“I am and always will be the optimist, the hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”

This is what my friend used to say. He would understand me when I say now that this glass is not empty, it is full of memories. Because you see, this glass turns a chapter and a new story from what happened last night.

I was in Paris, at the Louvre. And the Mona Lisa is now neatly stored in my backpack.

You see, I suffer from boredom. It’s a chronic condition that doctors have tried to fix, with medication, meditation, therapies of all sort, long and short. It was not for lack of trying, and I did get tired of it all. So much I began to look for alternatives.

Fortunately, having stolen a precious necklace and made interesting investments and further enterprises, careful and delicate heists, money is not a problem.

But my life story is not important. What is important is what brought me here, to this nice café and restaurant in old Lisbon in the first day of the year.

You see, the holiday season is odd in many ways, one of which is the way we schedule work and time off. And more, it is as if people start thinking differently for those two months. I wanted to take advantage of that. I spent a great part of the year studying the Louvre and its people. Their schedule, their habits and even their names. A nice gentleman worked there, Leclerc, who had some amazing stories to tell. We shared beers after work a few times and I could have spent days listening to what he had to teach.

Being a janitor allowed me to access most areas of the museum and even to meet Cosette. She works in the gift shop and once in a while I would see her stroll along the art, with a smile on her face and a glow in her eyes. This morning, Cosette woke up to find a copy of her favourite painting, the sunflowers by Van Gogh. It’s not really a copy, I stole the original last year and replaced it with a decent forgery, purchased in a summer in Italy from my favourite counterfeiter. It will be vastly more appreciated in Cosette’s little apartment than in any museum of the world.

They will eventually find my trail, if they look behind the fake Mona Lisa and see my calling card in the back. They will however not find anything past the street, as I left in a private plane and bribed the air traffic controller that was on call.

And now, here I am, enjoying the winter sun in Lisbon and a meal with a nice glass of red wine. I wanted Rosé, however this will do.

You see now why I think this glass is full of memories? It culminates a plan that I was weaving for the last year, a year when I didn’t feel bored. A year when I met and enjoyed the company of Mademoiselle Cosette and Monsieur Leclerc. Wonderful people, with whom sharing the glass of wine would have been heaven. And now, I don’t know what is next. Maybe I will go back to Paris, as It would be thrilling meeting them again once the questioning of the disappearance of break in to the Louvre is sorted out and they stop questioning why, apparently, nothing was stolen.

Joana Rita Sousa

Luis Correia

breakfast, morning commute, meetings, work, lunch, gym, snacks and a long walk home.

there’s a glimpse of daylight in the sky, dusk is taking control now. cat purrs while I take my high heels off and opened a Chianti bottle. as always, there’s new arrivals at Netflix today and I choose one. bottle is now empty, glass will be soon. as I doze off, I wonder: “why?”

António Lopes

“Alcohol free 2018” #3wordsstories