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Life is about happy memories

Autumn of 2011

I had left my hometown to study history at a university in a city where I didn’t know anybody. I was living alone for the first time, and it was raining all the damn time. Back then, I was really snobby and antisocial, which was a defensive mechanism because I am almost deaf, making communication with people pretty complicated.

The summer before I started the uni, I did something pretty bad, which resulted in losing one of my best friends at that time, an embarrassing story called “The Girl with the Towel.”.

A few years later, we buried the hatchet, and we meet each other often nowadays for coffee or Monopoly with the other two guys of my childhood crew. He actually lent me the money I needed to pay one of my MSc installments when my mother refused to do it.

But back then, the quilt was eating me alive, I had developed a bit of insomnia because every time I would dream he would just be there. So I was kinda afraid to make friendships, and whenever I did, I was becoming overly attached to them.

One day, in a uni class I saw this guy, his lips were chapped and he was introducing himself to every single classmate—we are talking about triple digits here. My turn came. “Sakis,” he said.

I didn’t like him at all, to be honest; he was the complete opposite of me, and he was always asking for cigarettes. The guy was poor AF, but he had an aura.

A few days later after the class as I was talking with another future member of the crew “Nio”, came to me and said, “We should go out for a drink sometime.”

"Yeah, sure," I replied, and I turned my back and left.

And the mfer shooted

Yo where are you going, give me your phone number

I was like, FFS

I gave it though, and he called me the only night I was really in a mood to go out; I didn’t even drink back then, not much of a party guy (how the times change, lmfao). I started to meet him and some others frequently, but I was missing Athens and the easy life too much, it was hard for me to adapt to this environment.

So I gave up.

After the first semester ended, I returned to Athens for about a month and tried to convince my parents to throw out my current studies and retry entering the history uni in Athens. They didn’t let me (thank God). Sakis and another guy, Steve were calling, asking me when I would come back.

When I returned, the crew had bonded; I was the last member of the 7 mfers and the semester that followed was one of the best periods of my life. We would meet every day, often playing Pro Evolution soccer and smoking weed, going for football, and walking around all over the city altogether.

In the summer of that year, every student had left the RainCity except me and Sakis. I had gone to a village for 2 weeks, living in a junkies’ home that only had a fridge, no WC, no kitchen, and of course, no bed. But that’s a story for another time, although my friends tell me that is my best one.

We spent the rest of the summer in Sakis’ room studying for the exams and hanging out. The problem was that we were poor AF, and we had to go to church to have food to eat. I think I went from 70 to 65 kg at that time.

I usually don’t post pictures with my friends, but I am pretty sure he won’t care, cuz the dude is also corny AF.

The Summer of Hunger, 2012.

But my uni years have helped me so much to not give up this past year and continue to pursue my dreams.

The "Yo, where are you going, give me your phone number” moment changed the direction of my life because, until then, after 19 years of living, I hadn’t found my tribe, and I was always an outcast trying to fit in. The guys embraced my personality and also made me feel good about my hearing problems.

The "Deaf"—that's what most IRL friends call me—became a brand itself, and from a thing that I was always trying to hide until then, it transformed into a core part of myself that I actually promote and take advantage of IRL. It’s kind of hard to pass this into the digital realm cuz people are or seem sensitive to those kinds of things, but you can’t imagine how many laughs we have about this.

There are so many stories that were born in those years; shortly after the summer I described above, I met Sandybell, who was the first time I fell in love.

She was the kind of person I really couldn’t believe would love me back, and we had so many moments, especially in the beginning, like we were living a fairytale.

But after a while, she got sick, and Idk..

Everything became more cloudy and cold, and I went into autopilot mode for years. That was in the 2nd year of our relationship, and we lived together for almost 7 years, but the dynamic was different after that, despite both of us lying to ourselves.

It doesn’t matter anymore, though, because she’s doing really well at the moment, and for me, that’s such a blessing because we did way more good than harm to each other. In the end, it was an honor to share a few years of my life alongside this beautiful creature.

I wish I could say the same for the Lady but maybe I just need more time to heal or I need to pull off this delusional miracle I have on my mind.

(Meet again the person who opened the hole)

Anyway, I managed to graduate from the uni in 2015, so I had to return to Athens, It was time to say farewell to the guys. One last night out as classmates, mfers.

We were in one of our usual places, drinking and eating.

Guys, I want to tell you something.

I believe that the meaning of life is to make happy memories

And you gifted me so many of them

Thank you

I think it was the first time they saw me crying

It’s been nine years since then, and Sakis, Steve, and another one are still in the RainCity. I have visited them many times since then, but the tradition is that I, Tzoutze, and some other friends from the Athens crew travel up there once a year for the Carnival celebrations.

A 3-day trip in which we get very wasted and exchange our stories while we remember the ones from our shared years. Last year, we were around 15 people that made this trip, and we had so much fun that I couldn’t believe it. Every year, I think that it will be the last.

You see, we are getting older. I met them when I was 18 years old, and now I am 30 and a totally different person.

The Carnivals are in a month from now. I don’t know if we will make the trip this year, let alone if I can join, due to the money and body problems I face. Aside from our reunion, there is another important reason I want so much to go.

Steve’s kid was born a few months ago, and I haven’t met him yet, he’s my first friend who is a parent, and I and Tzoutze are sort of his grandfathers hehe, lucky kid lmao.

I really want to go as you imagine, but now I think that even if I fail, it’s okay, you know? Those are friends for life; we experienced so much happy and shitty stuff together in those years that we actually grew up together.

And whenever I see them, it’s like time disappears, like a day hadn’t passed since we were living together in those shitty rooms, with cheap foods and drinks, through those warm laughs.

I know that even if the circumstances change, even if we get farther away, as long as we are alive, there will always be one more time, one last time.

And while I know this, I often forget, because my daily life is mostly filled with pain, loneliness, guilt, and daydreaming.

But when I am writing about my life and the stories that left a mark on me, it gives me so much courage.

It makes me feel like I did a lot of good things in my life, and I want to do so many more.

And that’s a priceless blessing.

A slightly rephrased Greek song follows.

Remember, remember..

Maybe you've lost yourself in the streets that burn.
Let your voice be heard.
And if I'm not there, they shouldn't call me by my name.

It's not the need; it's not the loneliness that will bring me there.
I've endured a lot.
You don't know me well; nobody really knows me.

Don't come back; don't ask for anything; don't waste me for just one night.
Don't come back; don't ask for anything; don't waste me for just one night.

I step into the shadow; the light blinds me, the words sicken me.
I'm tired; I don't want to explain.
You need to choose.

But I tell you again: Maybe you've lost yourself in the streets that burn.
Let your voice be heard.
And if I'm not there, they shouldn't call me by my name.

Don't come back; don't ask for anything; don't waste me for just one night.
Don't come back; don't ask for anything; don't waste me for just one night

The winter is ending

Thank you for reading, I love you

Senti 🪄🎩

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