Aug 23, 2012
Travel Time Capsule: February 2005
Mark must have taken this photo.
I don't remember it, but I remember him on our walks through Lisbon, dropping away from the group. I'd see him from the corner of my eye, up a flight of stone steps or ten paces away in the plaza, his face behind a camera.
We travelled during reading week, Carolyn and I in our fourth year of university. Our peers were in Cancun and Fort Lauderdale. She had found the trip on a last minute booking site. This was before every person under 25 was an online booking pro, and our peers were skeptical. She'd camped outside my Literary Criticism class on a wet February afternoon. "It's for eight nights in the Algarve, flight, hotel, transit to the airport, right on the sea, do you want to do it?"
We'd cooked up a dozen travel dreams together, shared backpacking stories of Europe, eaten baguettes and cheese with wine on our shitty student balconies. Her boyfriend would come with us, and two friends of his. I met them for the first time at Pearson airport, boarding our charter flight with the other package tourists. Mark had a guitar case. Wilson had the same sunglasses as me. We were the youngest people on the plane.
We spent two nights in Lisbon, but I don't remember much.
Old men playing dominoes in the plazas. Cold wind. Carolyn's heels getting stuck in cobblestone. Expensive coffee. Drinking absinthe in the hostel common room with a pair of Americans and some quiet Spanish girls. Buying and losing cheap plastic umbrellas. One night on empty rain-slick streets, the city quiet as Portugal played Italy. The city solemn when Portugal lost.
I don't remember it, but in Mark's photos from Lisbon, I'm grinning wider than anyone else.