Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
- So... tell me about that blog of yours.
And I thought that if I had been born in the 20s, as crazy as they were, I would hardly understand. And so I told him, but with evasions, projecting my voice to the side as someone who’s talking but doesn’t want to be heard. I’m always very enthusiastic when I talk about my blog, but with my grandfather I felt slightly embarrassed. Not that I’m not proud of my blog. As a matter of fact, despite the angry comments I receive from the anonyms, heteronyms and pseudonyms that every now and then come here to remind me about the shitty blog that I have, to me, this shit, seems like the only noteworthy thing I’ve done in my whole life.
I know grandfather. This is not starting very well. Something called a blog probably doesn’t deserve much credit from you. The same goes with photographing people on the street. And photographing them merely for what they’re wearing only makes it all seem worse. But when I called you the other day, right before giving the phone to you, grandmother told me that you had gotten all emotional when you heard my voice on the radio. I didn’t know what to say. I know you were strict with my father and to be honest, it’s not easy to picture you getting all emotional. I never saw my father cry and to be completely honest, he wasn’t always gentle with me too. But in a way I admit that discipline will make a boy become a more adult man. And the truth is that I don't imagine myself an all that sweet father. Maybe I don't even want to be one. And that’s just the way it goes, isn’t it? There will always be complicated stuff between a father and a son. Being a grandson will always be easier.
You know, these people I photograph, are always people worth looking at a second time. I look at them once, as a reflex I look at them one second time and only then do I approach them. Sometimes the process is so quick and unconscious that I don't even realize it. I also know that everything would seem more legitimate if the reasons that make me look one second time were the curves of a woman or a piece of uncovered flesh instead of a coat, some boots or a hat. I’m going to tell you what this text is all about. About the need I feel to explain you my sensitivity. And telling you that my sensitivity is also part of my manhood. But I only feel that I must do this with you. As if you were the only man to whom I hadn’t proven myself as a man. Because deep down we feel the need to prove ourselves to our ancestors. Every time you see me you ask me about women and every time I see you I give you vague manly answers. And truth be told, it was with you that I was ever close to having the “the birds and the bees” conversation. That embarrassing conversation that my father was gentle enough to excuse me of. If this makes you more comfortable, then I must tell you that when I look at the past I realize that sensitivity and lust were always tied in my life. The best fucks were always the ones where the dirty words seemed the most tender, where the moments when I hold a woman in my arms after the orgasm always felt as good as those divine two seconds that precede ejaculation. I suspect that nowadays a man has to be as efficient nurturing a woman as he is fucking her. He has to be voluntarily as supportive as he is defending her and as dedicated in loving her as he is in protecting her. I know that for you it is very important to have a manly grandson. In my own way I guess I am one and without pretending to fulfill someone else’s image, but I confess that I would like you to have that image of me. I don’t imagine myself demanding this from a son or grandson, but what I demand one day from them doesn’t have to be the exact same thing that I demand from myself. And what I demand from me is to impress you. After my father, I want to impress you. More than women, friends or readers in a blog, it's you, grandfather. I want to impress you
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
The idea of the business cards followed me since the beginning. I thought it would be nice to deliver a business card to the people I photographed or approached with the intent of photographing. No more papers, pens, “please write here on my back”, “It’s a “The” before “tailor””, “not “Lisboa”, it’s L-i-s-b-o-n” etc, etc. The process would become simpler and definitely more elegant. On the other hand we were in January (2009), I had only published half a dozen posts and I wasn’t sure if this idea, that would probably only last a month, was worth so much trouble. Anyway the cards were created first. The answer came later.
Rui Quinta is not only “the guy that created the cards”. Rui was one of the few friends I talked with before starting The Lisbon Tailor and the one who said “great idea, go for it” etc, etc. That’s one of the many reasons why his number is the first I call when something good happens regarding this blog. That’s one of the many reasons why I will keep on calling him. Because, once again, Rui is not only “the guy that created the cards”. Rui is the friend I call to ask “do you have any Tailor business cards with you?” when I realize I have next to me Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva Salgado (the Chairman of the Bank where I work) who is more or less to me, please forbid me the exaggeration, like the Pope is to any Roman Catholic. Rui shows up two minutes later with half a dozen cards and allows me to make a true fool of myself as I present [myself] as a subordinate to my supreme boss and talk a little with him about this project that has nothing to do with the financial world. Because I believe that, when used with caution, silly acts help us triumph. Because it’s the acts, silly or not, that this blog is made of. And since I’m already making a fool of myself, I must do it with style. If the silly part is on me, at least now you know where the style comes from.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
(one day, all grown up and without a scarf, he got tired of taming the Rose and of flirting with the Fox, left his asteroid on a low-cost and went to London)
Have you ever been in a situation when someone is talking with you, but a voice, another voice or maybe your own voice, starts speaking louder than the voice of the person in front of you? And there we are staring at someone, nodding cynically while our mind slips away… I think this boy — very friendly I must say - told me that he had a camera just like mine. He probably said something like that, I can’t really say, because the voice was telling me about a trip to Paris and not to London in December 2002. In that trip a friend was always quoting the character [this kid reminded me so much of] that I ended up reading The Little Prince again. But I was not easily convinced. During the trip I was more worried about the intestinal problems that the fool sitting next to me had. With that and also with the Croatian girls that we met during the stay. When my friend would start with quotes from The Little Prince I would answer with a vaguely “Ok… Ok” and would turn my attention to one of the two or three Croatian girls that I wanted to tame (or whatever you want to call it). We thought it would be funny to spend New Year’s Eve in the Elysian Fields (how clever is that?), but I got lost from my friends in the middle of the confusion. A friend of mine once came up with a funny sentence about Croatian girls (true or not, it doesn’t matter) that said: “Croatian girls aren’t foxy, they’re very foxyyy!!”. That argument didn’t convince me much and I spent 3 hours trying to avoid the girls and desperately searching for my friends. And I realized that one of the worst things that can happen to us is feel lost in the middle of a festive crowd. It was then, feeling completely miserable in a night that was supposed to be happy, that I lived one of my biggest moments of happiness – pure and instant happiness served in small concentrated doses like adrenaline – when, without much hope, I found and embraced my friends.
And yes… I think it’s true: “we’re forever responsible for what or who we tame”
And yes… I guess it’s also true that the fool with the intestinal problems was really me