Kalimera

Back then,

At the first light of day,

I'd find myself driving hard and high,

Up the mountain pass.

Trying to guide my Vespa

Round switchblade bends,

As it gasped for air,

As I did too, 

The higher I climbed.

 

Once again,

Like most days,

I'd be the last man standing at the bar.

Friends all gone home,

Now just me and the early morning

Greek locals.

They'd speak English 

For my benefit,

But soon I was full,

Of local village gossip,

And a bottle of whiskey,

Beer,

And anger. 

For my own fucking stupid life.

 

Twenty seven. 

It's a good age for

A second attempt at teenage angst,

And I was giving it my best shot.

Drink all night.

Sleep all day. 

Smile at girls,

And see their disinterest,

And back to the bottle.

 

Five a.m., 

Sometimes six.

Sometimes seven,

Depends on the season,

And I'd find my reason 

To kick the Vespa in to action,

Climb that mountain,

And scream at the heavens.

 

I have always been at my

Most lonely

When in a crowd,

And Crete was crowded,

That's for sure. 

So come first daylight,

Often the only time I'd see the sun,

I'd stand at the highest point on the road

To Ano Limnion,

And look north over the Mediterranean Sea,

Feeling the pain,

Of the rising sun in my eyes,

And the pain behind my eyes,

And I would howl

Long and loud,

Disturbing no one but 

Goats, and their goatherds. 

 

The heavens never answered. 

Olympus was empty,

Apparently being redeveloped 

As a water park for tourists.

I'd free wheel the Vespa back down the mountain, 

Back to the old village.

Nine a.m., and old women sat

On their doorsteps.

"Kalimera, Kristos"

They'd shout. 

 

Fifteen years ago. 

Only thing that's changed really is

I don't have a mountain.

Or a Vespa.

And 

I'm fifteen years older.