travel stories

When you go to Lisbon, you have to listen to fado and to drink wine – he said


”Lisbon has the scent of previous lives.

Lisbon is the phoenix.

Mad phoenix that makes love to its women and gives wind to the back of its men.

That morning in 1755, around 10:24 in Lisbon happened a great earthquake. It was followed by fire and tsunami.

One one other morning, in 2016, around 10:24, everything happened again. ”

I am writing a book. Finally.

All the cities on which breasts I had leaned my head awoke poetry in me. Lisbon brought me a novel, the one that I’ve been waiting for (way) too long and because of which I went there. But today I will not talk about it, today I have to say something else and to share with you what I promised in the previous post.

There comes the moment when you feel that the world you live in is not a good place. The people among whom you breathe are not good people. You’re scared and disappointed. You’re sick. You may ask. No need. You’ll never know. Therefore, choose the world that suits you. And the one where you fit in.

Then you close your eyes, take a deep breath and realize that you’re a bird. That you are more a bird than you are your own mother. You realize that your mother used to be a bird. That she’s not a bird anymore. That you can not stop being.

And if you can be a bird, you can be anything else.

Imagine a cloud, and bring your dreams in it, your friends, your joy and your shame, and be real, but in the world that you just made. And one in which you was before someone came up with. (Not you.)

So in order to live I had to convert the sense to banality. Just like I trivialize this text.

I am living proof that we are what we attract. What we invent. Not a single thing in my life led to what I am today. I have brought them myself where I wanted. Dragged them.

Someone once asked me what will happen when this bubble on which I sit breaks. Nothing. Because the bubble is me. We all break, don’t we? And that’s just fine. But let’s smell wonderful while we are alive.

Sometimes I would go (I go) from person to person, asking them to be kind and gentle, rinsing out salt, and salt is washed by the ocean. Bending wounds, and wounds are bended with forests. Lying that life is beautiful, the lies are told with the cities. As long as everyone would believe it is true. Because then it would be true.That is easy to live. Because then it would be. Then it is. Even easier is when you live between airports.

The life made of the verses is all I ever wanted.

The life made of the verses is tiring sometimes and demands that I always have a different face. But what is it for all those that I have? What is it for me when I am everyone? When I’m not afraid to be?

With my verses I sharpened my character. For them, I was also a girl and a woman, slut and a virgin, sad and happy, alive and someone who was not here for a long time. I was everything that I never was out of those verses. And then I was just me. With the verses I grew up into myself. I let them to lead me. Mine and other people’s. Verses of alcoholics, bohemians, travelers, saints, monks. Verses of strangers.

I told you for how long I was looking for the place where I could build a story for my second novel and that a poem of a stranger showed me the way. I promised I will share it with you. It’s something I will share before I say any word about Lisbon, because it’s everything I have to say about Lisbon today.

I read this poem, packed clothes and went to Lisbon to live it.

Because, why not?

(To my dear poet I said that it’s mine a long time ago)

It was mine.

It is.

The way the Lisbon is mine.

The way it will always be mine.




It is perfectly okay for you to go to Lisbon

And to never call back,

I mean,

Who would

When the foot touches eternity of the ocean

Watch out there are those frenzied trams

In narrow steep streets

And be sure to go to some musty basement to listen to fado

Fuck Stones, Clapton, Bowie and Smits

Fuck your electronic of which sometimes I want to throw up like after warm beer

When you go to Lisbon, you have to listen to fado and to drink wine

Cause only in the city where the ocean and river merge you can experience the full catharsis

There is no fear that your tears will sink the world

Trust me, even if you would cry out the sky, the water level would not sink New York,

Your pop art cradle will wait for you, just as Lisbon waited

Wear that little black dress for which I teased you that you are Audrey Hepburn from porno movies of the nineties

And nothing under it

Panties and a bra should stay on the dirty floorboards of the hotel room

It’s time to liberate that spirit of a naughty girl you carry within you

Damn it, wasn’t that the reason of your fantasies about sunset over the ocean and the fucking streets of Paris, Lisbon and New York

About the docks that smell of fish, salt and freedom

Remember your dreams while you drink with complete strangers

And when you hear the first guitar riffs accompanied by a voice torn with pain

Begin to live

Tear the past as old bills and receipts from the dry cleaning

I’ll tell you again, fuck everything that had once been and where you’ve been

Memories are just scars and anchors that keep us in the exact same spot

Kid, no one knows you there, feel free to get drunk at 12 pm

You can cry drunk at three over the phone to someone here

Can yell over the phone, “Fuck you, idiot!”

Or to simply send it away with the wind

Like the girl in one fado song you will hear

And yet, three minutes after that to meet complete stranger

But to smile to him like you know him for a thirty centuries

So if he smiles back, dance with him

At eight o’clock in the evening make traffic jam

End up as the main news in the local newspaper the day after

End up naked on a beach in his arms

Fuck as long as you have the strength

Madly, to the bones, to breaking ribs, to screaming and to the teeth thrusted into shoulders

Just the way this dark here remembers you

And when the sun comes up, roll up joint and beer

Cause otherwise you will throw up remorse and say

That’s not me

That’s not me

That’s not fucking me

I know you, I know you that much that I am almost sure that you will not go further from solo drinking and yelling into the phone

They will watch and tighten around your waist for nothing

They will pour into your ears lascivious offers and words of desire for nothing, you will still be here

Hey, you are going to Lisbon and you will never come back to Belgrade

At least not to me and to this years

One of us have to say that

When you go to Lisbon you have to leave yourself in Sarah Key suitcase in the attic

Don’t contact me ever again, or if you feel the need, just call and say, “Fuck you, idiot ‘

But only at night somewhere between four and five

It is okay and the only thing in the whole world that only we will understand

You know, I would love to hear you telling me that three words in all the languages in the world

Because that yours ‘’Fuck you, idiot’’ is more honest of all that ‘’I love you’’ I will ever hear

And it will be the first thing to crush not of cobbles of Dorcol, but of the ocean foam and the monument of Vasco da Gama

Stevica Rajčetić

photo by Jelena Jovićević

To be continued…

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