I caught up with the rest of the crew outside an outdoor club; chain-link fences lined the outer gate, with totem-pole bouncers on either side of the inner cage. I was hustled in, paying no cover, tailing the Aussies.
The club looked like an outdoor theater, with gyrating Cariocas in place of seats. Spotlights flashed to the beat, bass thumping deeper and deeper. The front of the club smelled like piss, and I was tired. I lit another cigarette, which elicited a frown from the volleyball gazelle.
"Those will kill you," she said.
Behind the gazelle, her partner shot a playful shrug and a smile as her Brazilian loveseat stud had followed her to the club. They danced a bit. Paul and Charles agreed they didn't want to stay. I asked where they were going -- Copacabana, same as me. We finally took our leave. Outside, I bought a pizza, or at least a disk of dough covered in cheese and oregano, from a vendor 25 yards from the aqueduct. I figured it'd give me the runs, but didn't particularly care, as I'd thus far dodged whatever Rio viruses I'd been warned about.