There he is sitting in the tube, Netsky the late night presence pounding the whole way to the bar, at about the same time he began to think about going there for a beer. In fact, he has finished it. Maybe he will have a second one, he wonders, as he happily heads to the tube station, after the third. There are one hundred students, sitting not far from him, not completely awake but awake enough to take some notes on what is being explained, awake enough due to the hanging earphones while he sips coffee between a bright conversation. Did he listen the whole song? Can’t really tell. What matters is: Did he enjoy the conversation? Was the coffee cold? Or even had one? This he is wondering on his way home from a tiring lab’s class. According to chemistry alcohol is a solution, so to the bar he heads, checking his facebook, while asking for a beer. The music there is good, ‘so was the company’ plays on his mind with ‘Puppy’. Time seems to be moving fast, as indeed it is, except when he is on that class. Someone calls his name, he goes for a coffee for a couple of hours before studying a bit, or a few beats from the song on the bar. An exam tomorrow, a few hours without closing his eyes tonight. Another coffee is welcomed, maybe next week he will visit is hometown. Students fill the tube on his way to uni, another class. Before the last stop he realizes, can’t really remember when he last slept, he thinks rubbing his eyes and getting ready for the organic chemistry class. And before understanding why, there he is again, sitting in the tube.
The two lamps near her window were off, due to some constructions on the street. The noise wasn’t a problem. The lack of light was. It annoyed her at first. She couldn’t observe in detail the group of drunk people shouting, nor the shade of a sleeping homeless. She wondered about him. The homeless. That one in specific. He never bothered anyone, never asked for anything. He just sat there, in the usual place. Alone. With every possible reason not to be okay. Yet, he smiled. A genuine, even smile. She had passed him two times already. Not that he would probably notice, at least that was what she thought. It wasn’t planned, but right before crossing his path for the third time in less than one hour, she realized he would see her a fourth. On her way back home. When she came back he didn’t even moved the pleading cup to her, only his eyes. She kneeled before him. ‘Would you like a doughnut?’. A whispered ‘yes’ between a smile conquered her. Completely. She ended giving him the full bag. Totally out of the plan. He didn’t need to thank her. Again, he surprised her with his ‘Merci’. Lighter than a feather she flied home, licking the sugared fingers of the only doughnut she was happier than ever to have. This memory brought another one, and another one. The saddest. While crossing a busy bridge, in a very beautiful day. A homeless was writing in a piece of paperboard ‘Smile, There are worse things in life. Just look at me’. She remembers everyone stopping. Reading it. No words, but looks of pity were shared. Tears quickly spread in her eyes. She couldn’t possibly know back then. But she did now. The worse things in life are not things. They are people and their absence. And feelings upon feelings and the invisible expedition to make them disappear. The silver lighted moon perfectly filled her blank stare. Near the tree was a shadow. A figure. It was a person, perhaps a creation of her mind. She didn’t know for sure. But in her head, it held her tears. And in that moment she wasn’t alone. Time to close the curtains to finally fall asleep, in the imaginary embrace. Of the creation of her own mind.
There’s a pub on the corner
And I know what I’m going to find
Sad people who are barely dressed
But keep wearing a smile-
Looking everyone in the eye-
Not allowing people to escape-
From the small conversation
That almost sounds taped.
Ladies cross their bare legs,
And intentionally loudly laugh
the cup of wine that fills their hands-
Is used to fulfil the missing half.
When there’s no football game running,
And a guy is there by himself,
His problems are drunk off
Until his only worry lays in the empty shelf.
And those habitual clients,
who already have beer in their veins
can barely walk to the counter
But the usual order remains.
There’s a pub on every corner
In this city of empty souls
And I wonder if what this city gives
Is better than what it stole.
Is it the Tagus singing,
When I face an empty soul?
Or is the Fado waving,
When I simply don’t feel whole?
Was it the oldest bookshop,
that made me lose control? Or-
was the Earl’s statue shadow,
what my fascination stole?
Will the twenty-eight tram reach-
St. George’s Castle- the knoll?
Will the belvedere’s sight, scar-
my memory with warm coal?
The revolution’s bridge,
is it just my tears’ pole?
When the roasted chestnuts’ scent,
makes the guitar whines to stroll?
Is the carved poet the why,
in this world ‘Saudade’ has a role?
Or the past expedition,
its haunting- genuine sole?
Was it the Arch of Glory,
the gate to the culture thole?
Or the cause I stumble on
Locals, tourists- the same shoal?
Is inside me “something that
has no name”?, this place consoles.
“The heart would stop beating”, if-
It was not part of my bole.