ON THE TANK STREET
My parents rented a house on Rua do Tanque,
now the State of Israel Street.
It was a semi-detached house, living room, kitchen and a small lawn at the back, with a pond; upstairs, two bedrooms and a bathroom.
The other house was occupied by Florinda and Marcelo, and their daughter, with a very creative name, Flomar, about my age; we saw each other over the wall, each one on a chair or bench. Sometimes on the sidewalk when the mothers were together.
Workers began to dig a trench for laying sewer pipes; I would stay, from the window or on the entrance landing, looking at everything, admiring how they carried out such a complex work.
When I was asked the classic "What are you going to be when you grow up" I replied: "sewer worker”.
My father, as usual, left early and returned at night, I believe at 7 or more; he worked at the State Bureau of Statistics and two other gigs (I think I’ve already told you this, or not?).
Alone with my mother Bebé (Da Bé, I would call her much later), I accompanied her making food, she had given me a set of pans.
And helped her to scrape and wax the floor: I mounted the base of the brush (or broom), she pushed and pulled the gross, first with steel wool underneath,
after waxing the floor (probably with Parquetina), she pulled us and pushed a flannel under the stuff to shine.
Few will know what it is; so here’s an image.
It was a very dark street, with poor and sparse lighting, so we didn’t go out at night.
Behold, one day my father had to go to his parents’ house, certainly for imperative reasons.
He took his FN that he had used in the Revolution of 1932, today a rare piece that stayed with my brother Eduardo,
he explained to my mother how it worked, said it didn’t have a bullet in the needle; if she had to use the gun, she would have to pull the breech to get a bullet out of the magazine. To prove it was unloaded, he aimed at the door
Smoke in their room, I didn’t wake up; the two of them opened the window and stayed there for a while so that everyone who heard the bang would know that they were safe and alive.
I don’t know whether or not my father went to my grandparents’ house.