It was in 2016 that I worked during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and I stayed in the neighborhood of Méier, one of the neighborhoods with less violence in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The shops and stores are simple and regular but one afternoon I passed by a small “empório”, a place where you can find imported beer, wine and other products. This was very unusual for the neighborhood and I saw that once a week they invited a food truck to host an evening with them. So I decided to go there. The place soon became my favorite bar, a place to rest after work while still enjoying the heat of the day. Soon I met Kleber, a local banking accountant who regularly met there with his psychologist after their therapy session. Kleber was around 50, never had traveled abroad, not even to another state, but was such a welcoming person. We frequently met and discussed the world and soon another close friend of his, the lawyer joined us. So you can imagine how funny the evenings were: a banker, a psychologist, a lawyer and a crazy world citizen like me. Even though my friends were much older than me and so different from myself, I enjoyed hanging out with them, because I was greeted with pure honesty and friendship.
I found out about Kleber’s cancer only two months ago. Yesterday our psychologist friend informed me about his demise. All I want to say here is that I found a true gentleman in such a simple place as Méier, who had never traveled abroad, who spoke only his mother tongue, a gentleman of a kind we rarely find in our world today. I want to say thank you for all the nice evenings we had together, all the respect and care I received and I want to remind you, dear readers, that the most special people are sometimes those who pass unnoticed by the majority in our society.