Chapter 6: Dear Diane, part 1 (Lisbon)

Huckleberry would not be writing much, this trip. Mobile phone, out of pocket. “MENU”,”NOTES”,”CREATE NEW”, “RECORD”

“Dear Diane,

I have arrived at 6:30 A.M. in Lisboa, Portugal. Pink yogurt blue frosting clouds start pushing the heavy moist blackness. The medium full moon out there beyond the jesus opposite shines down the river Tagus itself unvesting the obsidion and black laquer dream for naked mercury shining reality. Boats barging in. Washing up. The river walk behind Cais de sodre towards Baixa-Chiado. Diane, there will be some updates. Oh yeah, remind me, Diane, never to live far from water, again.”

“Diane,

May I add that the first walnuts I ate we´re absolutely fucking marvelous.  The streetlights of the baixa square just blinked off signaling get set, ready, and sunrise for the malai-zy seagulls.”

“Diane, I´ve just marmeladed into the spirited blue tile and print red housed neighborhood of Belem. Here, they´ve got a place called Pasteis de Belem, and they´ve got a custard cream tart that´ll kill ya. It´s dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon, and warm from the oven it is the closest to intimacy a gastronomic texture has ever come. There will be no shortage of good bakery on this trip, it seems. Now to find a strong cup of coffee after I check out what appears to be a giant cement homage to the milenia old competetion among men to be he who most pleases god, at the prow of celestial approval we view 16th century characters subtexting: here, we remember the sacrifice of millions.”

“Walking down the riverside, I´m overcome with the urge to ride a bike. Somewhere here, a bike awaits me. Now, I see before me a giant hashtag on the bikepath. As it indicates, up ahead is an old white and grey tower that looks perfect for instagram photos. Surely glorious historical anecdotes relieved in portugese printed parkbenches await me, for wherever roams instagram checkpoints in this world, one finds endless quotes, short poems, and graffiti.”

“Diane,

There are actually two Tower of Belem, which puzzles me to wonder why they´re named in the singular. Like a giant chess game, the Rooks of Belem wait in eternal patience for the master hand behind each to make that rookie manuever. Until then, they wait as idle threats themselves afflicted with a state of constant gaurd and-

Oh My Wordless Rose Petaled Infinite Void of Dante´s Vision!-

A giant wide eyed hairy beast just overcame the black tower! I must be on my way now, my stomach tells me that wild thing is not to be messed with on this day.”

“I´ve escaped the malaisey monstrosity, with utter finesse and ease. Now, I disembark towards Barrio Alto, where I´ll be staying for this fine trip. But first, I might take advantage of the fact that right here, in the sun, a large tree stretches out to lay down a warm bed for my weary 2:30 a.m. busridden bones. Ahh, Diane, nothing beats a good lay in the sun”

“Walking along the highway near the plethora of art museums which I´ll save for a lazy date, I spot a shot boxy sedan coming my way. My rarely these days lens-ed eyes focalate inside the scrap metal world on wheels and spy two freshly shaven men with aviators, military berets, and happless expressions of bland across their pale visagry. Being the dumb bastard that I am, I smiled big teeth at the anomaly, what they were. Turning, I saw what wondered them on – two leagues of horseback police, trotting nothing serious, down the highway giving to their brandished uniforms more exercise it seems than to the cavalrous horses. Wait, Diane,

It seems they are, while holding up highway traffic, heading indirectly and anticlimatically towards the entrance of the gorgeous modernist&minimalist architecture composed ArtMuseumConcertHall fortress. Diane, I´m glad I didn´t go in there on my way over to instagram destination #TowerOfBelem #LisBoaTarde. Surely, they are off to hunt something. Or, perhaps the malazy monster roams this part, and they merely partol where the morning sun alights a spot in the winter shades of green, dark vivaciously intense green, and green that defines the bleak colourful fate of gorgeous Lisboa during January. Poor things, with so much ocean water and lush, verdant plants abundantly strewn about – how ever do they experience the miraculous mystery of deep winter afforded to their northeastern cousins?”

“Dear Diane, it´s 10 a.m. and having already eaten two Pasteis de Nata and thrown two cafe com leite down the hatch to nutricize the huckleberry patch of my anti-somnambulate insomnia-impossible oddity of a morning hawk appetite, I already can´t wait for the next delicious cup of coffee. First, up the hills of Lisbon to find the Old Town Hostel. Every electric yellow mini trolley cart moment that struts about the scenic port city gives me ánimo. Great big doses of juicy, olive oil bathing post butter grill cod fish ánimo.

