Myrta’s Eyes

Just on the second last day of his holidays his pet-silver bracelet broke in two, he once bought in Paris, fashioned on film star Belmondo’s jewellery. The concierge at his hotel suggested he paid a visit to the jeweller opposite the hotel entrance.

“Unfortunately I cannot do it for you,” the stocky jeweller commented, looking at the broken wrist chain. “I’ll recommend you take it to Myrta, she has soldering equipment that’s better than mine. I think she could do it.” I took the chain back. “Just don’t tell her that I’ve sent you,” he added as I was already leaving.

He went down the village road where most souvenir shops were located. He saw the sign with decorative letters above the entrance door to her shop. He could hardly read the flowery style writing. ‘Myrto’s, or Myrta, there were too many garlands obliterating the Greek letters.

As he entered, the shop was filled with customers. “I will come later,” he excused herself to a young woman with soulful dusky eyes. “Just look around meanwhile,” she smiled at him, “I’ll be shortly with you.”  She busied herself with two customers who bought souvenirs for their friends at home. Her captivating smile had made him stay. He liked her instantly. He looked at her showcases. Her handmade jewellery looked interesting, showed imagination and some pieces reflected her creative spirit. The more he browsed, the more he liked Myrta’s creations. He continued to study one showcase in particular, the silver trinkets were modelled on scenes from Greek mythology. He would buy one for Pam, his spouse. But then, he thought, he would be obliged to buy one for Kim, his sister-in-law, who stayed with them. Then the sisters would compare and criticize, make a fuss, and wish to know where he bought it and perhaps go back to Myrta and exchange it for something to their specific liking. No, he said into his breath, I’d rather stick it out here. They would be by now already on the beach, have a last swim for their holiday in the Cretan sun. He began to like his stay at Myrta’s shop.

Now and then he looked-up and watched her talking to customers, in Greek, in English, and in German. He lauded himself to have escaped Pam’s manipulative ways of cunning him into going shopping together. No way, he thought, it has been already such a challenge to have to bear her overpowering organizing character, but Pam wanted her to have a holiday here with them. Perhaps she would keep that way in Kim’s good books for later favours. Who knows, he mused He was away now and they would not know where he was. He felt a surge of freedom, how strange, he had to smile. Well, he thought, he had agreed for his holiday – Kim had called cunningly a ‘ménage-a-trois’ – in French, a triangle, a threesome. She might have wished for perhaps, but she only played that in her mind. There were good-looking men around the pool bar at lunch time and one Greek man was casting eyes on Kim, but she shied away meeting him. “Well,” she said to Pam, “would you not like to introduce me to him?” Pam laughed, “Go and talk to him, he’s all eyes over you.” Kim sulked as the man left again. “Another opportunity missed.” Zervas had to laugh inside. Typical for ageing Kim, she doubts being still attractive to men.

He had accommodated Pam’s wishes, to behave sweet to Kim, as they had to visit Austria again in the near future and she would invite them to her home to stay. “Well then,” Pam said “she couldn’t deny her sister staying with her husband for a week or so.” That’s Kim, the businesswoman-sister, Zervas thought. Kim always had a probing mind, looking for her advantage, cunningly suggesting alternatives to any plan one brought forward, so she’d make some profit out of others. Zervas, the artist and poet despised her for this character trait. Let her be dominating on trivial matters for the time being, he thought, as she had taken this opportunity of being offered a bed in the holiday accommodation of her sister, especially at this well-appointed holiday village on the south-eastern coast of Crete. She took the last minute invitation with a greedy mind and would have swallowed them, if Zervas would have joined her bed. But he didn’t for the second week of their stay, when she arrived. How much did they depend on her? He would find that out later.

“Hello!” She came towards him in midst of a few foreign faces, offering him a warm smile of welcome and a curious look in her dusky eyes. “Can I help?” He was still startled by all his thoughts about Pam’s family, he quickly put by the side. This woman’s approach with gentle and sensitive manners soothed his stirred-up mood and he had an urge to kiss the back of her close-by hand, but that would have looked ridiculous and out of place, an intimate gesture without the right moment.

