so i did wake before he did
groggy and sore
i walked out into the hall
i was cold
there was water all over the floor...
did the radiator leak?
where's my towel
... there's another towel there...
how many more towels did he use while i was sleeping?
did the roof leak?
all that rain last night?
i will walk to the springs
i will get some time alone...
and Stelios walks out
says something about something
i point out the water
notice it's dripping..
out of the power box on the wall
the next hour is me helping him turn the water on and off
i guess a joint burst upstairs where his water heater is
maybe that's what was causing the shorting?
all the water running through the circuits...
i walk out in the grass
and pick a few of the strawberries growing under the weeds...
i eat an apple
and tell him i'm going to the spring
he asks if i want the bike
wants me to give him a ride
a bike is much faster than walking
but it's not all about how fast
i like doing things slow...
and i like to walk
and just want to walk
and have to say this 70 times before he hears me
he tries to convince me yet again
"you know, soaking in the springs makes you tired..
or, not that.. what's that word?"
"yes, relaxed. you might not want to walk back"
does he even know what relaxed means?
have some more coffee
it's a nice walk
i have to jump over the big puddles
walk along the muddy tire treads
the frogs hiding from me
sticking their little green heads up
how can i tell them i won't hurt them?
i'm not a four wheel drive WV bus excellerating to plow through their home...
all along the road side are beautiful flowers i'd been missing
there's a swath of fresh red poppies
the kind i've seen replicas on lapels during veteran's day
was that in London?
how many years ago?
2002 or 1996?
was that this life or another?
a magazine? an adventure?
hey: look at the bees on the petals
i wish i had my camera
i walk up a path through the tall-grass
to avoid walking by a barking dog
(though stelios assures me it's safe, he's caged... )
there is no path that continues past the train tracks
but don't worry
i just saw a train go by
it'll be a while til another one comes..
i feel the rail
"Stand By Me" style
just to listen for a rumble
remembering that time in Newcastle i got drunk and wandered along the train tracks
was that this life or someone else's ? who was that dominic? when was that? 1995?
"are you trying to fucking kill yourself?"
ah, there's a path
i follow it up to the road
and walk along the large paved road til i see the strange ruins of...
i don't know what that is.
i walk up to the top
it looks like there are about 20 bee-hives (honey-farms) ...
and a stack of about 50 old tyers..
but that's the plateau
and the road goes back down from there
to the main road i'd walked off
about 20 more feet
and there is the road that leads to the springs
"Kaiafa Thermal Springs"
(something in greek)
cool in the shade of the mountain
cat tails... swamp to the right
signs for some restaurant
it doesn't take too long
i get to the spring
and there are about 15 elderly germans in there
so i go walk around the lake for a while
change into my little bathing suit
and by the time i'm back at the pool
there are only five germans in there
so i get in
and swim around to the back
enjoying their chatter
but floating on my back, ears submerged to give me peace and quiet.
i spent about three hours in the water
as families came and went
and many folk who just walked up to look at the springs...
today is a national holiday
not Beltane, he assures me
i'm so turned on
their fancy long black robes
one has a long grey beard
the other is round and swarthy
how do i convince them to take off their clothes and cuddle with me?
and how do i peel them away from the women they are with?
the women speak to me...
i understand her say "aqui"
the same word as Spanish for "Here"
as she point to the shore
telling me that if i wanted to get out
but i was just at the edge of the pool
where the damn created a suction
so i could piss
and know it would be swept away into the large lake
and not pollute the pool we're all sharing.
i'm playing with the purple rocks
i'm playing with the green slime
i'm looking at the people
i'm feeling the yin
i'm nourishing my kidneys
i'm getting soft and vulnerable
i'm getting clean
i thought stelios was going to come to the springs around noon and give me a ride back...
but it's far past noon now
and i've had enough
so i head to walk back
imagining, even, that i might leave today
might head to athens..
to have such beauty around
and not be able to enjoy it
because the man i'm with is a total stress case...
but i don't say that
my mind stops me:
i don't know where to go yet..
so when i get back
i sit at the computer for a bit
sending out the emails to people in Athens
seeing who i can stay with out of the many i've talked with
it's beautiful here
i could bathe in these springs every day..
Stelios tells me when he moved here ten years ago he had grey hair
and now he doesn't
he thinks it's the springs
... imagine how much healthier he'd be if he stopped drinking coffee and actually allowed him self to relax?
he's not quiet for a moment
not still for a second
it's another warning from the universe
the nightmare i could become
just a tweak of my personality
and i could become..
or a divergent path:
we talk about religion
says he goes to church
on public holidays...