Just a glancing at the streets and tasting eavesdrops here and there make my senses dance wild with the delight that this town is beautiful, old, weird, and full of artsy people. The combination of intelligence and humility marks this place unique on my map of the largely unseen inner experiential carbon copy world I have seen. Diane, remind me to get distracted for a moment.”

“Clouds. Whole miniature forests in walls hatching brittle sketches of 1001 arabian nights- everyday more stories crack to the surface of salt filled mist from nowhere. There are more tiles on buildings, and more rhombus stones covering the heavily traversed ground than are grains of sand on the beaches of all the world. A father and daughter walk dwn the middle of the black rhombus rock laid street beneath the gaze of a life red solid block of color whose roof is trimmed by the sun´s bleaching watch turning the bounds of the building into a rosy pink. An old newsie hatted man hunches up the steep sidewalk at their perpendicular, and behind us all a hair net and baker´s apron wearing jewel of a young woman winds floppily by.”

“Diane, I´m perched up in a plaza, eating dried plums along with almonds and walnuts. Tis a good day to exercise my spirits and bench the sun in the open air of a crowded site for people watching socialites. There´s an old lady vigilating the kiosk terrace plaza thingamajig. She´s got a purple button up sweater, a dark violet shirt, a plaid purple and brown skirt and faded pinkish leggings that indeed mark her location in any random glance. she can´t be missed, and she won´t miss you. She walks to and fro arranging and rearranging unmanned and unwomanned tables and chairs. She is like the benign once evil but now retired evil doer of the upper neighborhood. Her witching hour is over, but one palpably percieves that her potent powers and crafts remain intact – themselves hoping to escape after years locked up in the monotonous turmoil of being the “oh yeah, her? yeah she´s the Ki-Osk La-Dy”.

“Diane I´ve just talked with a friendly couple from southern france. Meeting people from southern france seems to be a theme for me this year. Maybe I should just go there and take the hint already. Their — casually open about their not wanting to look romantic but taking the random pleasure in being incapable of passing 53 seconds without diving at each others face or neck like swans, ducks, or kittens that want to snuggle noses but turn away because their attention span doesn´t quite hang in there to finish off the cuteness, and therefore: all the more cute– is subtly overtaking my meditative almond chewing state. After chatting for a bit, I took one last look around the plazaKioskBarrioAltoHangOut, and noted that everything was in place: the kiosk lady hovering treachously in the corner, Portugese hipsters making love to the sweetness of their own reflections in the sunglasses of their friends across the beer and coffee stained tables, foreigners mapping out where to smile next because hey – what´s not to love bout the extended pleasantry of the old town?, families strolling and old portu-geezers. Yes, it was a good day in the neighborhood. I fare thee welled the french couple pawing each other´s noses, and headed for the public bathrooms stairwelling below the plaza. I couldn´t wait. How good it would be, after all this time from 2:30 a.m., to noon, unconciously waiting for this moment. Looking down the stairs, holy what and the where How Did You Get Down There Kiosk Lady??? She smiled like the devil, “Boa Tarde!” I had to make it quick, Diane, and I paid her a nice shiny metallic tip before leaving the underworld shrine she protected. Who knows, given her age it could just as well be devoted to her ancient spirit. Obrigado, you sneaky, smirking menace you!”

“Dear Diane I´ve just finished checking into the hostal after eating a fantastically grilled slab of salmon the size of my face alongside a phalanx of lemon butter sauced potates garlic cooked spinach and fresh tomatoe slices. Two beers washed down my indulgently savoured accidental gluttony. The conversational superwoman that cooked my food told me to take a train to Sintra if I had a chance. My friend and colleague and world traveler extraordinaire mentioned I should go there. Unlike living with a southern french girl, befriending two other southern french girls, randomly meeting sourthern french people at every publically transported opportunity and plaza exhibition, no one would have to drop another hint: I decided to go to Sintra rain or shine.

I´m now currently on a train at the Rossoi station bound for Sintra. I´m currently seated next to a french man and his daughter. I currently don´t need to ask if they´re from the south of france, I´m just taking the continued hints in stride as I ride out another rail laid down by fate. I have no idea what´s up ahead in Sintra, but I´ve got the rest of the day to find out.”

 

for Part 2, click here:

 

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