Left Behind

Wish I Were Here


Lisbon, Portugal – November 2011

The far edge of a continent. Nothing ahead but infinite horizon. Lisbon is a place that inspires wanderlust. The everlasting voyage into the unknown. It is a place from which to set out.

In recent years, there has been an exodus. To Brazil and Angola, former colonies that have become greener pastures. Even the immigrants have begun to return to the places from whence they came.


Derelict buildings in the city center have become canvasses. There’s a finality to the bricked-up windows. The occupants will never return, but the vacant structures will continue to stand. Nothing to take their places but open space. An empty shell is less unsettling than a visible void.


I stroll the narrow, deserted streets of Alfama, casting looks over my shoulder. Seeking out the shadows cast by the soft November sun. Lace curtains and melodramatic television noises waft from open…

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