“I squeeze the empty beer can in my fist and I look up. I never used to look up. I was not interested in up. I always looked down. I was looking for money dropped by some poor fool. Well once upon a time on Fokionos Negri Street I found two hundred drachmas! I stepped on the bank note with my expensive leather shoe and pretended to tie the lace so nobody would notice a well dressed man picking money from the street. But now that I don’t even have my own shoes I am free, so I can look up. I look at balconies with fig trees. The open windows with the cheap curtains that swing in a breeze that passes through the thick heat. I look at old fashioned chandeliers hanging from moldy ceilings. I imagine an old lady sitting alone, watching the news on her telly. I imagine dads coming home from work, placing their briefcase next to a hanger and then hugging their children as they swarm around their feet.
I smell soup. I imagine the housewives with their hair in a net while they stir the stuff in silvery pots. I don’t envy them one bit. I only feel nostalgia. I only regret not appreciating the things I had, when I had them. I’ve found my way around though. I go to the coffeehouse in the evenings. They pity me there and treat me to some beer. The owner spares me some cheese and so I sort of make it through the day. And then when the sun starts to set over the hill I head home. My blue home. My mobile home. The one that doesn’t have insurance and it is a bit cramped. In the winter it gets cold and in the summertime it’s hot as hell. But it is soft and it smells of green paper trees and Stuyvesant cigarettes. And you know what? It is ’round nine when the sun turns everything to gold. I look at a golden world through my rearview mirror and I feel richer than ever. All this just before I close my eyes, darkness comes and swallows me up.”
Text by Philippa Dimitriadi