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Vertical Prose


April 29th, 2006

29.4. Saturday. Last day for Zante @ 11:23 pm


today threatens to be the same day as yesterday
it's grey
it's rainy
but not that bad
still
it's a struggle to want to leave the house

Jeff talks with Tasos
who says nothing about the Baklava...

i eat some yogurt
and Jeff gets ready to go:

once again
our only motivation, really, is to get business done
we don't want to go see the Blue Caves in weather like this
so we head into town
to buy our ferry tickets
and figure out how we're getting to our respective destinations

it's not as simple as we'd hoped
of course

while i looked around for a parking space
Jeff was told by the ferry guy that he needed to go to the Bus station instead

so we went there together
and the bus lady said
yes
you get on the bus here and it takes you to Athens

Jeff is baffled by this
and it doesn't line up with the ferry times exactly..
and they know nothing about Olympia
sorry.

we go to the internet cafe to see if we can find out how to do it
but sorry
no schedules for busses or trains on line anywhere
sorry
no.

ok
but i got lots of great emails from friends
telling me they were OK (test results)
telling me about what's going on with them
and a pathetic note that further grounds my heart in the ashtray

cool, alright.

Jeff had gone off to the travel agent while i was looking on line
and he got better information, once again
he has to take the bus, yes, and it goes on the ferry
and the only way i can get to Olympia tomorrow
is by taking the 8am ferry and catching a bus to Pyrgos
then another from there.

ugh, i hate waking up that early

so we go to the Ferry office to ask if he knows any different
no, but there is a train station
( i thought so-- the guy i'm going to visit told me there was one)
but it's in the next town: needs a taxi to get there
and the only buses going to Athens leave at 7:30 or 15:30
which means
if jeff wants to get there before dark
he needs to take the 7
so we're relegated to waking up at 6 tomorrow..

i go and buy my ticket
then Jeff buys his
then we go get something to eat
deciding on a different tourist restaurant on the main street this time
because they say they have baklava

but after we order the appetizer selection
we find they Don't have baklava today, sorry
grrr
fine
we have a little platter
and a greek salad

i asked Jeff if he noticed our waiter's amazing MonoBrow
and he hadn't
but when i said that
the waiter gave me an evil look

does he really know what that means?
i love it! don't think i'm being mean!

but there is no communication about it
the waiter avoids us
and a woman serves us

the appetizers are... OK...
the salad is terrible

we got a gyros plate too
but it's not gyros
it's burnt dried old chicken
and it's terrible
and i am in an awful mood now
and don't want to eat anything
so i go for a walk to tell the travel agent's we'll drop the car off at the docks tomorrow
but they're closed
so i meet Jeff back at the table
still hasn't got his bill
but when he does
he leaves a €1 tip

and the car is right there
so we get in it
and go.


but where to?

i ask Jeff to make a choice.
but he can't: he doesn't really care.

so i tell him where i want to go
and are we on the right road?
he can't read the map.

so i pull over and figure it out
Ok
Fine.
let's go.

the ride is beautiful
up and down mountains
the sea often in view

the ubiquitous Eucalyptus trees
even here..

and as we get further out
development is more sparse..
the beautiful trees, orchards
more plentiful
though there are many hand painted signs for beach bars
and i wonder what these places would be like

but we drive til the road ends
at some cape
where the sea turtles nest (in august)

beautiful
the grey and red cliffs
the grey sky

we walk for a while up a dirt road
i take my sandals off to feel the mud between my toes

there are rifle shells everywhere.

and earlier today we passed a guy on a motorbike
with a fully loaded ammo belt across his handle bars..
the kind one might need for a fully automatic machine gun.

hmmm

i guess hunting is big here?

i see shrunken SUV with a box attached to the back of it
the box is open and empty
but a hunting dog runs out of the brush and inspects me from a distance
then dashes off again

ah,
bird hunting:

i hope we don't get shot.

we come upon very interesting erosion
similar to what i saw outside of Bologna back in 2002 with Niccola
the clay is melting away in strange castle-like peaks
.. i took pictures: i don't know how to describe it

but there
Jeff decide he'd walked enough..

so i continued on alone
up for a while
past a car
what was he doing?

the plants...
beautiful purple flowers
and white rock rose
thistles...
and some leaves that smell like marijuana from a distance
but up close
it's more minty
strange
i put some in my pocket
and some in my mouth
then walk back to the car
not wanting to make Jeff wait:
i realized i still had the keys and it was locked.

but when i get back...