“Yes,” he said, looking into her eyes that were a deep hazel, and amber and almonds came to his mind. “Look at my bracelet,” he continued “Its clasp is broken.”

“I have no time now, but if you wait I will look at it in more detail.”

“Of course,” he replied, not minding her busy day selling souvenirs and jewellery to visitors and tourists. He felt his knees weaken and he looked for a seat. The only seat in front of the counter as occupied. There was a small desk with a backrest she used as a workbench. It had a small bentwood chair at the front. He sat down, with his eyes looking across her workbench filled with innumerable pieces of jewellery, silver wires, all kinds of rings and materials she used to solder and work on her object d’art. Then she had a comment. She came across the room to him. “Could you still wait a bit longer?”

“Yes,” he said, “just finish your sales, I will wait.” Hee eyes changed colour. The left one was staying dark and sad, while the right one turned lighter. He thought of being deceived by the ambivalent lighting of natural sunlight and the reflections of shadows that run across her back wall, like then waves which rolled in from the nearby sea. He was bored, stood-up and walked to a nearby showcase. He saw some silver items that fascinated him. Amber pieces worked into a silver pointed lance-shaped arrow serving as a bookmark. That would be a present for Imis, he thought, I’ll take one tomorrow. The customers had left, one by one, and she was available again.

As soon as she had started to evaluate the damage on his bracelet, he handed her some parts that had been broken off. At that moment a woman appeared, Nordic, blond, greeted her by name and he immediately disliked her tone of voice. He did not appreciate the woman barging in, besides the sharpness of her tongue irritated him. Yet he had to be diplomatic. He introduced himself “Zervas,” he took Myrto’s hand, it felt warm and slim.

“I am Myrto,” she said and held on to his hand, but he understood Myrta. “This is Gudrun, a friend,” Myrta said, still holding his hand. “You have a Greek name?” He sensed Gudrun’s androphobe vibes. The sharpness of Gudrun’s voice indicated a fight that was brewing. Myrta spoke some words in German, to soothe the tension building up. “My name is Joe, but I adopted the name Zervas, as it suits to my ancestry. They came from Crete.” He paused and looked at Gudrun with a triumphant look, not being Nordic. Gudrun avoided his gaze. “That’s all very interesting,” Myrta said avoiding the hostile stance of her customers overflow into the usual debate of the bad times at the Great War. The jealous glances of Gudrun amused him as much as Myrta. She stood at Zervas’ side with her white cotton voile dress and he could feel her closeness so tactile that his body stirred, as if touched by her, enveloping him with her physical being. He did not mind any longer being attacked by Gudrun, he had no feelings for. As long as Myrta liked him, he felt content and balanced. In his mind he could see that Gudrun intended to challenge him in a half-intellectual way, he disliked. Zervas contributed some historical facts to her stirring discussion on political developments, and he commented on from his viewpoint. Myrta always intercepted to defuse the loaded guilt-complex of Gudrun, as she put it indirectly to him that she considered herself taking his side. He didn’t know what Gudrun intended with her negative stirring, ignoring her comments, and then it hit him: She was attracted to Myrta, the same way as he was!

“Myrta,” Gudrun said with some words of endearment in Greek, as she addressed the pretty jeweller who had moved toward the opposite side of him. She stood with her back against the early afternoon sun, where the sunrays were eating away her voile cotton dress. Her beautiful legs were outlined and he could not tell if she wore a thong or not, but definitely no panties. Myrta, a beautiful nymph born from sun and sea!

Her thin layers of cotton draped around her body started moving towards the window, where the slight breeze in this bright light waved her cotton veils like a sail. She stood like a model on a boat that furrowed the sea, undressed as the cotton wound itself tightly around her slim body. She had the streamlined look of a Nereid diving out of the Blue. He became aroused. Gudrun snapped for air and Myrta smiled. She came across to him and stood so close, their bodies touched as she leaned against him.

