The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Step Dois, Três. Turn Dois, Três

Lisbon,  travel photos, Portugal


The folk dancers gather, circle out, promenade, move to the music. A man in a brown hat calls out directions, and the audience whispers, “Is that English?” The Portuguese folk dancers are performing for a mother-daughter tea party in the church basement. “No, It’s Portuguese.” The women sit at tables with various china cups. We eat tiny sandwiches and beam politely at the entertainment.

In a white shirt with a blue sash at his waist, a grey-haired man focuses on his task of guiding the women. He is serious, glancing at the ceiling as if the next steps are printed there, or staring at the man in the hat for the next command. He is precise while the other dancers play. Naturally, he is the one I love the most, so I stop paying attention to anyone else in the rotation. I am grinning to the point of confusing my neighbors, who begin to watch the performance more intently. How lovely to see up close the activities that people enjoy, where we invest our time, where we count our steps.

After the performance, the man slips out for a cigarette. He gazes at the sidewalk with great concentration and mentally reviews the performance. He taps a foot forward, shifts his shoulders involuntarily. He is dancing again in tiny movements, still gazing at the spot ahead of him, trying to remember if he turned left when he should have gone right.


Lisbon,  travel photos, Portugal, guitar

Lisbon, Portugal

10 comments on “Step Dois, Três. Turn Dois, Três

  1. Mandy Kunzman
    May 8, 2013

    Beautiful imagery Paige!

  2. Jonathan Caswell
    May 8, 2013

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  3. Jonathan Caswell
    May 8, 2013


  4. Gina left the mall
    May 9, 2013

    It is most definitely, “lovely to see up close the activities that people enjoy, where we invest our time, where we count our steps.” Thank you for taking me there.

  5. Fábio Pinho
    May 22, 2013

    Next time, come to OPorto. You definitely would like it too! 😀

  6. Virginia Duran
    June 2, 2013

    Loved this post! I am so fond of this kind of people. Your description is beautiful, felt as if I was there!

    • Thank you! I am glad you could feel as though you were there. That is part of the fun of the stories–to see if anyone else really tags along. 🙂

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