Three hours after arriving in Porto, Portugal, for a week of discovery, research and play–lying next to Kathy, our daughter Tara on the loft-bed suspended above our own–my eyes closed and a slight and (surely) goofy smile widening slowly, I think I said to the room in general: “I think someone slipped me a mickey.”
My body all a-tingle, that silly phrase brought me one step closer to the hysterics that “threatened” in the darkness—you’ve been there I’m sure—that feeling of palpable, nearly-electric euphoria where uncontrollable bursting laughter hovers just below the surface, and just one small thing might set it off, contorted face, tears, “can’t stop…” The absolute, ultimate buzz.
(I find it amazing how I can focus on my actual chemistry, in bed perhaps or before a movie-comedy, and feel the physiological change that a smile induces—the potential to make the unfunny funny, a bad moment better).
While holding that shit in check, I then wondered wtf in silence, goofy smile intact, knowing I hadn’t taken any drugs!
Maybe the incredible pulled pork sandwich we all had an hour after arriving was prepared with some magic Portuguese gypsy rub. Our delayed flight to Porto, slow train to downtown and steep, tiled-sidewalk climb uphill (Note, Portugal: Tiles and hills) led to our late arrival to the (stunning) air-b n’ b and with few late-night options for dinner. Our host suggested the restaurant, whose kitchen had closed except for the glorious, (magic?) house specialty sandwich we savored on a softly lit, cobblestoned street–the entire succulent pork-butt displayed under a clear dome on top of the bar!
Maybe my great humor was induced by the accompanying two bottles of wine—a beautiful Douro blended red—like many to come in the week ahead—sporting full body-ness, ripe fruit, super balanced and smooth…and for, wait, what? 18e? “What’s that in dollars…like $20?” I had asked. The prospect of drinking wine that great for a week, for only $20/bottle at restaurant prices, is surely enough to make me giddy beyond the power of the wine itself! (FYI, upon further research, that same wine costs around $3- in a Portuguese wine shop) (Note, Portugal: Amazing, and amazingly cheap wine)
Maybe my body-tingle was after-glow of three intense days just spent in London awestruck by Tara’s amazing classmates reporting upon geo-politics and investigative practices relative to rampant global atrocities, and the promise and hopefulness of youth. Maybe/definitely I was overtired. Perhaps just being together in Portugal looking forward to sunny days of drinking more wine and visiting the mountains and city and sea had me a glow—and just maybe, most likely, it was all of the above!
I didn’t lose it…I held it together. And drifted into sleep, goofy-smile intact, so looking forward to Porto in the daylight, and all the things day number two would bring.