Jeff didn't mind the wait..

so i let him in
then walk to the beach to wash my feet..

piles of trash..
but a beautiful beach
beautiful cliffs
beautiful cape

and a man painting
or writing..

i wash my feet

the water feels warm..

i take some pictures

it's so grey
open
empty

there are a few lean-tos built... for what?
they are empty.

the mud comes off easily enough
there are some pretty stones i gather for Jeff

in the emptiness..

i walk back up the strange modeled grey clay
looks like linoleum come to life
nothing's flat

Jeff back at the car
been playing with the donkey

he's ready to go home
enough of an adventure for him today

nothing...
nothing...

so we drive back into Zakinthos
more business: Jeff wants to buy a new DVD to watch tonight
i want to check my email to see if Stelios, the guy i'm going to go meet tomorrow, has responded to my messages....

but he hasn't
and in the time it's taken me to look it up
it has started to rain outside
it has started to pour

so Jeff takes the computer
and looks up the hotel he will be staying in tomorrow on his favourite site:
www.tripadvisor.com

it sounds terrifying, to him
dirty and small
so he sets about to find a new place

the rain has subsided
so i tell him i will go buy him a DVD and be back in a bit
-- i see on the map two different stores that might sell some...

so i head out walking

light rain
very light
my camera is tucked inside my blue corduroy
i take back streets to get there
... houses
people live here...

and it's not a long walk...

but when i get there
the boy speaks no english
the man says "no" when i ask if they sell DVDs
"no, only rent"

could he suggest another place?
- he shakes his head

ok.

yes, greeks are generally un-helpful.

so i look on the map
maybe i'll go to that other place?
it's all the way across town..
but why not go for a walk:
see a bit of Zakinthos town...

along the way
i find three bakeries.

the first two have no baklava
only standard western stuff:
cookies and donuts and cakes
and No One at the counter..
i walk in both, walk around, look at things
no people.

ok.

the third, however
has people shopping and a big guy talking to, i assume, his mother
the shop keepers

about five different types of baklava-ish things
Ah, wonderful!

i buy a large piece of standard Baklava
two little pistachio rolls
two other rolls...
then a chocolate pyramid and some brownie looking thing..

ah, good.

the walk is nice
it's drizzling..
all the shops are closed.

it's a saturday
but in this part of town
no one comes back from siesta.

not on a saturday, that is.
and nothing happens here on a sunday..

the dvd place is closed too...
but that's alright
i passed a church
walked up to the open door
the alien tongue incanting something
his back to us
long beard seen around his face
gilding everywhere

i am drawn...
but pass on

look at the map
and decide i'll take a diagonal street back to the internet place

and suddenly i'm on familiar turf:
the plaza that Jeff and i found the first day we were in town looking for the internet..
and right there
is a DVD place that rents and sells
Ah, thanks.

but instead of buying anything
(they have a very small selection for sale... and half of the titles are in greek, even if they are american movies...)

i walk back to the car to drop off the pastries
then return to the internet place
and Jeff is JUST wrapping up his new accommodations
i'm glad i went for a walk
that took SO long
but
perfect timing
i check again
no response
so we leave and go buy a DVD
jeff choses "hotel rwanda"
which neither of us have seen
then we walk back to the car

i surprise jeff by pulling out the baklava:
he's wanted it since we got on the ferry in italy
an no one has had it
i finger feed him one of the small rolls...
dried fruit, nuts, philo dough and honey
HMMmmmm

it turns him on to be fed

it's so strange how much we disconnect
my impulses translate totally different to him
and i'm not receiving him
but hey
here we are
heading out of town...
we get a bit lost in the streets
driving circuitously around
i get frustrated
Jeff is just happy
happy that i was so sweet to buy him sweets
happy that i fed him
his hand on my knee in affection
i feel his happy energy
happy obviousness
he's not paying attention to anything
and i'm noticing our energies merge
it's making it very difficult for me to focus on anything
i ask him to remove his hand from my knee
and then i'm back in myself again
--i find the back road out of town again.

