I feel it still

It rained today. I found out when I opened my windows to get my laundry and it was wetter than when I'd hung it out to dry the day before

(I should have checked the forecast. My bad.)

I worked
I made tea
I ate tinned sardines on toast

debating whether or not to go out, listening to the sound of the rain and the whistling of the wind through the palm tree in the square in front of my apartment for a clue.

In the early afternoon I pulled on my raincoat and boots and ventured out, skipping over puddles and dodging rainfalls from the heavy, sagging canopies.

I made my way downtown slowly, ducking into doorways and avoiding the streets where the wind made the rain sleet down sideways into my face and hair and into my shoes.

I planned to visit the Contemporary Art Museum but it was closed when I arrived.

Or rather, closing

"for lunch" said the security guard who caught me on my way in as I was pulling on one of the glass doors

"we reopen at 3" he said

so I had a coffee
went to the mall
bought a romper
killed time 

until I popped out on the other side of the mall at 3:03 PM, just in time.

But the rain had picked up again, drenching my feet and hands and legs up to my thighs and pooling in the fabric of my umbrella

so I walked back to Alfama in the squish-squish of my soggy feet

listening to the shrieks of other pedestrians when the wind slapped them in the face

or when a car roared by and splashed them from head to toe.

"I need to go to the market" I thought, realizing that I'd be huddling inside my apartment for the night and punched "mercado" into Google Maps to figure out the closest place to go.

The app brought up a store five minutes away and I jumped over puddles and stayed back from intersections and listened to the foreign voices swearing and shrieking as we navigated the grey landscape of the city.

The store was close to where I'm staying, down by the river where the wind was so strong I couldn't open my umbrella and walked face-first into the onslaught of rain and wind. 

I got turned around and nearly walked into the Ministry of Finance and thought I was going to get yelled at by the security guards who seemed as confused about where I was going as I was. 

But one of the soldiers spoke English and walked me through the centuries-old building

(which isn't open to the public) 

so he could get me closer to the pedestrian crosswalk that connected one side of the street to the metro station where the store was.

(Which wasn't where Google Maps said it was, by the way.)

As I waited for the light to change the French tourists around me shrieked




and I laughed as the wind nearly swept us off our feet as we waited to cross.

But back in my apartment
with my fruit
and bread
and cheese, and wine
I peeled off my layers

drenched raincoat
soggy shoes and socks
sweater and tank top and leggings soaked from the rain

and sat in front of my space heater in my underwear eating mackerel patê

thinking that I was glad that I didn't wear my jeans today.

Tags: Life