Saturday, August 27, 2005

Door watching 

We are all teenagers again, when we're on the island. The perennial crush, still there. At the same place he always is, watching emerald waters waters framed by Turkey's haze, hiding eyes behind dark shades, drinking icy beer and smiling quietly with me. The same hidden part of my heart that sometimes dares to flutter and think, Some Day. Crush that never was, really, and still eludes, but was and is and will be, nonetheless.

Dark to my light, wrong to my right, late-night to my early mornings, it's still there- maybe all the more, for it. Less so than last year, as I've fought and worked real hard to rid myself of this monkey that clings and teases, nonetheless. Sometimes I play with it since we like the same sparkly toys and bright lights, but for the most part I try to pry it loose. For every paw I free, another firmly grsps and clasps my neck, over the years. Time would say, you've changed, he's all wrong for you, nothing fits. I'd say, but we know and love these same walls and waters, roads and rituals, and when we hug my cheek melts to his shoulder. Watch the same soft suns set and improbable moons spill their silver light on dark seas and tan faces.

In '00 the sun's fingers spun cotton candy waters as we swam around each other. We drank ouzo in the shade of the Acropolis and walked under the August moon in the Plaka. '94 saw us constantly bickering despite the draw, because we were stubborn and used to things our way and neither would give in. '01 saw my reserve and resolve crumble, as I confessed and conceded that despite my efforts and better judgment, was still crazy about him. Last year, much the same, despite how much I thought I'd changed, moved on and away. He is who and how he is, and if I were to change him, that would not be him. Self-destructive crap and all. Neither can I ask that he change, for me. Separate continents, lives, paths, bridged only by Chios and shared memories. And familiarity, and caring. Friendship. I still watch doors, waiting for him to arrive and make me bellylaugh.

These games, no more. We've outgrown the seesaw. But we're all teenagers again, on the island, it seems.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

School's out 

For summer. Last night was my last night waitressing, for a little while. As I told owner and coworkers, I will be so happy to pick up a couple of shifts, when I get back. A couple- not five or six. That I don’t necessarily want to do again, like I did in the heart of winter. Bad for the yoga. Whereas, say, three el-primo weekend shifts should do me quite well, dare I hope in conjunction with a couple of yoga classes. Have been very happy at that place, and feel very blessed that it was there for me, as I was good for it. Old regulars became dear and new regulars became so, in the warm candle-flickered glow of my care, over the last many months. Now is time for other, though.

Major epiphany struck as I was giving our manager a backrub. The universe winked and gave back, as I was doing something for no reason other than to be kind. Pretty cool. “Where in Greece will you go?”. Well, after nine and a half hours on Olympic Air plane, arrive in Athens on Thursday morning, to catch a boat in the late afternoon, to arrive on The Island in early evening. Sink deep into the all-enveloping embrace of my beloved family. Then, after a week or three there, want to go elsewhere. Have a lady I met in Mysore on Mykonos who I’d love to go see. Best friend’s native place, Kea, where I’d love to go teach. Long-standing brave-fantasy is to return to the magical Santorini, rumored site of Atlantis and place where I did a lot of learning and discovering and finding of first love, back in ’96, set the grounds for maybe (dare I) spending the summer season there, next year.

As I ruminate outloud, the pieces click. Why would I go anywhere where I’m a tourist, seeking, when I have a place and space all mine waiting to be claimed, honored.

Skyros, in the Sporades. Tiny piece of sunfilled windblown sandy land. There’s a pomegranate and an almond and a couple of fig trees. In the morning, unless buildings have surrounded it, you can see the sun off the sea, and at night the sky is peppered with bright constellations. There’s a pipe with a faucet that allows for running water, and the site of what was once a roofless chicken shack, now a teeny house with enough space for two or four-five yoga mats. Although there is no electricity, there is a fireplace and a window. Dimensions and details evade me, as my nine or ten-year old self tries to recollect.

My mom bought the land on a drunken bet. It's where we wintered the year we left NY and my dad, in the late 70s. Where we camped out, every summer. When we sold the NY loft, we had a little extra to put a roof and a door over the coop, and make it a home. Befriended local families with kids, fishermen’s and restaurant owner and Room-To-Let folks with generous hearts and callused hands. Spent sunbaked days barefoot and wildhaired.at the beach, fuscia-dressed nights dancing and laughing under thatch-roof open air discoballs.

Has it been nearly twenty years since I was last there? How much of it will still be there? Did it wait for me, or did neighboring properties chip-chip away at the periphery, leaving me chicken-wired nothing, or almost nothing? Almost nothing is something, and that something is still mine, and will be enough. More than I ever dreamed or hoped.

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