Alberto Pavan Art

Short stories. Reality is not real

A recurrent theme

This is one of many drawing inspired by the belief that reality is much more complex that we will ever be able to know. Our senses have evolved to help our survival and, in order to survive, we have trained our senses to shred the in-depth vision of how reality really is, to concentrate on a logo-like image of it, in order to be able to make quick decisions and act accordingly to preserve our species. To have a comprehensive understanding of our real surrounding wouldn’t have seeped us to escape predators and to find the fuel we need for the production of our vital energy, so, the process of evolving for survival, has favoured those whose genes didn’t help them to see things as they were but those whose genes gave them a practical and immediate sense of ambient , so that they could act informed by self-preservation rather than understanding.

Short stories. Jemanja


Following the suggestion of one of my musical idols, Lou Reed, I too the decision to grow up in public. As a creative person I am newly born, I am still finding my way by trial and error, I don’t know if anyone will have the patience of following me in my clumsy attempts, but, if anyone is so generous to do it, this is to let them know that I will use this space to tell stories written and illustrated by me.

I haven’t yet thought how it will work out in the future. If after a few months I will remove the current story to replace it with a new one or if I will find a way to store the old story somewhere in this site while the new will take this place. I will grow up in public. I think it is a courageous thing to do. But I am too old to do this growing in a way that doesn’t suit my personality. So I will follow my instinct and just go ahead.

I want, however, to make a disclaimer in regard of the story I am about to publish. The philosophy of the story is not necessarily what I believe in. I just wanted to write a story that cave me the opportunity to draw some Barbarella-like female character and some hot gay guys. The story is not an attempt to propagate any ……anything that makes sense. It is just a story .

Thank you for having gone this far with the reading of my website


Short stories. Menino da Pipa

The narrow street
A short story


It all began with Amedeo’s impulsive decision over the purchasing of one of the many tempting novelties that astute beach sellers flogged to hungry and thirsty tourists, all day long, at an inflated price. What attracted his attention was the movement of one of such vendors that, unlike the rest of them, instead of shouting the name of whatever merchandise they were selling, he went to the potential buyers and spoke to them in a low voice, with a big grin on his face and, if the client decided to buy, the trade took place in a discrete way. This fact, t stimulated Amedeo’s curiosity and he allowed his impulsiveness to take over his usually well calibrated approach to this type of situations. When the vendors took a steady step in the direction of Amedeo’s group, he didn’t give any chance to his friends to send the boy away and, contrary to his usual attitude to beach sellers, this time he received the boy with an open posture and an inviting smile. It turned out that the boy was selling certain brownies made special by some unusual ingredients: Hashish and psilocybin. Amedeo was not new to the use of psychotropic substances, but, in the last few years he did not use any. He liked to think of himself as a well-adjusted, fairly wise, fairly together, middle-aged gentleman and he didn’t think that popping pills or smoking joints were conducive to the image of himself he wanted to give to the world.

However, in this occasion, blame the heat, blame it on the cuteness of the beach vendor, with his baggy shorts, so low on his loins to allowed the sight of a corse line of pubic hair, blame it on the the sense of freedom that the place provoked in him, with no responsibilities and no commitments, or blame it on the retro hippy atmosphere which pervaded that sea side community, he felt incline to let go and give himself permission to behave like the juvenile he no longer was.

He engaged in a friendly chat with the vendor, a typical “menino da rua”. The boy was not a local. He was Spanish speaking; probably Argentinian. Amedeo didn’t speak Spanish, nor he spoke Portuguese. …. Well… not fluently. They communicated by mixing all the Latin languages they could think of and utilised their hands, arms and body language, to produce big miming gestures. Ridiculously, they both spoke using a tone of voice much louder than necessary as if they were deaf rather than without a common language. The vendor felt the need to explain to Amedeo that the quality of the ingredients used in the production of that decadent and extravagant snack, were all the best of the best. All strictly organic. The menino explained to him that organic butter was to melt. Then the golden fluid was infused with hashish. Mind you, apparently it was proper black Pakistan 00.the very best. Such infusion was added to the dry ingredients: flour, a lot of 70% dark chocolate, a pinch of salt, baking powder. Mix mix mix, and add bananas, dates, eggs, rum and just a little bit of psilocybin obtained by powdering some magic mushrooms, e le voila! A delight for the palate and the brain. Amedeo understood partially and filled the gaps with his good, common sense.

