All day it had rained, interrupting a hesitant summer that was late already. I pulled out a sheet of rolling paper, picked a tuft of Golden Virginia tobacco with my thumb and finger tops, and rolled a thin tsigaro. I struck the match against the box and lighted the cigarette with its flame. I inhaled a breath of relief, squeezed my left eye and looked around. The house of the community was filled to the last seat. New seats were passed along over the heads of people waiting for their drinks, cocktails in white plastic cups or cans of Mythos, at the bar, three tables covered with a white bed sheet. A half crescent of chairs was lined up on stage with microphone standards at waist length. Three socialist red curtains hung from the ceiling against the back wall, the stage lightened by six colored light bulbs, green, red, yellow, blue, yellow, red, hanging from a thick black electric cord. The pie baker walked to and fro, occupied and nervous, with a wasteful haste. The petrol man sat quietly at the far end table of the bar with the bottles of tequila and Red Label Johnny Walker. He greeted every familiar face with a broad Ikarian smile and dark frowned eyebrows. I recognized the doctor with his long pony tail, his droopy eyes, who studied the high number of cancer occurrence on the island. The room filled with smoke, leaving a hazy air of ashy smell and the tones of a lost era of open markets, crowded streets, tiny waterfront tavernas, passenger ships and refugees disembarking. The melancholic ruffling of the bouzouki, the bass of a classic guitar, the tearing of the violin and the soothing of the accordion, dancing away on the clouds of drifting mist in the early morning.
There were no children squealing like piglets while being dragged to the slaughterhouse. There was no pop from a tennis ball slammed by a wooden bat, no short tired laughter. There was no shrill of horny teens being chased into the water. A few hundred meters squatted in the sand, two men sat like desert nomads, motionlessly conversing, in the sand. Further, a girl bend over her boyfriend on hands and knees, her lips kissing his hairy chest. On my other side, a group of chubby boys and girls wobbled like drunken cherubs into the water, attracted to each other by the sheer gravity of their fat wrapped constellations, an obese figure in bikini figured heavily at the water line, like the sun around which these planets of kids circled. But the strange thing was, I heard not a single sound. Higher up the rock, a topless man, hammering the planks for his terrace roof, not a single beat of sound. Even the sea, rolled its waves ashore tacitly. A single cloud hovered still above. A conspiracy to not disturb me.
I gulped down the last bottom of my glass of strong black wine, the local Homeric variation of home brewed wine on the island, and payed the bill, three Euro. I imagined to put down three silver drachma pieces. Would it not be better to still pay in ancient coinage? It is a wishful make-believe that everyone shared. It was night, the constellations guided my way home. The sky, the air, the tree and the road, everything was covered in pitch darkness. But in heaven the stars shone brighter than I ever saw before. I searched for Big Dipper and recognized its handle, the straight cup shape in the sky. The black blanket of night was pierced with flickering holes, a full view of curious eyes that spy on us. I walked up the hill, crossed the bend in the road and passed the trash bins. My eye fell on a carton box and the speckled white puppy head peeking over the edge.