“It’s nice to have someone say: Ich liebe dich “– I love you – she said in German. He felt his mouth going dry, his heart beating louder, and he knew she had him stirred with her romantic notion by the way she had exposed herself, observing his reaction. He sensed that siesta time was coming and he had been told this from both women. He felt left being stranded. “I have to go,” he said.

“Come back tomorrow after ten,” Myrta said immediately. “All right Myrta, I will. Have a pleasant afternoon.” He turned at the door. “Auf Wiedersehen Gudrun,” and he left, without turning around. His inside, stirred-up, made him flee the shop. “Ich liebe dich,” he mused, only meant to add to it the second part, she said in a whisper: “Nice to hear that,” she meant it said from a man who was cheated from making love to her. His body was aching for her. Of course it was a normal human reaction from a man falling in love with a woman instantly. It was as if she had despised Gudrun, who wished to satisfy her sexual greed with her. Beautiful Myrta was sensual, with a magical power in her eyes, her right eye being different to her left one, which made her even more attractive. He sighed, he wanted her.

He spent the afternoon at the pool of the hotel. Kim and Pam were sun tanning and sinking into a lazy doze. He was reading ‘The Last Temptation’, and wondered about the literary style Kazantzakis could storm-up into. He stopped reading to rest his eyes on the arriving holiday makers. As a young woman passed, he gazed at her well-shaped body, fascinated by her swinging gait, and he had a sudden intuition for a poem. He started penning. It was for Myrta. It was a good poem, he could sense that immediately. Finishing it, he felt thirsty and commuted to the bar to have a local draught beer. The red-haired woman serving chatted with him, then offering him a Raki, as he didn’t know that drink yet, a locally brewed spirit acting as a chaser to his beer. He felt a bit tipsy.

“You start to drink early,” a woman’s voice startled him from thinking about meeting Myrta.

“Well, it’s just a tot,” he replied. She spoke a perfect German, as he found out. She told him about her life in Greece, where she was staying, where she worked, and why she chose to live in Greece. A liberated woman who played hard? What was she indeed after? She told him about love she preferred, almost a factual story, as if romance had been cut-out of her life. She wished to live it up and enjoy both, women and men. Her aim was pleasure at all times, immediate, the more the better. Her outlook on life was the result of the individual pursuance of her parent’s interests, who were separated. She thought of that as a gift in the New-Age of alienation. All rather civilized in manner and allowance of her family ties that were to be observed, once the law had stamped its approval, and she and her mother went to live in Greece, while her father and brother stayed back in Germany. Everybody was now to himself, pursuing individually happiness, she defined as a free state of being, free to love.

Is it that we are free in love without contracts? Does love not wind its cocoon up in the Web they consciously fled to in togetherness, regardless of freedom? There is continual sex and yet she’s never sated? She could be caught in a grand illusion though. What is love? Yet, perhaps a dozen erotic adventures are the present state of her life, just as she had dialled his physical number. ‘Turn-on Babe’, he called her from now on, her body, her physique were excellent. Her first half of her life have been lived already, she stated, as he found that only her one half, her torso without limbs seemed to him as being fit for a union. There was a lack of something higher, something spiritual that would one lift up and be part of a fulfilling of unifying bodies – the soul! At her first appearance her mind seemed alert, with a keen interest in communicating her state of being, he finds honest and direct. Yet he is rather keen on involving heart mind and soul for a satisfactory affaire du Coeur, not just the pure physical mechanics of getting sexual relief. Besides, it is not his thing to get drunk and become a victim of raw lust screwing about like animals.

She, Karin, stated that she was originally attracted to the rougher men in this part of the island, but if she had enough of their grunting grinding, she preferred to take the ferry boat to Athens. Meeting her halfway, she would enter the gentle and sensuous world of her girlfriend, seek her for her softness, tenderness, and romance. She was keen of finding a soulmate, engaging with different viewpoints, a different coast. But then it’s reality on its own, taken as a serious existence, at times it’s extreme, at other times, she comes on like an amazon, a sporting pussy, and a s a dangerous cocktail placed between her pretty boobs? Perhaps where her own feminine aspect had been left at one time?

