Your 34th Birthday

March 2006. Vrachati, Greece. A killer sun was blinding my eyes. I had a small talk with a group of co-students under an oak tree, in an undefined landscape. Somewhere among a field of olive trees and the promise of a beach further down, but it was cold, I don’t remember the sea. I’m wearing a purple dress, gaiters on my arms and I have red pencil makeup on my eyes; I’m very excited about the Symposium – due to a potential career.

I see you. You are under a tree nearby, with a different group of people. You are tall and handsome; a good reason for me to notice you. My active imagination makes me think of you like the son of Renoir, or a cousin of Mytaras, or maybe the damned illegitimate son of Goya; a good reason for me to approach you.

I introduce myself; very seriously, but with a smile – as befits a founding member of a Panhellenic Theater Union. And that’s when I hear your voice. You’re changing now. Where do people speak by rounding the words so much, making them sound like concentric circles? Oh, of course! My mind is concentrating. You’re becoming a drinker somewhere in North Dakota. I don’t know what it’s like there. But that’s what I immediately thought. You are a likable drinker. The kind that drinks and philosophises with gusto, not a bad-tempered one. So they say some witticisms from time to time. You’re a bachelor by conviction, but lately, you’ve been having second thoughts about partnership and love. I’m getting over North Dakota. We’ve been talking for some time now. What we talked about, I don’t really remember. All I can recall is that I like you. A nice person, I say secretly to myself.

Athens. A few months later. We live under the same roof. On our moving day, you were taking pet animals out of your crates. Alive ones. A true Sumerian.

Then you came out of the closet. My happiness is incomparable to your happiness. You walked into a bus, terrified by the knowledge. You must decide now. Mephistopheles would have found you, even at the bus station. You were uncombed, wearing a white T-shirt and jeans ripped to the knee. It was August. You were trying to understand. Again. If you could cry, you would. In front of us. You didn’t though.

Days after, you did understand.

Who are you? And where are you coming from?

Germany has matured you. Made you a little wiser in your effort to hate this country as much as you can.

The golden age of getting high on a bicycle found you a dreamer and a king…until the morning you cried for that big Why that has no answer in this world, and you became a warrior.

You changed your hair so many times, leaving chores for a soul that seeks the right way and chooses the alleys.

You turn to every corner in red high-heels. With a steady step, well trained. Always with your candies in your pocket.

Whoever you are, you do know. But who could you actually be?

To come back to me, my beloved descendant of Renoir, cousin of Mytaras, cursed illegitimate son of Goya, drinker in North Dakota, Sumerian, warrior…my friend. My wishes for your 34th birthday go beyond the scope of written words. 

I love you. To the death. 

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