Review: “The Girl Conversation from Ipanema”

Via Aaron

part 1: a description

Aaron prefaces “The Girl Conversation from Ipanema,” a spinoff of Don DeLillo’s short story “Baader-Meinhof,” with a subheading.

He writes, “Reading ‘Baader-Meinhof’ reminded me of a time in my past when a random interaction with someone in a new setting had a small but surprisingly profound impact on my life.”

We learn that Aaron once visited Ipanema—a neighborhood in southern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He “randomly” meets Eva by way of a mutual friend, and the acquaintances later gather for a picnic and Futevôlei (what Aaron aptly nicknames “volleyball for the feet”).

While character Andre catches a match, Aaron and Eva meander through Ipanema’s mosaicked, black and white streets; he recounts his past relationship with Maya, a “talented, beautiful, deep” woman he had met after traveling to Guatemala.

Eva takes interest in Aaron and Maya, and attributes their adjacent astrological signs to their demise.

“Eva’s curiosity had an objective tone that provided some relief from the usual emotional drain of rehashing the details of the messy breakup,” writes Aaron.

The duo rejoins Andre on a beach. As the sun sets, Aaron and Eva presumably plan for Carnival festivities.

part 2: addendum

Aaron mentions that his Ipanema interaction with Eva had a “profound impact” on his life.

I wonder, very piqued: how? How did her analysis, one that made Aaron’s past relationships seem “more distant, even a bit fictive,” perhaps change his future outlook?

In a similar vein, did the setting—a Brazilian neighborhood and beach—offer Aaron a place for clear-headedness? Maybe his character feels a pull towards South America (after all, he met his Maya in a Guatemalan mountain village)?

From my own experiences, there is nothing better than a second home for objectivity.

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