Τετάρτη, 26 Μαρτίου 2014

A night in your city...




I was walking. Holding my head up high and looking left and right. Tall, elderly buildings stood next to me and in front of me, immovable observers of an unusually hard, to my eyes, reality. I crossed an almost empty square, filled only with birds that moved aside for me to pass. In the distance a young father photographed his daughter, a crazy little fairy dancing with pigeons. A lunatic shooed imaginary flies away, completing the image. I crossed the street, just in case things looked better from the other side of the road. No such luck. I continued down your city's street and stood on a corner waiting for redemption. It came in the form of an angel with eyes red from crying. In his hands he held a soul removed. Bloody.

I was driving. I could feel the wind on my face trying to clean me. I helped him by opening up the throttle a little more. The roar of the engine momentarily filled the emptiness inside me. I found the way easily. Would I rather have got lost though? Deep inside your city. Parts of it scare me, but I prefer them to how scared I feel when I gaze into your empty eyes. Or the feeling I get when I watch your city's children begging in the kafeneia and pedestrian streets... You know I like your city. You can tell from the way I look when I wander round it. You don't know that I look like that, because of the feeling of your arms around me, the smell of your hair, the pressure of your body on mine at every sudden braking...

I was sitting. On the screen folders were flying from one side to the other, transporting pieces of life, of souls, of personal stories with good intentions. The blues embraced the beat of my heart and calmed it. Outside the night already covered your city with that feeling of eternal dawn I have only experienced here. I rolled another cigarette and remembered the way your eyes lit up the first time you saw me use the little roll-up machine that rolls them so straight and neat.. You wanted to try it too, and I took you through it, step by step, until your eyes lit up even more... Now, yet another thing, touched by your presence will acquire new meaning. I feel uncomfortable. Sort of like a penitent vampire. I see the colour emptying out of your life, drop by drop. Just as drop by drop it colours my life, my things, my hands, my mind, my heart...

I was sleeping. And in my dream I woke up. And I was in your nightmare. I was angry at myself because I wanted to wake you but I could not move. I could see your form under the sheet, reminding me of things I would rather forget. That's why I wanted you to wake up, to get up, to stop reminding me of these things. I thought of singing to you, but I'd forgotten the words. I thought to write you a note, but could not find a pen. I thought to e-mail you, but the computer would not start. I thought to turn the motorcycle on and rev high so you would wake up from the noise, but I could not find the keys. When I finally did, the lock was frozen and they would not go in. I remembered how loud your phone rang but all the telephones I found had lost their buttons. I opened my mouth to scream, but all that came out was an endless stream of featureless black birds.. I could not breathe...

I was awake. The house was quiet. I could feel that a few hundred meters away you were still asleep. I hoped your morning's sleep was better than my night's. I stepped out onto the balcony and allowed the sun to warm me, because I felt quite cold. I took two gulps of hot black coffee to wake me up. I stood at the railings looking down. I took a deep breath of your city so that I would remember it... in vain...In a few days I would be gone and that breath would have been displaced by thousands of others. I went for a wash, and discovered a wrinkle. I dedicated it silently to you and got ready for my departure. Your city may rob me of your scent, but to make up it wraps its tentacles around me and pulls me like a rubber band. I think she kinda likes the idea of adding yet another victim to the others, especially with such a great excuse.

Your city wants me here. Wandering through her streets, lost in endless concentric circles, lost in a labyrinth with a thousand foreign Minotaurs chasing my shadow. Looking for your house, aided by a book of maps with one page missing. Your page. Lighting the way are neon signs that go off just as I try to make out the name of the road I didn't take. Following buses in the hope they stop outside your house. Asking drivers for information while they stare at me silently. Passing in front of shop windows and seeing my reflection, wondering if I know me. A witness to its everyday bittersweet madness. Trying to leave.

Goodnight.

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