Near Death Experience

It's a sultry evening. Andrea doesn't understand how it can be so hot and breezeless and yet the waves are so big. I don't really know the answer but maybe it has something to do with gravity. Whatever the reason, the waves made me hopeful that within the next day or so we'll have a sea perfect for bodysurfing. Last year the waves slowly grew in size until it was too rough to ride them. It was exciting watching a ten foot wall of water break over you, but after getting churned around and having the wind knocked out of me one time too many I moved on to less strenuous sports like drinking ouzo and eating octopus.

Amarandi and I stop in at Katina's to watch the end of the Greece-Croatia basketball game on our way to Metropolis to meet Andrea and her mom. Thea Katina tells me that my mother had called and I should call her at three. My mother does not call me in Greece to chat, or to ask how I am doing. If my mother had called it was because something terrible has happened. My father had died. My house had burned down. I had been audited by the IRS. All the possibilities race through my head as my eyes sightlessly watch the TV screen. Should I call right now and find out what's wrong or should I wait and enjoy the last four minutes of the game? Maybe the news would be so tragic that these might be the last carefree minutes of my life. If my father has died should I cut short my vacation and return to pay my respects and begin the process of coming to terms with our stormy relationship? Should I bring Andrea and Amarandi back with me to America to help me through my suffering or should I face this period alone.

Then I ask Katina, "Did you say my mother called?"

"No," she told me. "Your sister-in-law."

Oh. That's different.

By the time I walk down the beach road to Metropolis, Amarandi is fast asleep and Andrea is angry with me for taking so long and causing her "severe anxiety" as she often puts it. I ask her politely, "Do you mean like the anxiety when I am standing by myself with all our luggage watching the last passengers get on the ferry because you ran off to do some last minute shopping two minutes before it arrived?" She downgrades it to "normal anxiety."

I wonder what there was to be anxious about. What could possibly happen to me between Parilea and Metropolis? Trampled by a flock of sheep? Run over by a car racing down the tiny street at 15mph? Drift off course and be eaten by a beached whale? There's just not that many dangers lurking between the two villages. I think she was anxious because she felt uncomfortable spending so much time with her mother. I know one thing: They sure drank a lot of wine before I got there. It was excellent wine too and I drink hurriedly to catch up.

All the worry made Andrea's stomach upset and she becomes slightly more critical and intolerant than usual. She alternates jabbing at her mother and me until she feels so ill that she just wants to go home to the room and read. On the way back I can't resist stopping at Trocedero for an ice-cream. Gikas's daughter from Montreal is working there, looking older and more beautiful than when I last lusted after her several years ago. To my surprise she remembers my name, as does the woman who owns the place whose name I don't. I talk to Gikas about Montreal and the Kalohoriotis who live there, and then continue on to the dock where I sit watching the waves break and wondering how they could be so big when the air was is still.

Return to Spearfishing in Skatahori Index

Athens Survival Guide

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