Amedeo’s friends followed the at the unfolding of such discussion, making the odd joke at Amedeo’s expenses, strictly in English, to leave the menino out of it.

Amedeo also made attempts to deliver some silly jokes that the menino surely did not get, but, politely, laughed at them, if with a second or two of delay after the punch line. The man cussed himself for having made such a clumsy attempt at being funny, but it was just a very minor detail in a very pleasant commercial interaction. He dustily bargained on the price, not because he wanted to, but because he already learnt the local costume. If you don’t do it, you look stupid. The negotiation is de rigour ; the menino asked for a price, Amedeo offered less than half of that money and, bit by bit, they met somewhere in the middle.

The menino left, elegantly carrying his Browny cooler-box hanging from his neck, and moving sensuously with his lean, muscular body, dusted with corse, black hair on his legs and chest. Amedeo watched him going with a smile on his face. A wave of sexual desire was dumped down by the thought of being old enough to be the boy’s dad, or, dare he think? Grandad

He shook the thought off and sat back on his deck chair. He was in the company of his partner and husband, Milton and his friends Agatha, Loredana Moreno and Gemma.

Agatha followed the whole exchange with disapproving eyes. She was slightly puritanical about drugs. :-She may as well be like this, Amedeo thought. :-there is not enough cake for all of us. Loredana also did not partake at the cake consumption, not to displease Agatha,her wife. She declined the offer with a fake disinterested smile that in reality was saying:- I really would, but I cannot.

The brownie was eventually shared between the remaining four friends, there and then, on the beach . The square shaped brownie was divided into four smaller squares by cutting a cross in the middle of it.

Short stories. The purchase

The cake tasted a little funky.
If felt a bit as if they were eating patchouli, but there was enough chocolate and sweetness to make it edible. The effect took place much faster than they expected They all were on an empty stomach; the heath made them all feel a bit queasy, None of them had stomach for breakfast. A black coffee at the beach was sufficient.

Soon the consumption of the unusual browny, the four friends began to behave silly. The other two women, sober as a Judge, with some feeble excuse, decided to return to the condominium where the small flat Milton and Amedeo rented every year was located and they all were staying. The two women collected their sun glasses, their ample straw bags full of everything and anything. Wrapped themselves in colourful páreos and left, leaving unusual prints with their wooden high heels clogs, on the sand behind them.

Amedeo kept laughing for no apparent reason, but his laugh was infectious; they all fell in stitches with heartily and loud laughs that attracted the attention of the passers by, which made them laugh more.

The early afternoon started to turn into evening and the sun was about to set. They all agreed to a drink at a bar with the view on the bay where you can see the sunset in a spectacular location surrounded by jungle.

Amedeo, however, wanted to go home and change. He hated to go out feeling all sandy and sweaty. He was very particular that way. The rest of the group, including his partner Milton, didn’t want to miss the sunset and decided to go as they were. Milton, a good looking man in his early 50, with greying dirty-fair hair and just the beginning of a beer belly, even if he only drank beer with pizza, after having tried to convince his husband to go together and after having understood that Amedeo was immovable in his decision, recommended him to, at least, avoid the main centre and walk through the shortcut created by a small rua that opened on the Main Street and that gave the opportunity to cut through the distance that would have been very long otherwise. The name of the rua was Rua do amor. It was a peculiar street. It started as one of the many streets that cross the main road, with fashion shops, ice-cream parlours, and candy floss vendors and connect the village with the higher part, on a hill, which it was the residential area, where the group of people were logging. The Rua do Amor started as a touristic attraction; all sparks and gilts. The cobble stones on the ground were painted in red, green, yellow blue pink and white, Many restaurants embellished the street with exotic decorations, extravagant plants, and with colourful tables set for dinners. Tourists found the whole scenario an unmissable opportunity to snap away selfies and group photographs with their family, friends or lovers.

