We took the morning bus. We were waiting at the bus stop by the bakery at nine o’clock. Teyo bought a pastry for herself, it had a jam filling. I didn’t get anything, I just drank water; I can’t have breakfast even if I wanted to. The bus was on-time. I sat by the window, Teyo was eating her cookie as she sat next to me. And the bus drove away. No matter how far away, it feels like you haven’t gone anywhere. More like running around a circle. The landscape is the same, it doesn’t change. The hills and vineyards, olive gardens, trees in the middle of the fields and the land that are almost flat; it’s all the same. We haven’t gone far away, but the houses look exactly like one another from this village to the next one, and the next town, and the other neighboring town. We’re taking a tour, going nowhere.
The time passes by rather differently here, a little bit slow, a little bit relaxed; it must be something southern. I keep meeting so many different people, witnessing different ways of living and paths that people have put together for themselves. Some are fancy with a lot of obsessions and complications, but people usually go with a simple way, naive, expecting very little for they know the true face of the reality. Maybe because all they want is joy and pleasure to its fullest. I won’t use the word happy, we all know how it’s overrated, and nobody is really “happy”. Can happiness be the other face of sadness?! And I still haven’t made that phone call I told you about. The conversation is left undone, which I don’t think I could do much about. We were talking about something, I don’t remember what we were saying, but the lines were disconnected; I guess no credits to call back. It all reminds me of the past, more traditional ways of communication; maybe a letter like this would do. But then again, would I have the courage to say what I want to say, put out all these imaginary conversations I run in my head over and over?! I should be brave enough.
I keep having these random thoughts, I don’t know, I guess it’s always good to keep track of time, and to have one of these churches around to know what the time is. To remind you which hour of the day it is, which quarter, and if it’s already half past the hour. I think about the future of these villages, and what happens if all these old people died in the end. Their children will never come after their houses on the corner of nowhere, will they?! Even if they come back to sell the house, who would buy them anyway!? Maybe some young farmers would move in hopes of getting their farms running, but what about the villages that are gradually turning into a desert mainly for the wrong political strategies?! For this global warming that we cannot stop talking about. Too dry and infertile to live off of anything. What would happen then?! What would its next generation be like, if there would be any at all?! Sara believes that these villages would disappear. I believe so too, but the naive side of me hopes not. I’m pretty sure this town used to be alive. Older people tell stories, there are shreds of evidence of colorful lives here, once upon a time, but I guess not anymore; it’s all dead now.
Nov. 17 – Messejana, Portugal