yeah

driving back
i know the roads
i'm surprised
only been here a few days
and i know back roads to where we're going..
but i'm an explorer
and i echo my response in my own head
"i travel all the time, so i pick up orientation quickly..."
this could be my home town...

on the way back
of course
we must stop to get icecream

dinner of baklava and icecream.

i explain to him
yet again
my adage:
Always Eat Desert First!

simply
it's better for digestion:
sugary things digest quicker
but if you put them on top of heavy fats and proteins (or even vegetables)
they cause fermentation

plus
it's a way of life:
don't put off the pleasure you want
coz then it may not come..

it reminded me of something that happened all the time to me as a kid:

i preferred green M&Ms
i preferred green everything
but these were magical.. as the TV commercials proved to me
so when i got a bag
i would eat all the browns first (normal: chocolate)
then the other colours in whatever other order
(depending on what colours were in the bags in those years...
i think blue was added later... was there always orange and red? -- i remember yellow...)
but it wasn't important
(though i would often only eat the colours in groups... finishing off the browns before starting the yellows, etc..)
saving the green for last
because they were my favourite..

inevitably
someone would come along
brother or sister
mother or father
or some random person
who wanted one..
and because i didn't want to be greedy
nor perceived as greedy
i had to share

which means i would often end up giving away that which i wanted most.

this didn't just happened with M&Ms
but all sorts of areas in my life
i began this transformation to the "desert first" idea probably around the age of 13
when i started with the
"fuck what you want: i'm going to do what i want" philosophy
that i slowly worked the nutrition aspect into
and
eventually
compassion and consideration

still

i don't like eating sugary stuff after fatty stuff

so

we sat down to eat the Baklava
Jeff had no problem
digging into it all with aplomb

Kali-Orix!


of course i feel a little sick afterwards
finishing off the entire.. what was it? liter of ice cream?
all that baklava
chocolate
ugh.

i tell Jeff i'm going to go be bulimic
but really i just vacate my bowels..

but i had phone intuition
and i had it with me
and it rang

but not enough reception in there
so i clean up quick
and run outside

Yacov.
good boy. he's stepping up to plate
things always come when you give up on them.

he sent me an email a few days ago
after i emailed him asking what the fuck was going on?
coz i'd emailed him two weeks ago and heard nothing
... he asked for the same information i'd sent him
pretending he hadn't received my email

so i just gave up on him.

now he's calling me to ask for my dates and look up stuff and make stuff happen

maybe it will happen

whatever

i'm disillusioned with everything
and say some disheartened things about the last few weeks

but i'm tired of this

i don't want to be around americans...
maybe my problem is that i'm writing too much?

i don't know
maybe it's just this language
i long to be somewhere i'm not understood and can't communicate
to relieve myself of the responsibility

thailand?

anyway
Jeff is ready to watch the movie
and i decline
i want to burn his CD
and maybe Leo's..

but in that process
Dennis calls
Hello denny!
sorry we got cut off
i should have said "i love ya" before it disconnected
but some things
catch us off guard...

standing in the night with a quiet phone...

i go back
and re-order Leo's playlist
removing "father lucifer"
which would just have been too harsh for him
not pleasurable at all, really
and replace it with Neil Halstead's "Seasons"
hmmm, yeah
adding some silences
removing the fragments of "Magic in the Air" i had created

is that ok?

fiddling
i could fiddle with this thing forever.

the movie is done now
hours go by so quickly
i cuddle with Jeff a minute
but want to finish packing
tired
want to sleep

drink some red wine
put everything in its right place

listen to the rest of the playlist
playing solitare
in the silence of the finish
i hear only the falling rain

finish the game
and go to sleep.
 
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