In the photos I'd looked up while researching Belém, I always counted at least a dozen people milling about at the top of the monument, pointing high up or straight down. But up close, the monument was still: here it was empty too, then. Once upon a time I was afraid to be alone. My fear of heights remains, however, so I sat at the base of the monument all morning, trying to imagine myself up there. Would I point up or point down?