In life nothing is real. Nothing is permeant and nothing is ever going to last. The people you love will come and go, and be replaced by new people and new types of love. Each night is like a kiss of fresh life and only those you embrace will see your rebirth in the first glimpses of dawn.
Athens spread out like a dying flower’s petals on the map before me. Outside my open window the calls of middle aged Greek men spiralled into the curving allays like wisps of chimney smoke. The streets were narrow and resembled a disorganised ball of wool, weaving their way towards the acropolis. The smell of hotel washing detergent wrapped around me as I pulled the sheets off the single bed and crept to the open window to watch the men chatter and play cards. My head felt light from the lack of sleep and the faint sent of drunken songs drifted deeper into my mind as I curled up on the bed.
I ate pomegranate for breakfast. My fingers dug through the rind, taring chunks away and leaving my fingers stained blood red whenever I hit the clustered jewels.
The man who sold the pomegranate’s on the side of the square had coffee coloured skin and a scar on the back of his hand. He seemed just as foreign as I did, but he spoke greek with a flourish of enthusiasm and I did not.
The streets which turned into stairways littered with cafes confused me, but the simple wood of the tables and chairs, sometimes painted faded blue or yellow, whispered stories of young couples falling in love and old men drinking ouzo and chatting about the old days. It occurred to me that this was a city build for the traffic of feet, not for things on wheels.
Wandering around in the ancient city, scattered with ancient monuments and narrow roads the acropolis rising above everything felt like the eye of Athena staring down at me, watching my fickle feet gliding through the knots of her city. As the afternoon withered into evening I sat down by the steps of the old theatre and watched the stay cats mewing at the doors of a church, hungry for their dinner. A woman in a tangerine dress bent down to them and offered something from a bag by her side to the strays.
Dusk fell upon the city and the smell of frying cheese, ouzo and fresh flat bread filled the sky. A kitten jumped onto my lap and I couldn’t tell if it was her or me who purred contently into the night as we inhaled the approach of our rebirth.
I began writing this in the bathtub of the hotel I stayed in when I was in Athens. I thought it was about time it got an ending.