This morning I've stopped at the beautiful Jardim da Estrela. I'd woken up tired, as if still anchored, like that tanker out on the river. Nothing seemed like a good idea. Except to head out here and sit a while, maybe work in the Pessoa House library later.
I'd been out to hear some fado last night. Very much in fado vadio stream, this little joint near my apartment, meaning truer to fado's street roots, supposedly, than the professional shows for tourists. Somebody's old uncle sang a few songs, then somebody else's old uncle, accompanied by the usual Portuguese guitar (an oversized twelve-string mandolin) and regular acoustic guitar. I drank wine and ate sausage cooked on an open flame over the bar, to keep the owner--a severe fellow, impatient--happy enough. It's a tiny place, and if people don't eat a meal, it must be tough to make a go of it, especially with the fado performers, even amateurs, to pay. It was fun, but mild, except for the sausage.
When I got home, I saw the massive cruise ship sliding out of sight. I'd walked by it earlier--a mind-blower of a structure that, moored at the dock, became the tallest building in Alfama by far. In the darkness last night, it hauled its belongings away, including a city-worth of lights.
So I woke up tired this morning, as I was saying. I know there's no use trying to manufacture energy. Better to head out to Estrela and sit down on a bench and breathe a bit.
And open my email.
And find a photo.
Meet Giselle Ruth Warren, age 4 days.