He thinks of Myrta, where Karin is a complete contrast to her and Gudrun. How sophisticated and feminine does Myrta appear, a nymph in the gender-dance, a slender Greek woman to the harder Nordic sisters! Myrta is an elf amongst his Muses, number eleven. Her sheer cotton dress layers revealing a beautiful body, as she moves knowingly against the rays of the afternoon that encompasses her lean body turning her desirable to his voyeuristic eyes that opened a gate of feelings as his eyes caressed her bodylines, where desire started, as soon as he saw her and she approached him with her seductive stance. At an instant her presence melted into his. His heart stopped a beat in those seconds of union. Dis she feel the same as he did? There was an apparent attraction, slight touches, coincidental smiles as they talked, expressing their wishes to be longer here; no, was he sure it would become intimate? Perhaps it could come to that if he stayed.

“It would be unfair to our spouses if you would make it”: “Indeed?” He murmured. “I could not do that.” He recalled the words of his past girlfriend, yet she received him in her condominium. “Make love to me in your house!” He said. Her place had a history of lovers, coming and going, he didn’t mind, but she cautioned him. “Once I had a problem with this, so be considerate.” With her cues and indications finished, he asked “who was it?” She replied ”A woman next door, she shouted about my private life all over the building. My neighbour.” She stated with an anxious look on her face. “Don’t worry,” he consoled her, “I’ll be on cat-paws. Is she endowed with a sharp ear?” He paused. “She uses a stethoscope placing it against the common wall-divider.” He rasped “No,” he exclaimed, “never heard of that except once in the movies, as it showed a theme of unusual voyeurism.”

“It’s not that she’s a voyeur, but she thrives on spreading stories about most tenants and owners of these units, claiming that they lead immoral lives.”

“She’s jealous of others, alone, disappointed, and bitter,” he concluded. “Then we have to disappear into the underground,” he carried-on with his thoughts.

“No,” she said, “we are all right if we are just careful and do not express our feelings too loudly. No cries, no shouts, and no exuberant love-noises!” However, she closed the bathroom door and the bedroom door across the narrow passage studded with bookshelves that supposed to absorb noises, he thought. “It is like an ear that provides an echo,” she said, as she released the gilded door handle to the bedroom’s white polished lacquer-door. Her peace of mind returned immediately and she turned visibly with ease. It usually took a bit of time to get her at ease.

Once she had released her tension in a first climactic height he could take her to quickly, she relaxed and he was able making love to her the way he would always remember her by.

Then, as she peaked for a second time, she started to be herself, free and unbridled she would straddle him, ride him, stroking him ever so gently, and moving up and down his cock to tease him into his first climax that then couldn’t come so easy, but by the time she had succeeded, they tried to peak together in a wonderful orgasm. He loved that.

There were times they could reach their climaxes close together, but usually he came always later as she did. As time passed, they had synchronized their emotional beat and he was indeed sated as he left her. It lasted a long time for him. He could read her signs when she was sexually sated, from her radiance, her happy mood, her child-like attitude, and from her playfulness. She drifted into an adorable mood, teasing him, then genuflecting as he stepped from the shower, devouring him and arousing him again. As he became hard, she would pull him back into her bedroom and make love to him, and then being ferocious to him, offering herself in submission as he entered her from behind, encouraging him to live his lust with her. It was great lovemaking and even if he was near his height, she was allowing him only to touch her sphincter and never let him insert his small finger. Somebody had hurt her once and since rejected any penetration there. It had hurt her, she confessed later, but she liked stimulation of her bums.

Once he had finished chatting to Ina, who ran the café opposite Myrta’s shop, he entered her shop through the glass door. He waited for Myrta, who talked to a couple, and passing time, he checked the display cabinets. He wondered where she kept her own creations, rings, amulets, bangles, she had shown the couple, who started leaving kissing Myrta on her cheeks. He gazed at a bangle with a theme from mythology.

