I let the night fall and the episode end. Before moving to the other, I pause, and go get a small cup of coffee. One of my sisters in law gave me these Japanese cups. The lights are off, three windows partially open. It’s silent. I like this silence. I go to the terrace and look at the city. The lights, the river. It’s a clear sky, I can see some stars. Today I felt like a tourist. I wore a backpack, had tacos for lunch, drank coffee while walking, and stopped in some shoppings. Then I came back home to honor the rest of my Sunday. I studied a bit. I cooked a veggie meal while listening to Purple Mountains. Now I just look into the city and I feel serene. It’s a bit windy, but hey, it’s good. I think that there are a lot of things going on in our lives, and the best thing to do is to live them one by one, fully. It’s fucking hard, yes. But it’s somewhat right, and fair. There’s this beautiful song by Samuel Úria called Nem Lhe Tocava – it’s the opener of the record with the same name. The chorus goes something like this – if it were easy, I wouldn’t do it; if it were hard, I wouldn’t even touch it. I think a lot about that song in these moments. It hits the spot, perfectly. Then I felt like writing, and now I’m going to enjoy the silence. I’ll probably finish episode 4, too. And then maybe read, and then sleep. Tomorrow’s a new week. Coming on.

Notes to my American self

Dear self:

Yesterday I went for a run in the afternoon. I descended the stairs until I reached the back of the train station, and then stopped next to that bio-healthy-green supermarket in the corner. I bought a good bread there the other day, made from spelt flour, although I think that its over-healthy characteristics are disrupting my biological rhythm (i.e. my guts). Anyhow, I decided to start there: I turned the music on, and ran. I passed through the street of the old Grémio lisbonense in order to avoid the tourists at Rua Augusta. When I reached the end of the street I turned left and then right, passing below the arch of Praça do Comércio, and then going on the direction of the sea. I was running on a good pace, reaching an average of 5,33 minutes per kilometer. Then I passed Cais do Sodré, and I started to wonder a bit, thinking about that German show on Netflix that I watched while on the plane to London, where kids time-travel and everyone has a secret and sleeps or hates / loves another person to death. Germans are good at being complicated, they have a strange capacity to hold a lot of emotions inside. Then I thought that I’m feeling exhausted on the inside, and that I probably enjoy living in this kind of tension where I’m doing a lot of things and feel that I’m crazy. Being in this place, and then in that place, teaching and lawyering and writing, and then running. The Boss sings into my hears that “Everybody has a hungry heart”, and I think that says it all. I remembered listening to Darnielle the other day, singing with Colbert that epic anthem of “I’m gonna make it through this year, if it kills me”, and laughing inside. I was now returning to Praça de Comércio, going the whole way back until reaching the Grémio and arriving at Rossio, where I stopped. I climbed the stairs and passed by the restaurants full of tourists drinking large glasses of beer and covered with blankets. I was sweating, in the middle of the immense movement of people climbing and descending stairs, speaking I don’t know how many languages, thinking that I could join them and just sit in one of these tables, like a tourist, but one that lives in the neighborhood. Later on I went to Marvila to have a birthday drink with a birthday friend (and other friends). The Uber dropped me in front of an evangelical church; I found it funny, since my birthday friend’s father is an evangelical pastor. The birthday bar was across the street, in this cool place that was not very evangelical. I then drank and talked with people and came back home early and fell asleep in the couch. I thought, before closing my eyes, that you never know how good a couch is until you sleep in it. I woke three hours later, got up and went to bed, but it’s fine. I felt good. It’s a very good couch. Like the Purple Mountains’ record that I’m currently listening to is a very good record. Like life, its hopes, and perspectives, are good. But I have to tell you, dear self: I can’t wait to go on holidays and lay myself in a south Asian beach with Ultra by my side and just drink Margaritas and read Proust. Or something similar.

Notes to my American self

– I’ve been noticing that lately I’ve been surrounded by Americans everywhere I go. American clients, American doctrine, American tv shows, American bands, American neighbors, American tourists, American colleagues. I miss America, or my memory of it, sometimes.

– I re-started reading Ali Smith’s “Autumn”, almost a year since my first start. I’m enjoying it so far. It’s full of puns. There’s an amazing one saying that “this is not fiction, this is the Post Office”.

– I’ve been thinking of starting a podcast named Um Cowboy no Chiado, where I speak for about 10 to 20 minutes about rock and roll and life in general, sometimes in English and sometimes in Portuguese. It’s the seventh podcast idea I’ve had this year, so far.

– I woke up late and felt tired. The house was fresh in the morning. A friend told me to put cds on the roof to hold away the seagulls. I think it worked, and I’ve felt an urge of staying home listening to cds, like I did when I was a teenager.

