This place is full of warehouses

He’s thirty minutes earlier for the show. He thinks it’s wiser to eat something before; after all, he hasn’t dined yet. He parks the car in front of a social service office. Although it’s Sunday, he questions himself if he can do this, to stop the car in this place. He eventually shrugs and ditches the issue, and goes across the street to the craft beer shop. He enters the shop and counts two waiters standing next to the kitchen, a couple sitting at the bar, and three forty-something-year old people sitting at a table. He goes to the bar and asks for a stout beer and something to eat. The only food they have is pie, chicken or meat. He chooses chicken. He drinks the beer smoothly, he enjoys its round flavor. When the pie arrives he proceeds to eat it slowly. He takes note of the couple. The couple is arguing about her life. She wants out, out of her job, out of her house, out of here. She wants to go soul searching, and he, well, he thinks that the guy that’s with her is being too polite in answering, maybe because he wants to have something to do with her later on. Our man at the bar, drinking stout and eating pie just thinking, from the top of his laughable wisdom, that she should just go. Go, do something, and then come back, with or without the guy. But nobody is asking his opinion, and even if he said something nobody would care. He finishes eating, drinks the last sip of beer, pays and leaves. He thinks the pie was too expensive for what its quality. It’s now raining outside. He hasn’t got an umbrella, nor a hoodie. He puts his hands on the side-pockets of his jacket and thinks he’s a cowboy leaving the saloon, into the soaking rain. This place is full of warehouses, could be a western scenario, he says to himself. In more or less fifteen minutes he’ll be in one of the warehouses, in the concert hall, and the space will make him remember that concert hall in Chicago, next to the Mexican neighborhood, where he once saw his favorite all-time band. He will listen to the trio of women playing string instruments and singing their cute form of neo-country while joking about Tinder and dates in between songs. He will repeat in his mind the names of the instruments – bass, violin, cello – and he think that this, all of this is so fucking america, like all the references that he has in his head and in his heart. He fucking loves an idea of america that is made of these sounds, of these lyrics that talk about prairies, and ashes, and California. Then he will go next to his brother, sister-and-law and nephew, and they will all listen together to the show that brought them here in the first place, on a rainy Lisbon Sunday. And they will sing, they will laugh, they will jump, they will admire the passion and energy that the singer-songwriter puts into all those songs, and he will think that this love is not for the songs themselves, but for the characters of the songs, some real and some fake, all fucked up, but all alive, all very much alive, all alive in tones of e, g, and d, and played in two to three minute takes. Chorus are cathartic affairs, and this singer knows it all too well. It’s beautiful, and violent, or maybe violent because it’s so beautiful, or maybe beautiful because it’s so violent. Gee, I don’t know. I only know that he will leave the concert hall at the end of the show and go straight to his car, parked on the sidewalk, and he’ll spend the return trip trying to recite the lyric from that song that he didn’t know before, the one about calendars and Illinois.

Coisas bonitas

A meio do caminho imaginei uma história, de um homem que habitava por essa zona, na Pensão Elegante, ali no Largo da Oliveirinha – que, segundo o Google Maps, termina no Largo do Oliveirinha – junto à Travessa do Fala-só. O seu nome poderia ser Gustavo, um tipo sério e justo, mesmo que mais ou menos perdido. Gustavo passaria os dias ali, naquele trecho composto por casas em obras, lojas de mosaicos, hostels com nomes ordinários e uma mercearia. Trabalharia como advogado em casos pequenos mas recorrentes, e almoçaria e jantaria na Praça da Alegria, no café Brooklyn, onde passaria horas a ler romances em inglês sobre a América. Tomaria nota, num caderno que traria sempre consigo, no bolso interior do casaco, de todas as coisas bonitas que encontrasse, como os regadores azuis que estavam hoje colocados nas várias varandas do palácio. Coisas assim, simples.

Seminário

No caminho estavam dois sapatos de senhora. Vermelhos, género sabrinas, um pouco gastos e molhados, impecavelmente arrumados num canto de um lugar de estacionamento junto ao passeio. Lembrei-me do Feiticeiro de Oz: a que Bruxa ou a que Dorothy terão pertencido? Na terça-feira ainda por lá andavam, agora desarrumados, com o esquerdo no lugar do direito e o direito no lugar do esquerdo. Na quarta-feira já não, já não estavam por lá. Imaginei quem os tivesse calçado, que aventura é que estaria a viver, neste momento. Reparei também, no intervalo antes de ir dar a primeira aula do seminário, num pequeno globo encostado junto à janela do bar da faculdade. Vivemos num grande mundo, cheio de selvas e florestas, cheio de vidas e de histórias. Vimos uma ontem, no teatro, na sala estúdio, sobre o mundo do trabalho e os seus excessos. Era mais uma história de ideias do que uma história de pessoas, e nem sempre bem conseguida, mas o cenário – feito de papel de alumínio – era muito engraçado. Às vezes acendiam e desligavam as luzes e víamos as paredes com marcas e elevações, como se fossem montanhas ou pedras, ou até raízes (o que é irónico, tendo em conta o que se passa no fim da peça). A vida agora é um concerto de Beethoven tocado pela Royal Philarmonic Orchestra no leitor de vinis cá de casa. O sol entra pela janela, está um céu fabuloso, e há algum trabalho para acabar – entre os andamentos ouvem-se as teclas de dois computadores. Antes disto fui correr e apanhei com sol na cara. Estava a arder no fim da corrida, era possível que estivesse com a cara encarnada. Estreei os meus novos ténis de corrida, que, coincidência das coincidências, são vermelhos. São muito confortáveis.

You

eat the quinoa bread in the kitchen

and drink the lungo coffee

before doing the NYT’s daily crossword

in the living room

(how

intelectual-millennial

are you?)

and your heart dreams

you believe in her, in others, in life

you feel that, you say that, you smile, you hold the hand strongly and you

say go

and your heart dreams

you look at yourself

a dark image of yourself

reflected in the water

amongst the cars and the people and the rain

you think of green

and your heart dreams

you follow the cyclist

who has his backpack open

and is heroically fighting the wind while climbing

a very steep and wet street

and your heart dreams

you listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Thunderroad

heavenly sent through your cellphone’s shuffle

and played on your car’s stereo

you cry while you sing or

you sing while you cry

doesn’t matter

your heart

dreams

you arrive at the law school and

remember three times the structure of the class

you think about

all the legal things surrounding crypto-assets and tokens

and then you park the car

the sky opens slightly

it still rains

your remember you have

to pray

and your heart dreams

your heart dreams

your heart dreams