"when everyone else goes"
but doesn't believe anything
he doesn't feel anything
when i talk about my understanding...
everything being alive
everything being spiritual (as well as material, etc..)
everything being sacred, ritual, divine
he just tells me i'm wrong and kinda makes fun of me
i eat sheep yogurt and musseli
i'm going to take a nap
he comes in to lay next to me
and pretty soon
he's fucking me
which would be hot
he's kinda a hot guy
(except that he has the skinny legs of someone who never walks and a face that is constantly disapproving and stressed)
big dick and everything
but when we have sex
it's like i'm not even there
he's one of those people that says things like
"fuck that hole"
and means it:
it's not fucking a person
he's not fucking me
he's fucking A Hole.
i feel terrible
and when we're done
i lay there
my nap stolen
i sink down into my body
and i feel like i'm going to break
all around america
people i know are together now
waking up after partying
expectant of joining in community today
there are people who love me
people i love
and they are all far away..
no one is near..
i think of Jeff
and how pissed off i am
we didn't take advantage of being together at all!
we spent more time hiding from eachother than reaching out
we hardly massaged eachother
i wish i could make it better
i wish i could be a lover
i wish i could be in love..
my mind thinks for me
it's about 15:00 or something
i could catch a train or a bus
and be in Athens tonight
i could log into Jeff's email to find his confirmation email from his hotel
and find out where he's staying
just go there
show up at his door
and ask him to stay a few more days
we' could explore Athens together
everything's closed today
so he can't see the monuments
but we could see them together
and then i could go to Istanbul on my own..
Well, maybe i should call him first
i get out of bed
Stelios follows me
i woke him up..
i tell him i need to contact my friend
so he lets me on the computer
and i get the Number for the hotel out of Jeff's email
and Stelios tells me he has a plan that all calls within Greece are free
so i call the hotel
and get Jeff
he's shocked it's me
we talk for 15 minutes
which makes me feel much better
just voicing to him my sadness about not fully being with him
and telling him my desire
but he's really had enough of Athens
and he's so ready to go home
though he's glad i called
"i wasn't sure if you'd ever want to see me again"
yes, so far, so far sometimes..
no get-out-of-this-free kard
i ask Stelios if he wants to go for a walk in the hills
he says it's a bad day for it
but now we're just stuck here together
i put on david grey
"this year's love"
i play the entirety of "white ladder"
as we make and eat dinner
rice and beans, ham and cauliflower
his own olives... cured by his neighbors while he's away in Brazil
bread he made himself (in a machine)
lots of olive oil
more dick sucking
but today i put a limit on it
it's all the distance
and i'm feeling isolated and sad.
Stelios says it's time to go get water...
there's a spring that he drinks from
fills up two crates full of 1.5 liter coke bottle
winding through the valley
the houses here have rain flues...
what do you call them?
that guard the chimney's from the rain falling down them?
it's a flat piece of metal
bent and pressed
to me it looks like a big black bird sitting on each house...
we pass "Hotel Jenny"
it looks like a mexican town...
maybe a south american town
there is a church made of concrete
the re-bar sticking out of the walls all over
... the Hell-Raiser Church
the springs are up a winding road
and old man watches us do it
swish water through the bottle first
clean it out
fill it up
i fill up my water bottle i brought with me
and drink half of it in a gulp
he says something
-- everything is boring to him
we go to a place near the thermal springs
there is another fond that people drink from
a vodafone sign not too far from the door
i put some of that in my half-full water bottle
then we drive back to the springs
"you know, the name is not really Kaiafa... it is Sami...
it was Sami before the christians... those of us who live here still call it that"
wow, before the christians...
greece was something big before the christians...
i ask him about other thermal springs
he offers nothing
-- the greek are generally unhelpful people
you have to drag shit out of them
"what about Kallini?"
-- they don't have water there, just mud
but we have mud here too
" where? "
- he goes under and digs some up from the corner
we start smearing it all over ourselves
the girls in the water are giggling
i fill my beard with it
and shape it into a point
wish i had a picture
it comes out easy in the swimming
and back at the house
i eat some more bread with sheep's cheese
my brain got so tired
i ask him about train schedules to Athens
and he goes through them about 80 times
and then is shocked to hear i want to leave so soon
but i tell him
must push on
Istanbul and all
but does he know about buses?
he keeps dodging that question
now he comes flat out and says
"i know nothing about the buses, so anything i say will be wrong"
which is good, it's so rare people actually say that...
so i convinced him i was too tired to talk anymore
after checking my email again
-- looks like i've got a place to stay in Athens tomorrow
i tell him i'm off to bed
and after he hears it a few times
he let's me go without interrupting me.