So …Here’s the thing…
I don’t live here anymore.
I am not a love or work immigrant. I stayed away despite the adversity of nostalgia, foreign soils, uncertainty and rains. Perhaps I was dazzled by the beautiful mosaic of multiculturalism and what’s perceived as tolerance. Maybe I was forgotten. Or maybe I was just naïve and reckless. I have had many lives*. And might have many more.
Life – a concoction of chance and choice. Sorry to disappoint you if you are looking for a different meaning. And sorry to those looking for a tragedy. This does mean my story is not real or really worth it.
I did not run away from anything or anyone. I was not persecuted. It felt wrong at times , then right, then wrong, then right again… And so on…
I remain utterly besotted by this city and its people. Its northern light, its melancholic winter mist, its darkness-layers of depth- , the hazy purple, orange views of the Olympus. Its bay embrace and even its razor-blade, ravine northern wind.
On arrival I pose awkwardly on Tsimiski Street near the road triangle that leads to Vardaris Square.
Fragkon was my ‘playground’ next to my parents’ office, the passage to most places I run errands to. My route to music college, my shortcut to friends and meeting places, to bars and late nights in arcade bars… and to my morning bus rides home.
Maybe I am just looking for a way to stay here after leaving. I state the personal. I talk to you of lightness that I wish upon you.
I am no billboard offering a drink, something expensive that you cannot afford but somehow dream of. I am not asking you consume, destroy, revolt, accept, burn, build and demolish. I will not tell you to be angry, to be beautiful, to note, to vote or not to vote.
I sit by posters with tired messages of political surrender or revolt or simple blah blah nothingness. They tell me nothing about human condition and who I see. Apparently if you visit here you don’t see a crisis, but I can read the stoic faces that smile differently, hiding depression and despair with dignity.
So I just hope that when you stop to look at me, you laugh. Because anger will get you to the streets, and make you vote anti-establishment. Go argue with your neighbour. You might self-medicate legally or illegally, hide at your parents’ home, cry in silence ashamed you are fed by them and that you don’t know what your future holds. You might be hungry. You might be celebrating something in the streets … You might feel foreign and helpless in your homeland… You might be fuelled by hope of change…or just in love.
Without your laughter nothing will be built again from scratch.
I am just me. And I don’t live here anymore. So please forgive me for reminding you to search deep for your lightness.