The street was curving on the left after about 300 meters. Once the curve is passed, you find yourself in a very different environment; the change was sudden. All the gilts disappeared and the street suddenly narrowed down to a gap. The sun was still up, but in there, it didn’t seem to be able to reach the narrow alleyway that the rua funnelled into. It was like a cut , large enough to allow one person, just. If somebody else came from the opposite direction, one of the two had to squeeze against the wall to let the other pass. It was protected from the sun by foliage at some points, or different roofs made with different materials, Most of the passage, was covered with something. On the ground there was cement , alternated with tracts of dirt. On the walls, grey cement alternated with red bricks with no plaster on them. The cement was covered with graffiti, probably meant as an embellishment along the way. At the very beginning of the shortcut, such graffiti were made in the same identical style of the rest of the graffitis that characterise the village, colourful, surf-related,pleasant to look at. The further you went in this rua, the more the graffitis changed in style. They turned kind of childish, clumsy, not very nice to look at. They seemed to loose the colourful shades and fade into a grey/black. They assumed a sinister turn. There were very crude symbols of penis and vagina, similar to those one can find in restrooms of train stations or public lavatories. These roughly scribbled pictures were alternated with childish figures of people doing nasty things. There were primitive shapes of people hanging from a pole, stubbing each other, stubbing themselves.

Then, once you reached the middle of this strange passage, once you were, more or less, equally distant from one end and the other, those strange, sinister pictures, became more sparse and replaced with other symbols. Better executed they were, no longer clumsy or childish. Precise they seemed to be. What the hell were they? Some kind of writing? Did they even mean anything? Amedeo was aware of having taken a mild hallucinogenic, he knew that his perception was altered, he also was able to remind himself that he took that shortcut times and times again. Milton and him choose that village as they favourite holiday place for a few years. The shortcut was just a street like any other. In this occasion, however, the jolly and cheerful mood the drugs provoked in him, turned into a crescendo of anxiety turning into fear, panic. His skin began to perspire copiously. On the floor there were all sort of rubbish, organic and inorganic. Cotton buns, plastic bags, empty bottles, even a syringe he saw, but the organic stuff was a even worse. With the cooking heat of the day the pieces of rotting fruit, the food dropped , the dead small animals you could walk into, along the way were in different stages of putrescence. A piece of watermelon had some growth of a shocking pink mould, an apple-custard was alive with yellow worms. The smells were intense and sickening. Amedeo kept reminding himself that he was under the influence of substances. :-This is just a shortcut, that probably hundred of people every day go through it. Amedeo forced himself to think. But, despite his attempts to maintain a logic and grounded mind, he couldn’t help the panic he felt possessed with. While in the beginning he demonstrated some interest for the unusual graffiti that looked like some writing written in an unknown alphabet not comparable with any of the characters he had seen before, now he didn’t want to see them at all. He pointed his eyes to stare in front of him and started to walk with long and fast steps This short cut seemed to have no end. He probably lost his sense of time, it couldn’t be more that 5 minutes he was walking, but he felt as if he have been walking for hours . How could this street have so many turns and corners? It is supposed to cut between two estates. It should be straight. With the tail of his eyes, he noticed small pieces of mirror stuck to the walls, part of the graffiti. Smells followed one another. He had the clear impression that the walls were organic; alive, breathing in and out. Effectively there was more than one little dead animal along the street. He counted a small mouse, a bat, many lizards and a very big frog; so it was hardly surprising that he smelled the stench of putrescent flesh. But, in his judgement, the smell was not proportional to the small wild life which should have responsible for causing it.

Amedeo began to speed up his steps even more, he was now almost on a run. He didn’t know why, but he was sure that he was not supposed to look at the two walls beside him. He told himself that he had to point his stare straight in front of him.” Look up in front of you , ignore the two walls” he kept repeating in a chantry That way he would be safe. This was the darkest part of the ally. At this point it was, he realised, a small tunnel under the hill, no wider than one meter. No lights were ever been installed in that tunnel. . It was just black. The walls seemed to be porous, made of organic but dead matter. They seemed to want to absorb him. To incorporate him. He kept telling himself that it was the browny. There was no doubt in his mind that it was all an hallucination, never the less that knowledge didn’t make it any less scary.