“Hello,” she said, “I have not done anything in here,” she said approaching him fast and facing him closely, as if she wanted to kiss him too. “Come here,” she said, “Your bracelet,” she paused…”Let’s do it together.” She sat down on her bentwood chair at her small workbench. He sat there the day before, waiting for her patiently. He took a seat on the low stool next to her at the sales counter, facing her. He observed her way of working fascinated by her moving about. Having lit the acetylene torch, the silver started melting on the broken bracelet clasp. “There’s a lot of copper in here,” she said quietly, as if this bracelet was no silver at all. He had suspected this once, as green oxidation appeared on his skin and settled on the bracelet’s clasps. He wore it doing garden work and the salt in his sweat had caused discolouration, but only at the clasps.

“Where did you buy this bangle?”

“In Athens,” he said and recalled the day, he saw the three-piece bangle with intricate joints and a floral pattern of a repetitive palmetto motive, fascinating him immediately, in the window of a silversmith. The piece was unusual and had an oriental look about it, yet it had a Classical motive enhancing it. She smiled. “Well,” he said after a pause, “I was had then, as it was sold to me as sterling silver.” She looked serious and said nothing. “Then just solder an eye to the name tag, Myrta, and a catch on the opposite side. It’ll be fine for a while.” She just nodded and continued to choose a silver eye and a clasp from her parts-box at her workbench. As she worked, he saw her hands getting nervous, as his eyes were on her and he expressed desire. He had enveloped her into his being and she felt it. Having finished soldering, she got up and cooled the bracelet down emitting a swishing sound. Then she polished it. It looked fine to him, except that she had placed the eye on the right side of the clasp and the catch on the left, just the opposite to what he would have preferred, but he forgot to tell her.

“Thank you Myrta.” He swallowed. “How much do I owe you?” She looked into his eyes for a while. Her left eye had a life on its own, moved slightly outward and was definitely connected to her calculating brain, while the warm glazed-over right eye remained fixed, looking at him tenderly. “It’s fifteen Euro,” she said. He took the bills from his wallet. Then he remembered.

“This is for you,” he said, handing her an envelope.

“Oh,” she said surprised “a letter?”

“It’s a poem,” he said. She opened the envelope and looked shortly at his poem. Then she noticed the drawing.

“OH!” She beamed, “for me? She studied the drawing.

“This is beautiful, thank you.” She continued smiling. “I will read your poem quietly and study your drawing in detail.” He prepared to go and looked at her for a last time.

“Good-bye Myrta, I will write to you.”

“I like to receive your letters,” she said. She stood quietly, her emotions played visibly in her face and her eyes. He walked up to her and placed his face close to hers and kissed her cheeks tenderly, something he wanted to do from the first time meeting her, but seeing only others doing it. Her skin was soft and it felt good to have her so close. He wished to be with her, undress her slowly and make love to her. She stirred slightly.

“I love to receive your letters,” she said again softly “but I cannot write back.”

“OK,” he replied, “I’ll see you Myrta.” He turned at his heels and left without turning around. He couldn’t. Certainly, to leave like this was suddenly painful for him. He hurried across the street in direction of his hotel and crossed the lobby – noticing his favourite receptionist talking to a guest – to take the lift.

The sisters had finished packing. Kim would stay another day, as she had a different flight schedule. She might still chat to the man who was interested in her, throwing his worry-beads whenever he saw her at the pool bar and terrace. He went downstairs to pay and arrange for a wake-up call.

