Friday, November 9, 2012

Notes from Portugal: Texas

In Lisbon, Andrea takes me to paint traditional Portuguese tiles. She is disappointed that we will only be painting the blue on white designs, which seems like a good place to start, but they're actually very late in azulejo history, and the earlier blue and yellow ones are so very fine. The room is windowless. There are two other students in her class, one who is also named Andrea and one who has brought a box of a pastries in for his birthday. All questions addressed to me are addressed to my Andrea, and my Andrea says later that although we are not invited much into conversation, that the conversation is very much about me, the one day visitor. I know this only because the things Andrea says have something to do with me. "California" and the question is where am I from. "Texas" and the question is where do I live. The former ballerina who is teaching the class just nods at California. At Texas she repeats the magic word and says, "Texas!"as she flips her hands held as gun fingers from each hip and pretends to shoot up the class.

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