– Today I told the same joke twice; it’s that joke that Alvy Singer tells in the end of Annie Hall, of the wife that thinks she’s a chicken and the husband goes to the doctor and the doctor says that there’s a cure but the husband doesn’t want the cure because he really needs the eggs. The first time was after breakfast (I told it in a conversation with the friend that told me to use cds against seagulls) and the second time was right after lunch. I kept thinking in the afternoon if there would be a third time, but there never was.

– Elizabeth is already seven months pregnant and it still seems that it was yesterday that she told me that she was going to have a baby. This has been an intense year, but I suddenly realized that we are already in its second half. That’s good: there’s so much good to come in this second half.

– I had this idea of writing a novela about spending July at home, writing a dissertation, with a terrible heat looming over the city. I’ve been feeling an urge to write auto-biographical fiction, lately. Strangely enough, it has helped me focus on the dissertation.

– I saw Agostinho today – I told him and Elizabeth the egg joke after lunch. In the afternoon I had to write many times the name Agostinho, referring to different Portuguese parishes. It’s amazing how many of them exist.

– Ultra spoke about dreams this morning. In the afternoon I think I heard a street singer yelling some Cranberries, and I thought almost immediately about that moment in Chungking Express with the Chinese version of Dreams playing. I have to watch that movie with Ultra.

– Last weekend in London I had this idea for a song. It is still in my head and it’s called Sacro Beat. I imagine it as a pop-hit in the mould of Swedish indie-pop like Jens Lekman and I’m From Barcelona. God knows when I’ll have time for it.

– I saw these two guys on the subway when I was returning from London, two skinny university looking guys that had slacker written all over them. One of them referred to the other as being the Açoriano. In my mind they were Brat Boy and the Açoriano, and I thought I should write a story about them.

– I saw one episode of Rick and Morty and I laughed. I saw the first episode of Ozark and wasn’t into it. I didn’t like the first episode of the OA. I want to see more of that Tim Robinson comic show. I subscribed HBO. I started watching Chernobyl, although i honestly don’t have much time to watch tv.

– At dinner today my mom my younger brother and me discussed the political crisis of the Portuguese right and the post-post-modern problem of social interaction in the age of social media. Then we drank this orange liquor that was amazingly transparent. My nephews were sleeping the whole time.

– I really like when Ultra smiles; it’s the moment when I feel that my existence and that of the world make totally utter sense.

– I though of writing this political essay were I discuss many important issues about the state of the country that often occupy me when I’m walking. But instead I wrote a memo for the dissertation, concerning the concept of “liminal legality” that I read today in Kilpatrick’s working paper.

– Sometimes I feel this is small. Sometimes I feel this is cool. Most of the time I feel like living. I trust.

– I don’t know why I came back to Twitter. I should be doing something, like writing, podcasting, recording. I should run more and sleep. I should eat less saturated fat. I think I’m doing fine.

– I really like this song:

Caro diário,

Estou de pé na cozinha a fazer o jantar. Lá fora o céu está a morrer lentamente. Vou vendo o espetáculo em cada janela. A luz que primeiro é clara, e depois rosa, e depois lilás, caindo sobre os telhados. Entretanto tenho duas gaivotas bebés a viver (e a defecar) no terraço. A mãe está no cimo da coluna, a vigiar (não sei se volta e meia não defeca, também). Olhamo-nos olhos nos olhos. Penso nesse momento que tenho um poster do Psycho na sala, mas que a vida resolveu passar-me outro clássico do Hitchcock por estes dias. Continuo a cozinhar, e vou bebendo uma cerveja. Tenho os músculos cansados de carregar sacos cheios de papelada, fotografias e artefactos vários por cinco andares. Agora apetece-me o atrofio de um sofá e o sabor da cevada fresca. Enquanto o arroz cozinha vou ouvindo o som do vinil que vem da sala da televisão. Phosphorescent canta “Sun a-rising / Ease, easy oh”. É uma boa canção para se ouvir. A Ultra está em Londres a preparar as aulas que vai dar nestas próximas semanas. Vou mandar-lhe a música para ela juntar à sua lista de canções para ouvir no metro ou nas ruas, nessas streets of London. Entretanto já estreou a terceira temporada de Stranger Things, mas ainda não é hoje que vou estrear o Netflix nesta casa (pequena adenda de segunda-feira: entretanto já estreei. Do que vi, está óptimo; El continua badass, a música está melhor do que nunca e a dupla Henderson / Harrington está em altas). Vou (de volta a Domingo) ficar apenas no sofá, a ler, a beber, a tirar notas, a estar, a trocar olhares com a mãe-gaivota. Li de manhã uma entrevista do Jim Jarmusch ao Guardian e pensei que os americanos têm uma ótima palavra para descrever desorientação: drifting. O Domingo é um óptimo dia para drifting. E para preparar bem a entrada na semana. Sublinho o texto de Tolentino: “Esta vida que se quantifica e mede, mas permanece indecifrável”. E depois vou dormir (e já agora, o João Gilberto? Adorava a voz dele. Ainda adoro. Saudades.)