A momentary lapse of breathing

There was a girl in a tiny coffee shop, writing something for herself on a sleepy november morning. It started drizzling outside — a timid touch of rain. The drizzle soon became a pour, and the pouring was loud and angry. Her attention dispersed from the page, as her eyes moved to the roaring waterfall.

‘Can’t outrun rain’, she thought of the people on the chaotic sidewalk. Her breath, caressing the numbing sweetness of the coffee, made a tiny film of foam tremble on its surface, and she took another sip. The falling showers soon became so dense that the coffee shop window could be mistaken for an aquarium.

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The failure artist

There’s Erdinger, doritos and monopoly on the table, as our wolfpack is playing amidst a cloud of happy smoke. While we recover our bodies from a day of snowboarding at a cozy Airbnb, a white landscape gazes at us from the window.

This was my first time snowboarding, and, as you can imagine, I’ve fallen. A lot.

I’ve tumbled like wet clothes on a washing machine. I’ve shaken like an astronaut on reentry. I’ve stirred like a martini, rolled like a Royce, felt my brain pole-dancing on its skull as I fell face first on a white sheet of snowish ice.

I’ve hit the softened ground face first, ass first, God knows what else first, and on those rare instances I flew a bit, as I twisted mid-air before the inevitable impact, I knew — this was one of the greatest days I’ve ever had.

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Serendipity and love

The sun was dizzying and the path was unforgiving. I felt very hot, increasingly tired, and my damned water bottle was empty. Forgetting to refill it before those last 7 kilometers was, in retrospect, a rookie mistake. Step by step, with a ghost-like expression on my face, I hurried to my unknown destination. Where was I going? Why was I alone, thirsty, walking painfully towards the smallest of villages in Spain, in a terribly hot afternoon, in May?

I wish I could answer that truthfully. The truth is I can’t.

Last April, I embarked on a one-off journey that would last 35 days. I felt a gloomy, worrying sensation on my spine, when I saw my parents leave me at the Campanhã station in Porto, waiting for a middle-of-the-night train that would take me two countries away. Why?

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