Okay, I would probably be more comfortable with this if it hadn’t happened where it did, as I am not really a big fan of the classics. I mean, they never poisoned my dog and I don’t mind their ultimate influence on our world. But, for example, (although not a great example, as it really isn’t old enough to be the same sort of classic that I was referring to), but an example, I am glad I can enjoy Apocalypse Now without having to read Heart of Darkness.
But, nothing is more interesting than true details, so it happened on a beach in Greece, I can’t fix that now. And actually it was the beach where you could see this rock out in the sea a little ways that really did look like a sailing ship turned to stone. Like in those old stories.
I’d been there a few months staying at this place called The Pink Palace because of a steady stream of sunburnt backpackers. I was sort of stuck there really, because I don’t like traveling. The friend I’d come over toEurope with had already left to go back for her final year at University. We’d spent an immense time on the train to get there fromLondon, the last two days had just been corn fields and soldiers as we crossed through Yugoslavia. It seemed so much work to leave.
I was stuck. Even Dan who’d woken up one morning on the roof of the building with two sprained ankles. His ankles had healed enough to hitch a ride to the airport and continue on his way. I’d been really stuck for awhile when I misplaced my only pair of shoes, but those had turned up again by the time of this story.They were great shoes, removable insoles making it easy to smuggle out the money thatI’d accidentally smuggled in.The girl from SouthAfrica who figured she could travel in my shadow if her guy never showed up, he’d shown up and they’d gone. I’d learned the trick of the eternal Eurail pass using French ink eradicator.
I hadn’t yet gotten to know the guy from Norway who would spend his last night there trying to walk out to sea, or the night watchmen, a recent deserter from theIranian army, who would get his own shoes wet saving him again and again. But there was always a stream of people flowing through so that wasn’t part of the stuckedness.
But then, that I was stuck and those details maybe aren’t important. I was 22, done with university, with a few thousands of dollars and somehow looking for something to change I guess. Self-centered enough that I’d done nothing to let my parents know I was still alive since getting on a plane in Toronto the few months back.
And it was an afternoon. I would have had my free goat sandwich for lunch, some strange conspiracy between myself and the owner’s dad that I never really figured out. I was sitting on the beach reading whatever book had most recently washed up at the palace. And just this beautiful woman took a spot on the beach maybe20 feet closer to the water.Actually, I recall well enough that in fact she was inline with the ship rock from where I was sitting. I could find the spot on google maps if their resolution was better. She was beautiful enough that I still remember where she was sitting, twenty-one years later. I stayed there for hours. I couldn’t imagine leaving whilst she was still there. By the time she left I think there was just the two of us on the beach. As she left she offered me the remains of her bottle of water. There, that’s the story. Its not a big deal. But then nothing really is. That I remember it just says something about being a22-year old guy who had never had a date. And how little it takes to be genuinely happy.