived in Brazil, the pain was almost unbearable. I spent weeks in my bedroom, my family knowing nothing about the reasons of such sadness. Having to suffer in silence is, as most of you know, something that tears us apart and the very byproduct of other people's prejudice.
However, we had made our decision: we ARE to be together no matter what. There would not be "too far", or "too difficult", and we kept on. E-mail, instant messaging, webcams are part of my everyday life. She is still a student at college and works only part time. I work full-time but also have a child to support, not to mention that Brazilian money is worth counterfeit coins compared to US dollars. So all we'd do is struggle to save money and prepare ourselves to when we can meet again. This finally happened this year, in July 2002, over A YEAR AND A HALF LATER! Now you wonder, if you miss your loved ones when they travel for the weekend, how much it is that we both miss each other and it brings us to our nerves so many times knowing that we don't even know where to begin with when it comes to the bureaucracy of immigration processes.
Again, the night before, we couldn't help but think what about the morning after. At the airport, we couldn't say goodbye and I walked into the boarding corridor with my face red-blotted from the tears I partially managed to hide and my blurry watery eyes almost drenching my face. In two and a half years, we have been together in flesh and bone for two months, other than that, we can know each other's thoughts by a typed letter, so much time it is we spend together. Who knows someday soon we won't be spending all our savings on phone bills, callig cards and fares and will actually be able to start building something concrete, because despite the little time spent in person, we have no doubt we love each other more than anything, and none of us would waste these years with some casual meaningless relationship.