Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Seeing Things

My internet has been down. Still, I would be lying if I told you that I had made a b*og entry yesterday. Maybe I started one half-heartedly, but I surely didn’t finish it. Last night I walked half way across the city in the dark to Despina’s house. We cut deep with our chit chat and by the time my eyes were so lead bellied they had to unbutton a button, and she in the meantime had restaurant matters to attend to by way of a menu to print out, I just decided to camp on the sofa. So you see? I have a witness. I was talking; I wasn’t writing. You know what happened after the decision was taken? We stayed up even later. It’s been a long time since I girl talked my way into the A.M.

Here I’m going to try, as hard as I can to write knowing that she’s going to be reading it, to describe Despina after dark. Wearing a blue Moroccan shift, padding around barefoot and free of her sweet-but-maybe-just-a-smidge-demanding-and-prone-to-screaming daughters, transforms into a chain smoking, omniscient priestess. She was like the oracle! Shedding light on subjects she only has a notion of through sheer intuition and that touch of insight lent to us by the gods of the midnight hour. Ever noticed how many revelations you’ve made lying awake in bed? You can light a candle to them when you’ve finished my post, thanking them for the truth but asking them if they could wait a little while until the next big, mind-expanding insight so you can get a little bit of sleep, huh?

One of the most poignant things my oracle said was actually phrased as an innocent question.

“Why do you want to see things this way?”
Because that’s how we experience every moment of our lives, isn’t it? By choosing how to perceive something in our minds.

After the heavy stuff we moved to the computer, the “hearth” of the modern home to watch youtube videos. Despina is Greece’s new M.I.A. fan. I learned some more Greek. Finally I collapsed and she got around to the very important task of Melilotos menu printing.

Waking up in a neighborhood that isn’t yours early in the morning has it’s charm, also. I crept out early so that I could let the morning routine of the house go along in peace, just taking with me a piece of bread with some cheese for breakfast. I figured it would be nice to get a coffee outside, as if I was on vacation because that was the vibe the morning had! Like when I first arrived, first started exploring, first, first, first...

All of the familiar streets looked different. Wearing the same clothes as yesterday makes you feel like an outlaw, as if you just got out of prison and were handed back the clothes you went in with. You’re exempt from the usual rules. You don’t have to pose on the street corners; you’re sure no one is looking at you. It’s like walking without your glasses on, liberating you from caring about what other people are thinking. Well, anyway that’s the effect it had on me. I don’t know if it’s a formula, though. I mean if I wore the same clothes six days in a row, I don’t think I would feel like an outlaw. I would just smell bad.

The light looked different. The traffic was thicker than I’ve seen it on foot. Usually by the time I hit the center it’s nearly ten, and on top of that I think there was just more traffic in general. Whenever I see this level of traffic, my mind goes to New York and I start making these retarded comparisons between Athens and New York. Must be the yellow cabs... I can’t explain it, and it could have very well been that the no-coffee by nine scenario was starting to grab the little nerve endings on my brain and give them a good throttling. My head was screaming for caffeine.

A little luck and a few SMS’s and I had a date with G at Aigli, an overpriced but beautiful cafe in the National Gardens. 
Four euro coffee and new sight was a great way to start the day.