He saw that the cute receptionist was on duty, as he had passed the lobby earlier. She smiled and asked for help with his luggage. When he had finished with the business, he said good-bye to her asking for her address, she responded in German and perhaps these two young women, Myrta and the cute receptionist were given to him as being pleasant company, as he felt to be out of love for some time. Most of his drive towards the airport it was like floating in these feelings of having met such wonderful women. His mind mirrored him the tale around Eurydice and he thought of composing a poem about his recently met Muses. Would he exchange them in a game of love? However, it was as if Myrta bore a look of sadness on her facial expression, if feeling unobserved. Since the death of his beloved Muse he had left a door to his heart open for someone new to enter. It was Myrta! How on earth was it possible that she had a lot in common, physically and mentally with his former Muse and instant lover? Sweet love – Myrta! Suddenly he understood what Anna, his dearest friend, had meant with her expression on love’s bittersweet. While he was driving to the airport at Heraklion, a winding road in a continually changing landscape among a rocky coastal setting and intermittent hills, climbing mountain sides and extreme beautiful vistas of bays and holiday resorts at green-sea bays. The interplay of a soothing colour-varied sea and the mysterious dark shaded rock in a permanent dialogue repeated within the sound of traditional Greek music, streaming from his radio, he saw Myrto’s sad facial side on her left profile, and as she turned, her other side beaming with joy, or so it seemed to him. Her face embedded with those twins – as he conceived it – perhaps she wasn’t consciously presenting it that way. And this though, wasn’t at all times, except for certain moments, when he sensed that she would open-up to him; whenever he gazed into her eyes, seeing her naked and unexpectedly her figure enveloped to a glow with the sun behind her. It took his breath away and he could hear the sound of his heartbeat aloud.

The winding road was linked into his thoughts. He loved this place and noticed that he was feeling uprooted again, just as he found the basic roots for a home. Since his last and greatest upheaval of his entire life, where would never be a permanent place for him to set roots again. That was almost a year behind him and was still vivid in his mind. Since he had met Myrta, a young Eurydice, embedded in her mystical presence, her eyes like dusky mirrors of her soul reflecting her being like a painting. In the dusk of its revelation, the pictures of all his Muses melted together into one dot of silver that flowed from the heat of the torch, Myrta was holding close to his heart, turning into a burst of fire that incinerated him at an instant.

But he felt alive and his mind wandered to her. He took her along for an extended walk on the beach and they bathed in the colours of the dissolving sun that melted into the horizon of the gentle sea, like his bracelet she had dunked into the cooling liquid hissing like a snake.

He had visions of her. Was this the return of a vengeful Eurydice who turned into parts of Myrta and wound around his tested heart, to squeeze the spirit of life from all its chambers? Or, was it her disappointment to find only ashes, foregoing a test she had wanted to approve of his new relationship?

As if he had met Anna’s cousin in Myrta, from years back during his time in Athens, with similar tensions and habits that caused him to fall head over heels in love with her. And recently the dark and hot woman from a tavern in a small village with a glorious tree, having come across it through his travels through Crete. Damned! He sensed these women were related. She, an excellent cook of dishes she spiced-up with red peppers from a huge tree nearby, dominating the village square within a decked terrace. She had been flirting with him, some incidental touches and direct approaches quite soon afterwards, as she served him a hot stew, Cretan style. “This will spice-up your life,” she murmured like Pythia reborn. He knew by instinct that she liked him the same way he liked her peppery food that set him on fire for her. He liked her coincidental brushes and touches, the same way she liked his flirtatious banter. He called her A-2.

His thoughts turned from the three women he had met in Greece, again back to the road and an increased traffic, as soon as he turned onto the motorway that led to the capitol. Views along the way were spectacular: A calm blue sea that changed from an iridescent green to turquoise and blue shades. The boats looked like spots of leaves and debris floating on its liquid-metallic surface. On the horizon the cloud cover opened and let the sun have its fiery-bright interplay. The stage was set for a colourful good-bye. It hurt him and he cried inside. He suddenly felt the weight of his age pulling him down and push him around the snaking roads, to distract his concentration and toss him into the sea lying below, to join the debris-spots of boats and the solitary rock. He had a fight with his soul and part of it stayed behind, or was it still there, gazing into Myrta’s eyes, diving into her soul. But only his carapace was here, driving and fulfilling the demands of contracts, and keeping to dates and transport agreements – A shell, knocked about by the waves, tossed onto a pebbled beach and giving-off a screeching sound? A knight, his armour confiscated and denied to him; he was made redundant turning to some other life.