After having walked for what he felt was hours but it couldn’t have been more than a couple of minutes, he saw a blue rettangole at the end of the blackness. He could see the end. Encouraged he picked his spirit up and continue with is accelerated step. The tension, however, was great, the closest he was getting to the end the strongest was the need to turn his head and look at the walls, at the graffitis. It was a very hard to resist compulsion. He knew there was no noise audible but his head was telling him to listen to imaginary voices pronouncing cliche horror films’ sentences, the likes of:- come with us… Vieni con noi, stay here, look at us,…. Amedeo knew that all of this was only his altered imagination; he had no difficulty to identify these as his thoughts under the effect of hallucinogenic substances. He could even recognise the horror films he was a fan of and watched in great quantity in various horror festivals and horror film marathons, from which these sentences were taken from. He saw Evil dead dubbed in Italian, The :-come with us that the demons proclaimed throughout the film, became :- Vieni con noi. Identical to the intonation he heard in his head, few minutes earlier in the tunnel. But rationalise the experience did very little to calm his state of anxiety turned into blind panic.

Few steps more and he will reach the end. Now the exit is very clear, in front of him a rectangular bluish shape.He passed it. Everything returned to normal. The experience in the alleyway like the memory of a bad dream. His perspiration was still bad, because of the heat, but his heart was no longer pounding out of control. He was no longer shacking from head to toes. Soon after he arrived home, had a shower, changed, looked at himself in the mirror, pleased with what he saw. At the age of 59 he was still fit and handsome. His hair was cut trendy, died darker than his natural shade. His tan flawless, he was a 59 years old man at the his very best. Ready to join up with his friends, he took his way back to town. The obvious thing to do would have been to return the same way he came, but the thought didn’t even passed his mind.

Short stories. 'The narrow street

When Amedeo met the rest of his group, he was perfectly at ease, Milton was high and that made him laugh a lot. It was not an usual thing to see his lover and husband to behave in that stoned way; being slightly paranoid not to show his altered state and trying to contain the high, made it all the more obvious and, in Amedeo’s eyes, utterly funny. Moreno and Gemma were both attentive to the group dynamics, but also to the coming and going of people in the bar. Gemma was a single, hot bisexual 47 years old lady, open to whatever the situation offered. She tended to be sexually promiscuous and she was not going to stop now. She was tall, well shaped if a little too thin, long legs, immaculately shaped, her hair kept changing colour, but in that occasion it was a chestnut brown, few tattoos scattered all over her body, virtually no tits and one of the most sexy asses ever seen Moreno, Spanish, appeared to be a stallion, super virile, dark hair, all muscles and tan, but, when one got to know him, he could behave as camp as they come; using the gay “she” for his male friends, calling himself Morena and flicking his fingers and thumbs in the face of an eventual challenger. The two of them were multitasking. Being present in their company of close friends, but also cruising the bar and flirting with any available male or female.

Amedeo was very used to the two friends backing each other up to attract attention on themselves and, if in one hand, they could be incredibly funny and capable of creating an atmosphere that surrounded them as if they were some kind of celebrities, polarising the room and attracting like two magnets, the most glamorous of the crowd, which it was pleasant without any doubt, on the other hand though, just sometimes, he would have liked to be just the 4 of them, without having to inventory the whole place to classify the fuckable people. .

But….. what can one do! … may as well enjoy the action and make the best. The parade of boys was, in effects, very pleasant to watch and the girls that Gemma pulled were also very pretty and amicable.The Daaaaalin and the deaaaahhhh were shouted in great quantity Amedeo still felt the effect of the drugs, occasionally the room seemed to quiver, like jelly. Sometime he has a few seconds of flash back about the street and he had a moments or two of great fear, but he was able to keep it all in check, to keep smiling and laughing and get a grip on himself.

However, he felt troubled. He would have liked to share the experience with Milton, who was his lover, his husband and his friend, but how could he speak to his husband about something he didn’t even know what the problem was? ? Milton was guided by logic and reason. He was a down to earth man who firmly believed in empiric science and he was not willing to indulge in any New Age re-shuffling of spirituality that, to him, it was a another way to propagate religion. How could Amedeo tell him? And what was there to tell, Nothing really, he was tripping and he got spooked. Not a big deal. The fact was, though, that for Amedeo it was a big deal. Milton would have laugh it off. He would have not believed that Amedeo was seriously spooked and Amedeo wanted to be believed.

