So much to say... but is it getting lost in translation?

Welcome to the latest Summer Soap — a daily fictional serial run over 12 parts. Called 12 Letters From Home, this story was written by Luisa Geisler, a Brazilian living in Cork city, and was chosen from work submitted by students of the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC. In this seventh episode, the main character continues her dialogue with Connor
So much to say... but is it getting lost in translation?

LETTER 7

Connor,

Before we go any further in those letters, I just need to make sure you understand that I don’t know who the baby’s father is. I guess when it’s born, I can look at its face and guess. Not because of those supposed motherhood feelings, which I’m still waiting for.

However, you are a tall Irish man with a tendency to get red as a strawberry by just mentioning the sun. On the other hand, Steve is a 1.6m tall Taiwanese-American with eyes as dark as the bottom of a bog.

Important question: if I can compare the darkness of his eyes to the darkness of a bog, wouldn’t our baby be Irish? Just a little bit? I mean, I barely heard of bogs before coming to Ireland. I didn’t even know you could build a city on a bog before arriving in Cork.

Being Brazilian, I’m not only used to racial diversity, I believe in it with all my heart. You know I’m part German, Italian, Indigenous, Portuguese and a little bit of Lebanese on my dad’s side.

By the way, I’m not an exception. So many people with typically Brazilian first-names and then a foreign last name. Rodrigo Takahashi, Fernando Dalla Valle, Geraldo Weiss. Anyone could be Brazilian, we fit everywhere, in every nook and cranny.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: imagine if we had a tall baby with bog-coloured eyes but extremely pale skin that gets red like a stop light as soon as June 21 arrives. I’m thinking it must be genetically impossible, but I think it would be a fun idea.

I know what you want to say, but you can’t, because I’ll be in Brazil before you read any of this.

But do you remember that time we were just crossing from the bridge to Cornmarket Street, but the pedestrian light told us to stop? Do you remember what you told me?

“It’s okay, the light is just a little bit red,” you took my hand so I would speed up. After we finished crossing, you told me: “Some cars also think the lights can be a little green when they aren’t. So you should be careful with the traffic around here.”

And you didn’t let go of my hand ever since.

Wasn’t that one of our first dates? As in actual dates? I know ‘date’ is kind of an Americanism, but I can’t check with you what would be a more appropriate word.

Of course, Ireland isn’t a land where people ignore the rules. And Brazil isn’t the most law-abiding country. However, don’t get me wrong when I say that I love this flexibility. The lights that are just a little bit red. So maybe our baby is just a little bit Asian?

Sigh.

It’s not the same, is it?

You can’t say I didn’t try.

Today in class we had some dialogue lessons. I had to practice with my Korean classmate. She’s smart, but is terrified of making mistakes. She starts some sentences, but just prefers to listen, because she can’t make mistakes when she’s quiet. I feel a lot like my Korean classmate, but in real life. That’s why I’m writing, instead of saying anything.

Maybe I should get an actual dialogue lesson and talk to you. Tell you. Maybe? Perhaps? In Portuguese and Latin languages, there’s an expression that means maybe. Quiçá, or quizás in Spanish. It’s pronounced kee-sah, and comes from the Latin idea of qui sapit — literally who knows. But it means maybe.

So maybe?

Júlia

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