He returned the Citroen to the parking lot, where he had started his trip. Walking across the square in front of the airport, passed the bus stations, and finally he arrived at the car rental office at the corner of arrivals. The woman-clerk present asked him to wait, while she walked back the same route he came, to check the car for damages. He was frozen. With every cluster of minutes spent, he felt that life had separated from him and was indeed ambivalent: Sad and happy at the same time. He had difficulty cheering

While his spouse, seated on a bench adjacent the car rental shop, waited patiently, he walked up and down the narrow elongated hall in search of a CD of Greek music, he had listened to on his car radio. Nobody understood what he wanted and there was nothing to buy.

As the DC 9 lifted itself off at the end of the runway, it slid across the blue-silvery sea, a slight shower rushed across his skull. For some time, as the plane banked and heaven and sea seemed to flow into one big blue, those moments belonged to his Muse A mingling with Myrta. ‘Bye Myrta’ he whispered, whishing he could kiss her. But as sudden as this image appeared, it disappeared again like the cumuli clouds, and marriage had suffocated love he once had. Repetitive waves breaking and white foam lapping the ivory sand at the shore. Within it and below it, he had found love, yet, however hard he pursued it he never had found permanence in love. And at present he found a matching woman and he hoped this love wouldn’t be terminated through fate’s strange incidents. Was it again to be temporary?

He had found Myrta on his last days of a holiday and he had lost her the same time as he had come across his sleeping spouse’s back. She was alarmed as if something was wrong. Shit! He had suppressed to cry out.

“Yes,” he said “it’s life that’s what’s wrong.”

“You have to get up early today, to do all your errands, and you are tired having worked hard. Don’t punish yourself. Rest a bit and you’ll be fine.”

“Yes,” he replied, “my life got-up too late and now it’s upside down and it feels painful.”

“Relax,” she said. That’s what he’s done right now, hasn’t she a clue? He thought, but didn’t say. Gentle talking from his spouse didn’t calm him down. The more she talked softly, the more he felt like shouting. He wanted to stand-up and start performing and he didn’t mind the airplane went down to have a dip in the sea. Fate hadn’t booked them for drowning. What a terrible death, he thought having discussed suicide with his friend before. She was occupied thinking about death since she was a child and her father had tragically died. She had dismissed various forms of suicide, only to reinforce her own mind that she couldn’t do any of these choices to end her life. In the end, her diseased body’s fighting capacity for life was lulled into sleep with morphine. It had been deceived and taken-out of her mind. Pain disappeared, but claimed her consciousness and she slid into a coma. He imagined it was like dying below water, a kind of drowning. Her beloved cousin spoke of a miracle that supposed to happen, if one believes in one. He, on the other hand, spoke about love as the best of healers. She let him touch her and then she felt on top of the world, dying and being loved felt as the best alternative to suicide.

Leaping from the top of the Acropolis, she also considered, as a couple did years before. But he did that feel to hit the bottom rocks holding hands? Of course one cannot, but are we getting punished? Imagine that you would be dead immediately, but what if not? If we do not succeed, we’ll be punished. Is the law that stupid? But then one has been driven to come to this. One wishes to conquer death, slowly stealing one’s life away. If there’s a miracle then the win of life over death is the greatest one! We are fighting death with all powers we know, but many battles later we are getting tired. Not being the ones falling into the dust, get-up, brush off, and start all over again. How many people had come forward with a win over death and enjoying another life? Yet at one stage we have accepted our resignation, finally we come up with an acceptance of death. Besides, she mused: Life’s unfair! He saw her fight, her final tiredness, her anger and sadness to leave him back in the land of the living. He felt a deep compassion for her, something he had never felt before at any death of a family member. He loved her and the bone man had won. “Beloved friend,” he whispered, “I will write down our emotions and at least we held the shadows of death in check for as long as we could love and shy them away with our union.” He murmured into her ear as he loved her for the last time.

