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Burning the Boats to Hesperion

No reason and No rhyme

Burning the Boats to Hesperion


Dog Days


The Party was relentless.

All kinesis and acceleration,

It took what it needed,

discarded the rest,

and sucked everything into its esurient maw.

Feeding us all to the crushing beat of psy-trance.


Boom, Boom … Boom.


I was there to see it born.

“We should do a rave in the abandoned slaughterhouse.”

Said César,

Eyes glinting with the dark anticipation of putting hippies dancing on a death farm.

We all basked in the glow of seeing the “good-vibrations-vegan, set” slowly waking to the realization of where they were.

We saw it all and found it good.


It was Summer by the sea in Alentejo.

Some of us were on holidays, others had jobs on the beach and, most of us, were unemployed.

So we had time.


Someone got a generator,

Another a PA system,

Lights were produced from thin air

And in no time we had what we needed for the féte.

No money exchanged hands,

as there was none,

only goodwill and a feeling that fate was active in our endeavour.


As so many things,

It started with a whimper.

Two or three of us around the dj table

thrown over the stone where they cleaned the carcasses.

The music evolved from EDM to Death Industrial in less than two hours.

It suited the space,

and mores,



Some people came, looked, and went away.

We let them.

There was no mood to compromise.



The morning after, we were drinking in front of the small fisherman’s houses perched some 60 meters from the slaughterhouse.


and all those  working in the beach,

were living in these cramped white spaces with benches outside

Where we would sit

and drink

and talk.


Someone left a cd running with Brighter Death Now in the PA.

It was around 7 in the morning and they had to go to work.

The day shone belligerently,

forcing us to sunglasses and thinking about the night before.


“-I think we should take the PA out of the abattoir.”

“-No! Don’t do that! It’s so fucking cool! We haven’t even done our band photos there!”

“- Yeah, but … I mean, the vibes, man. It’s just too negative.”

“- Yeah … I suppose.”


We brought the PA outside and got it ready to blare,


To the clear, indifferent air of Alentejo.


We were far from everything.

The tarmac stopped at the beach.

From there two dirts roads started,

If you’d take the one closer to the sea for some 900 meters,

You would be where we where.

There was only farms, dogs and the perpetually drunk locals that the place vomits in the shape of old men.


Oh yes,
We fitted right in.


It started with ten people,

Maybe twenty,

But in what seemed like a breath,

Or three days, I don’t know,

there were thirty, forty people there.

I remember sitting  by the fishermen’s houses,

The one’s with the bench,

The one’s where we sat for eons

I remember being there and thinking;




And looking at people getting things from their cars,

Parked some 40 meters away from me,

coming, going,

Pissing against the lone tree,

Twoing and froing from the party,

And I thought:




As I drank from a Gin bottle someone gave me a while ago.


The place was was managed by a Irish family.

Living some 100 meters from where we were. They were ok in the beginning, but then not so much.

I remember,


threats of telling what was happening to the owner,

somewhere in Ireland,

who was connected to the IRA and wouldn’t be amused.

Apparently César knew him also, and all the phone calls stopped when they couldn’t get decent arbitrage.

So the Party continued.


One week in, this turned into a local event.

If you were in 50km radius you probably were there.


Sometimes, someone would come to get his PA, or lights, back and,

In minutes,

not hours,

There would be others to pump insanity into the dunes.

There was always,


booze and drugs...

Man, so much drugs!.

People came in a sharing mood,

and I seemed to always close.


It was my third day there,

When my girlfriend asked:

-”Do you want another one?”

I looked at the whisky bottle I was nursing,

Not remembering what and for how long I was drinking,

And said:

“Yes please”.

She got into a car with some friends of mine and disappeared in the dust,

Towards the town, alcohol, and food and telling more people where we were.

When she came back I was drinking a liter of beer that someone gave me before going away.

Lots of people did that.

I was near the parking.

That’s why they gave me their spares.


As we sat there,

In the afternoon,

We saw him trudging along,

Sixty or seventy,

Coming through the dirt road,

Clearly drunk and looking quizzical.


He ambled along to where we were and someone said:
-”I Tí Manéli! Atão vájábenaviado?”

This is portuguese to say: “Hey old man, I know you’re drunk, we are drunk too. Do you want to drink with us?”

He leaned in the fence pole,

needing all the help he could get,

Looked at us,

Two glowing ravers

A hippie

A skinhead

And a overweight punk,

looked to the road ahead,
And said:


He passed by us, to the Party and I don’t remember seeing him come out.


When I woke,

Not chronologically, mind you, as I can’t remember that much.

I was strewn amongst the feet of dancers.

One said:

-”Are you ok man?! You were sleeping, so I kept your glasses, just so no one would step on them.

Here. Take them.”
-”Ah, thanks man”

-”sure! No problem!”

And he danced away never to be seen again.

