I open my eyes, covered in sweat.
That’s not my hammock.
I check the hour, just 3 hours of sleep.
People around me, sipping coffee, talking, laughing.
It takes me seconds to relive everything that happened last night.
My memory is so good. It feels like a curse sometimes.
I don’t feel so bad, though. Until I saw her...
I want to throw up.
A feeling that would follow me every time she was nearby for the next few days.
What happened the previous night?
Let me tell you.
But first, I need to introduce you to someone.
His name is Johny.
I knew him for some years, but we came pretty close during the winter.
Two guys with broken hearts, looking for answers to the wrong questions.
Weekend after weekend in the streets, stages, and basements of Athens.
It’s hard to imagine that kind of relationship if you haven’t lived it, but we were looking for each other. We called ourselves “Fellow Travelers”.
Previous night, ~2:00 a.m 🕰️
After the cinematic scene I described in the previous story, the Fire Girl and I laid together on the sand.
She was holding my head.
And she started:
- I don’t see this thing between us working.
- How come? I mean, every time we are alone, we communicate, and even when we aren't, we speak with our eyes.
That’s true, she said, but you are a giver, and that somehow stops me, I don’t think I am in the mood for something more.
"Yeah, I get that", and I explained to her as well why our connection was so unexpected and weird for me in this state of my life.
We kept talking until she told me that she couldn’t continue the conversation right now, and better leave it for another time.
I felt confused, but I said: It’s okay, let’s go find the others.
Note: Through these stories, I aim to share my perspective on life and people.
While there are many details and quotes that could add depth or intrigue to the narrative, those aren’t included out of respect for people's privacy.
After all, that’s my story, not theirs.
~5:00 a.m 🕰️
The club is nice, we have fun, but nobody can stand the heat inside for long.
I am heading out to get some air.
Johny and the Fire Girl are sitting outside. I join them. We are joking.
Johny says some nice things about me. I am feeling more comfortable in front of her than before.
"Let’s go back inside."
Once Johny left, I told her with bright courage: “You are right. I am a giver, and I have a lot to give. That’s who I am, just to clarify.”
We won’t have that discussion tonight, she said with a tone.
Α tone strong, definitive but not mad at me. And something else that I couldn’t decipher.
“If and whenever you feel it,” I answered.
Ι am going inside, trying to dance. Johny comes at me.
- Did you see what I texted you?
- Nevermind, I will tell you now.
It’s noisy, though, so I grabbed my phone and checked his message:
“I am not bullshitting you, she kissed me.”
He is speaking, I am in full deaf mode.
Everything around me becomes heavy.
Gasping for air, I weave through the crowd
I am going out, sitting on the sand.
I don’t know how to feel
I don’t know what to think
Body and mind speechless
A whole existence in disbelief
The bubble is broken
I am drowning
Tzoutze comes by. He sits next to me. He’s my oldest friend from the crew.
He says, “I learned what happened, I don’t have anything to tell you.
I just came to keep company to my friend.”
(My sweet, cute mfer 🫂)
We talked a bit, and then I told him with love, that I needed to be alone.
A few minutes passed like that, at point zero.
Teddy came. He caressed me and spoke with a fed-up tone:
- I don't know what to tell you.
- FFS, what's that high school drama I'm living in?
He says: You don’t have a lot of things to process, though. You know the truth.
Yeah, you are right, I said.
Teddy is spot on as usual.
You see, you can’t have the same expectations from every single person.
I didn’t get mad, only sad.
We keep analyzing the situation when the Q appears up in our heads, in its usual Yooooohuuuu mode.
“Guys, guys, I stole something from the club.”
Me and Teddy look at each other, surprised.
The Q laughs and drops the skull of a ram on the sand.
"Q, what the fuck? Why do you give that to us? Put it back in your bag.”
We are laughing ourselves into tears. How much surrealism today?
The sun is rising
All the crew is coming out, half of them know, and the other half don’t.
I get uncomfortable, wandering on the beach.
Nobody dared look into my eyes.
He is almost blind from the booze, without any idea of what happened, but somehow sensed me.
I was beside him, looking at the waves with dark eyes, and he was shooting, “Yooo don’t leave, don’t leave.”
He made me laugh.
Pain recognizes pain, I guess.
We were heading to the cars, and I stopped.
The light of the sun was brightening the clouds, leaving me magnetized.
I don’t know what exactly happened in my brain, but I felt it all—the pain, the hope, the atonement, my life’s journey of mistakes and blessings.
Mponi comes at me and says, “What’s going on?”
I turned to him with watery eyes.
"It’s so beautiful", I said.
He looks at the scenery: "Truly, it is."
We get into the car
Johny and Raptor are sitting in the front seats, with me and Tzoutze behind them.
Johny puts on a music album, and one of my songs is playing next.
- Yo Tzoutze, I am gonna sing.
- I will join you, of course.
And as a new day was starting, running through the road with the sea on our right side, we sang together with all our passion.
🎶“The bird is in the cage. It lives but does not sing”🎶
We arrived at the camping, I went to the cafe alone, and Johny came by.
He wants to tell me what happened, I don’t want to hear about it, though.
The how doesn’t matter, only the why.
I have nothing to tell you, leave me alone.
It’s almost 10:00 a.m. I am going to sleep.
~ 3 hours later 🕰️
I order my coffee, and Teddy comes by.
We say good morning, but he knows what's going on in my head.
“Yo, let’s go to your favorite beach," he said, and some others came along with us.
I instantly felt better next to the waves, under the sky.
But then the Fire Girl appears along with the rest of the crew.
“My stomach again.”
She stands across me, I can’t even look up, I keep my head down, staring at the stones under her legs.
She entered the sea.
When she was far enough away, I looked toward her, and I stood up.
I packed my things, and left alone for a nearby beach, making the right decision for myself.
It was a peaceful evening with her out of my sight, except for those 5 minutes I slept and dreamed about a dog, that was near me on the beach.
I saw him running on the road through a familiar forest, and he fell down suddenly.
In one instance, people came out of the deep forest running on his side.
He seemed dead, but then I woke up.
And today, through Lore's comment, I thought; Maybe he lived, you know?
I was in that forest twice a few years ago.
I am going to revisit it soon, hopefully.
The night came.
We are hanging with the gang around a big table in the camping, joking and drinking.
She comes by and sits across from me. I can't handle it, I am going to the bathroom.
But I returned. I had fun with the crew, and I didn't want to be self-isolated because of her.
Around half an hour passed.
We are both avoiding eye contact, like a silent agreement.
My friend, Teddy, turns to me and says:
- I am going to get dressed and let's go to the Moonbar, Ok?
I am starting to get more nervous as I wait, the whole situation is so uncomfortable.
I want to say a word to her, just anything, just to understand.
I finally find the courage to meet her eyes and she gives me a look…
Nobody ever looked at me like that.
She’s staring at me like a Gypsy Queen who knows all the pain you have been through.
My own eyes are a mix of pain and a Why?
I can’t stand her looking so sad, I try to smile.
She comes and sits next to me, talking to a friend.
"Teddy’s coming; it's now or never."
My heart is pounding as I put my hand inside hers.
And as I am standing up, I lean towards her, and with a voice, deep and hoarse,
I whisper to her ears:
I found this on the beach today, and I thought that you might like it.
And I left, along with Teddy, towards the Moonbar.
It was a rounded stone, with a colorful daisy painted on it…
One more part is left.
It's been an unexpected day, and it feels like my writing is all I have.
So let me thank you for honoring me with your time.
May the future bless you 🪄