“Life’s short!” He still whispered as if she would be present. It had the same tone of sadness as the grey tarmac at E. Venizelos airport. He liked this airport above the other one he would land soon at the dark city that lay beyond the Dark Continent to the Cape. Beside he had to leave its jewel, the Acropolis, that held for him not only the gateway to the Western civilisation, but all the art that was unique in the world, albeit all the pilferage through history. It was his personal jewel that connected him forever to his Muse A, the one who had installed in him art and poetry through her teachings of heart and soul, body and mind.

You could see how an important gateway this unique place held for him, whenever he arrived from Africa of the South, for many years, but for his entire life starting from his childhood. Now, like a continental love affair, there was no friend arriving to fetch him and his spouse from the airport. He resorted to shop cultural remembrances through music, music, music, and remember her image through it.

He asked in a souvenir shop for a musical store. The young man directed him to the toy-shop. “They keep Greek music at the back,” he smiled at him. As he entered the shop he asked the girl at the counter, who called someone else. He told her what kind of music he wanted. She showed him three CD’s, but recommended him the popular one that mentioned: 35 Chronios, meaning 35 years of the performer Giannis Parios, who featured on the cover. It was a set of three CD’s. He paid and left in better spirits. She was smiling as he read the Greek letters ‘Coffees Iced’ at the buffet next door. He bought two frappes for himself and his spouse, who still sat quietly at the bench. She was glad he was back and surprised her with a refreshing drink.

Then he sat next to her and made some notes into his journal. It was about olive trees and Minoan cultures and beautiful cities at the Med, mountains and winding roads; and he saw himself driving towards Makrigiallos. He saw Myrta’s shop and she was just leaving. He stopped his car and she recognized him, stepping into his car like an old friend. She popped the door close and kissed him. They drove to a beach Myrta knew that was off the trodden track of tourists. She was the first stripping off her clothes and taking a run into the sea. He followed her example, and enjoying this free and sensual experience, swimming in the nude in the blue sea, touching now and then as he caught-up with her. He held her waist pulling her close and kissing her, and he had an exhilarating feeling of touching her, kissing her all over and making love to her for the first time. She was Lithe and Nubian, agile, fast, sensual, and the most passionate, just before she peaked, biting him into his shoulder. Then lying down on the soft sanded beach, drying from the water and feeling the body shrink until there wasn’t anything left, soaked-up into warm ivory sand, like water into a soft towel. Two wet spots left behind that dried-up and were again wetted by a restless licking sea, leaving their footprints behind forever.

He fell into a snooze while the airplane climbed to its comfortable zone and the voice of the stewardess woke him to receive his food. His spouse was up while he slept, but fell asleep shortly afterwards. Was all just unreal and like a dream? It seemed to be real and when a dream happened, he didn’t like to get back to reality.

Travelling that far was the end of a road of the heavens and nobody in his sane mind would burn to frazzles lying on the speckled sand, exposed to an attacking sun that was unfiltered. Due to carbon dioxide emissions, man had burnt holes into the protective ozone layers. He heard about the extreme conditions in Africa in the news.

He played the CD he had bought at E. Venizelos airport. “Who is that?” His wife wanted to know. “Gianni?” He said, being on first name terms since he adored his voice. “How nice,” she commented. The music on the CD represented his own life, he mused, and he had played all of Gianni’s CD’s. “Only I’m not that famous.” He looked into the distance. “He is as old as you are,” his spouse said. “Indeed,” he replied, “he’s a great singer.” He looked at the face on the CD-cover. “His music is soul-stirring.” He said. He saw the eyes of Myrta, every time Pam played the set. She started with the first and listened until she had finished the set. “I’d rather be in Makrigiallos,” she murmured, and then played the set again, until she was sated with the music. He was unaware that she love this kind of popular Greek music that much. It had obviously affected her differently to him. It gave her back some longing to an island she had liked too, but in a different way he liked. He was glad. He also knew that sooner or later they could catch a live concert with Giannis. What an experience that would be? They would certainly travel back for such an occasion.

*