I got up,

and ascertained I was some 70 m from where I remembered being.

The Party.

Had grown to a 100 meters radius,

Everything was the Party.


Tentatively up,

Surrounded by dancers,

I put my dusty glasses on,

And looked at the indifferent stars.


I think it was the second day,

Maybe the first,

Or the third,

I don’t know,

When Mónica told us we shouldn’t be there when his girlfriend came.


João, João Mónica,

Was a spearfisher sleeping at the fishermen’s houses

Where everybody was sleeping.


In the house next door.


When it got cold,

Three or four in the morning,

everyone looked for a place to stay.

And in César’s place there was a room before his bedroom, where anyone that could squeeze, could sleep.

And you did it with your head over the feet of someone, and,

if anyone got up,

we would all move.


We slept like a pack,

although we didn’t knew each other,

we dreamt together

although we were all different.


If this was the house of the Party,

Mónica was somewhere else.


He looked,

suspicious and wary,

at the growing party.

He had no appetite for this.

All he wanted was calm seas to fish near the rocks, catch one or three fishes,

get home

and get drunk.


The Party had nothing for him.


One day,

I can’t remember when,

Monica called us,

because he had something to say.

He said that he made peace with her girlfriend,

Which we never knew,

that this was to be a new beginning,

and he wanted to do was a nice dinner for her,

make a sweet and romantic evening.

And if we please!

Just please,

just for this night,

would stop the Party.


Off course we all said yes,

how could we not?

Mónica was such a good guy,

he deserved it,

and we were so eager to give it to him.

So we all said yes.


Unknowing at that moment that we were promising something what was not ours to give.


The Party continued regardless of our screams for silence,



In fact,

It seemed to get louder,


There was a point,

I don’t know what point but I remember it was a point,

where I sat by Cesar’s and Monica’s house,

tired of shushing people for reasons I didn’t remember.

When Monica came out his house,

baseball bat on hand,


“You motherfuckers, you bloody motherfuckers!””


He came out swinging, but the bat touched nothing.

Slowly, the mdma people learned enough to get away,

he screamed in the middle of the plain,

as everyone ambled for cover,

“Motherfuckers! You fucking motherfuckers!”


Then César and Leite got there.

César stopped in front of Mónica and said the kind of words that make a bull jump you.

Mónica left the bat on the floor and punched César on the face. Repeatedly

Leite was afraid for this two friends,

separated them,


when they saw him,

started punching him instead.


When I woke, César and Monica were hugging, Leite seemed pleased and it was morning.


César passed by me and said,

-”It’s alright, It’s alright”

I believed it was.

I think it was late in the morning, early afternoon, when someone said:

-”We should do a big party!

“Something in the thousands. Something to remember.”

Someone went to talk to the Irish,

and explained why a bigger party,

with people buying for beer

and they getting a cut, could be a good thing.

They said yes.


I don’t know from fear or cupidity

but they said yes.


When I looked from my vodka bottle, the Party had changed,

It had moved nearer the house of the Irish.

There was a stage,

barrels of beer,

And music that churned menacingly on.


When it got dark, it exploded,

lights to be seen for miles,

music to be heard for further than that.

The Party got bigger.



later on,

The police came.

Someone should have went,

that day,

To the police station and tell them that we were having a party,

But that kind of slipped through everyone’s fingers.


-”Do you have a permit?”


-”Do you have a permit?”

-”A permit for what?”

-”For this!”


-”This party! Do you have a permit?”

-”Oh! A permit! Yes! I talked to you colleague that was there this morning.”


-”You colleague.”

-”What his name?”

-”Well, his name was (noise, noise), and he said it was alright, and we should tell it to anyone who came here.

-”He said that?”

-”Off course”.

-”I’m going to call the precinct and check it out.”

-”Yeah, you do that.”


They were shuttled from person to person,

talking to everyone who would listen,

and waking up to terrible realization that no one was in charge.

This took them from two in the morning to eleven in the am, until someone put their arms around the cops and said,.

-”Ok, you’re right. We should stop”.


Two hours from then, the Party had moved 100 m to where it was before..


I remember staying for three,

four days,

maybe more.

I remember waking up in my house, 250 km away, and feeling empty.

Depleted of wants and reasons to be,

A physical and spiritual hangover.

As I tried to get my life back together, the phone would rang:



-”Wanna come here? It’s fun.”




I said to my girlfriend:

“Inês, we’re going to Alentejo again”.

-”´Ok. Do you want me to take the wine?

-”yes please”.


For four months that was what I did.

I went there for 3/4 days, it would get too much for me and I would go home.

Then someone would remind me of the Party, and I would think,

“The fuck am I doing home?”


Cold stopped the party.

As Summer went, so it did.


As it formed,

It went away,


The Party wasn’t the result of our wanting, the Party was as present as the Anticyclone of the Azores,

We just happened to be there.

And it was,

In its way,



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