Segunda-feira, 31 de Maio de 2004

O APELO DA VINHA

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Amílcar, jovem camponês, veio de um dos sopés da Serra do Marão, na mancha de vinhedos que se entendem desde Fontes até Santa Marta de Penaguião. Para cumprir o serviço militar. Depois, ficou-se por Lisboa a desenrascar-se como marçano. A namorada foi mandada vir da terra, casamento amanhado e vida em comum na intimidade exposta de um quarto alugado com serventia da cozinha e da barraquinha montada na varanda para alívio das necessidades.

Amílcar e Maria do Céu frugalizaram as vidas para se aguentarem no balanço e ainda amealharem algum. Nascida a filha Odete e com o acumular das gorjetas e os recebimentos dos trabalhos de costura, passaram a habitação alugada numas águas furtadas entre a Praça do Chile e o Alto de São João. Melhorou a qualidade de vida com a promoção de Amílcar ao posto de empregado de balcão e com o prestígio alargado de Maria do Céu pelas suas excelentes mãos para as linhas e o dedal. Por artes meio aprendidas, mais as restantes que lhe vinham dos saberes manhosos de camponês que nunca esquecem, tornou-se um pilar dos proventos patronais que lhe valeram uma quota na sociedade Merendinha do Chile, Ldª.

Amílcar tirou a carta de condução e, não tardou nada, coube-lhe uma herança do pai que falecera agarrado ao coração e à vinha. Transaccionou os pequenos vinhedos da partilha em contado e logo depositado no banco. Verdade que lhe custava ficar sem o parco património em terras e vinhedos mas não via forma de dar futuro à filha fora de Lisboa. Como camponês, ele voltara à estaca zero. Isso custava-lhe muito. Mas era a vida. E tempo de pensar em voos mais largos. Que não passavam pelas amarras ao balcão da Merendinha.

O pensamento de Amílcar há muito que se virara para o negócio dos táxis. Um dos seus passatempos favoritos era andar pelo Rossio, rondando a praça de táxis, ouvindo as conversas dos profissionais do volante, tentando extrair das conversas codificadas, os prós e os contras do negócio. Balanceava os custos do gasóleo, das mudanças de óleo e das manutenções. Quanto aos proventos, nada conseguia sacar de ouvido, mas ia fazendo contas de cabeça, tanto por bandeirada, mais o que marcava o taxímetro e os extras para as bagagens na mala, adicionando uma percentagem por conta dos garruços a enfiar à estrangeirada e um cálculo por alto para as gorjetas. Concluiu positivamente e o táxi começou a ser uma obsessão.

O dono da Merendinha estava na fase de querer investir os lucros do negócio da mercearia. Amílcar encheu-se de coragem, atraiu o patrão a um cabrito assado preparado pela Maria do Céu, que seguiu a primeira instrução que o marido lhe dera na vida de não poupar na comida, acompanhou o repasto com pinga vinda da produção de um tio de Santa Marta de Penaguião e propôs-lhe um negócio a calhar aos dois. Compravam um táxi, a quota do Amílcar na Merendinha era trocada pela entrada do patrão em quarenta por cento do capital da sociedade e o Amílcar conduzia a viatura com direito ao vencimento tabelado. Os lucros eram divididos de acordo com a percentagem no capital da sociedade. Negócio feito e celebrado logo ali, com uma reserva de vinho fino que o Amílcar havia guardado com intenção inicial, agora traída, de só ser aberto no casamento da filha Odete.

Amílcar tornou-se um dos castiços taxistas de Lisboa. Conduzia horas a fio o seu Citroen que arrancava à força de manivela, conhecidos como arrastadeiras. Ao fim de dois anos, conseguiu proventos para comprar a parte da sociedade detida pelo dono da Merendinha e tornou-se proprietário único do veículo. Começaram as dores nas costas, meteu empregado para fazer o turno nocturno. O negócio prosperava. A vida era frugal como sempre tinha sido. As economias aumentaram. Os seus únicos gastos eram a bola vista domingo sim, domingo não. No resto, entretinha-se com os relatos do futebol e do hóquei. Adorava o Artur Agostinho, embora lhe topasse a parcialidade que, volta e meia, denunciavam o amor pelo clube rival.

Com cinquenta e cinco anos de idade, pecúlio confortável, casou a filha com o espavento possível, vendeu o táxi e, com os rendimentos somados, comprou vinhas em Fontes, construiu lá uma casa meio apalaçada e voltou para as suas origens camponesas. Na sala, frente à lareira, em duas molduras enormes, lado a lado, fotografias do seu velho e fiel Citroen e o emblema do Benfica. Dessa forma, Amílcar ostentava os seus pergaminhos lisboetas. Maria do Céu deixou de costurar e entregou-se às lides da casa grande e que metiam, numa única divisão, as águas furtadas em que tinha penado uma vida de penúria.

Amílcar lidava com as suas vinhas e discutia com os conterrâneos, arvorando prosápias de homem batido nas manhas da cidade e exprimia-se com a terminologia própria dos taxistas batidos. Nunca dava o braço a torcer perante os argumentos dos patrícios que tinham ficado confinados ao sopé do Marão. Morreu, passados cinco anos, sentado na sala, agarrado ao coração e a ouvir um relato de futebol. A última voz que ouviu foi a de Artur Agostinho.
publicado por João Tunes às 18:24
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