As the night falls in Sherwood, her main concern is not to burn the rice. The meatballs on the metal tray in the oven, unprotesting. The kitchen smiles, cries, blinks. The dishes waiting. The fridge ignored. The warm corn cob, about to be eaten with butter and salt, brings back memories of summers in Cidreira. Childhood, the beach, going to the local bookshop with Vital. The food is almost ready now. The tap drips. The stove is turned off. The night is here. Not letting the rice stick to the bottom of the pan, that is love.

Sherwood, 2017.

It was written: one day you’ll have to leave in a hurry,

really early, because you’ll need to catch

the first train to Euston.

One day you’ll wash a lot of dishes, glasses and cutlery.

One day you’ll clear tables in pubs, fold napkins in hotels

and collect trays in cafés.

One day, your feet (with blisters) will hurt a lot

in the evening and so will your arms,

your back and your head.

One day, you’ll organize menus and

will polish forks, knives and spoons. 

One day, working in a restaurant, you’ll put

all the heavy wooden chairs on the tables, will have to sweep the entire floor, then you'll have to mop it and in the end

put all those chairs back under the tables.

One day, you're going to say thank you and smile at customers,

all day long, hundreds of times.

 

Excerpt from 'One Day' ('Um Dia') 

Taken from the story collection De Passagem (2013)

He turns on the radio. From his flat, he can see the whole city. The view goes quite wide: the Thames, Parliament and Big Ben.

He makes a cup of tea. On the table, several magazines (visual arts, literature and philosophy). All brand new. And also the Tate Etc.. He loves the Tate Etc. magazine.

He arranges appointments, makes a few phone calls, sends and answers many emails, takes some notes and drinks more tea. The autumn chill makes the air cold and cools all around. In this city, the sun almost never shines, but he knew that before moving here. And this is why he lives in London.

In that morning he was feeling something more than the scent of his favourite flowers, plants and foliage. He looked around and reflected on the life he had built.

He always knew that one day he would be in that flat, with those thoughts and with that cup of tea, breathing the air and enjoying the view of that city so grey, yet so beautiful.

 

Excerpt from the book Apagando Um Cigarro Atrás do Outro

(Stubbing Out One Cigarette After Another)

 

© 2020 Clodie Vasli