He knew his partner well. Amedeo had a good imagination and a taste for the fantastic. The almost 60 years old man was perfectly in touch with the inner child. He entertained himself in many ways that alienated Milton. Like his passion for horror films and sci-fi comics, such things were to stay a one-man interests. Not to be shared with Milton whose younger, mathematical mind could not embrace any possible slant toward the paranormal. Not even for the sake of fiction. :-And if that’s the case, just try to imagine how well he would relate to my story. He thought.

Eventually, the fun ended and they all felt drunk and too high to continue the night in public. Maybe a few more chats at home, in the safety of their domesticity. They also were mindful not to separate themselves from Agatha and Loredana.

Loredana was one of them for long time, historically, one of the group, but Agatha came as an attachment to Lor, who no longer went anywhere without the wife. They met in a wine testing competition in Provence, Lory was not on the winning team, Agatha was. They clicked immediately and they decided not to waste too long with trial periods. They got married after only one year of relationship, By now it seemed to have been the right thing to do, at least, for the two of them. For the others, Agatha could have been seen as a bit of a pain.

Not that anyone of them mentioned to Loredana how they felt about her wife. She was obviously very happy . But she lost an edge of infant terrible that was so endearing. Maybe, at the very most, Amedeo confessed how he felt to Milton, who confessed to feel the same. Gemma and Moreno seemed to be silently aware of the dynamic, but never felt appropriate to mention it to the rest of the group.

They asked the bill, did a messy calculation to find out who was paying what, failed and split the cost for four and left the bar.Once on the street, Amedeo took the initiative to walk on the opposite direction of the Rua do Amor. The other followed him passively. No questions were asked

They got home and ended the evening pleasantly , on the big terrace the flat was provided with.


After that awkward experience, Amedeo made a conscious effort to ban the memory from his mind. He was relatively successful if it wasn’t for the fact that every time they had to go downtown, he had to come up with a good reason not to take the cut. His husband and the rest, began to focus on this behaviour only after a few days. It was Milton who brought it up with him
:- How come that it is days that we walk so much instead of doing the most obvious thing? Why are you avoiding the cut?
:- don’t be silly, said Amedeo. - I am not avoiding it! I thought that few extra miles may be beneficial to us, especially to you! I love you as you are, but the rest of the universe prefer you with a little bit of volume less around your waist. He said, jokingly pinching Milton’s love handles, which, Amedeo was please to confirm, were hard and toned, with just a very small deposit of superfluous fat. Milton took the explanation as sufficient, he acted out a brief mock fight with his lover, and held him tight to his body. :- ….. and the stench…. Amedeo distractedly added. :- the stench in that street is overwhelming….

Days passed by in a perfect holiday life-style. Early mornings at the beach, afternoons spent amongst his many comic books he found in different libraries and book-shop in forgotten regions of Brazil, Some of the publications were left-overs from the 70s. Historic editions impossible to find in Europe, where this kind of minor art had a niche of loyal fans that bought everything available on the market at the time of publication, leaving no treasures to be found lately. He was able not to think about the experience well enough, but he still questioned himself about his inability to tell his lover about it. Why did he not tell? Simple! The truth was preposterous. A grown up man, near his 60, well… 58 if we have to be precise, with a past like Amedeo, who was known for having been a bit of a wild at heart in his youth, scared of a dark alley? It was laughable. Ridiculous. He had no intention to be ridiculous.

In time, the shortcut, the Rua do Amor, was silently left out of the options by all of them. Nobody thought it was a big deal, More likely that not, people didn’t even think about it. The habit was now set, the cut was no longer used and that was that.

Amedeo, however, was left with an undisclosed perplexity. How could, an experience made in an altered state induced by two types of drugs, have made such an impression, capable to scare him so much to avoid something as ordinary as crossing a shortcut?

After all, it was only a street, a long, narrow, smelly street, but nothing more than that. He had no evidences of danger of any kind. Why was he so childish to tremble at the thought of that evening? What was there of so terrible, he wanted to forget? And every time he thought himself successful in forgetting, it came back at him like a ton of bricks

continue on Short storylines 2

Short stories. At the bar
©2022 Alberto Pavan is powered by WebHealer
Cookies are set by this site. To decline them or find out more visit our cookie page