ATHENS ON FIRE, TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2010
The Sirens of Justice howled in the streets, not long after I had awakened.
And the Docile Dogs of Athens barked until they were hoarse.
Something was going down.
I could feel it.
My eye watered.
(Yesterday, heard the Barista say he would be nowhere near central Athens on Wednesday.
“No way,” he said. “Will I be there.”)
The water I bathed in that morning had been washed with volcanic fire. I sat in tub and watched it bubble to the surface from below.
My eyes began to wrinkle.
I rimmed them with sheets of gold until they blistered. Then drew black lines around them.
I added braids of purple to my scalp, put on a mean shade of skin, stained my lips with blood, and donned my ruffled skirt, to camouflage the armor I wore beneath.
I slapped a black t-shirt on my chest, with the word SNOG smeared across it.
My left eye watered some more, and fumes slipped from its tongue.
I rubbed frankincense and myrrh into my wounded shoulder.
Swallowed the coffee grounds of yesterday.
Rolled up my left sleeve, and bared the symbol of Peace etched there.
Plugged my battery into the floor, anchored a pair of wings to my bones, blasted The Temptations song, “GET READY,” into my left ear, leaving the right one open to other channels, and bolted from the rear door of The Kingdom.
Tears would continue to roll from my cheek, and would do so for the remainder of the day, except for 3 spots of shade along my path, where they withered, and calmed my nervous eye.
THE NUMBER 11 TROLLEY
My first spot of shade was there, while I waited for my bus.
Crones inhaled thick plumes of smoke and buried them in their lungs.
Fire engines roared down Patission…
Athens was on fire.
Titans rose from the Belly of the Earth – arms tattooed – and ominous in appearance, with symbols of revolution stamped on their faces.
They stood on the corners of major intersections, with their gargantuan arms crossed defiantly, and watched Athens burn.
Traffic slowed when we reached the Gates of Hades.
Signs, letters, and photographs tacked to its charred walls, bid the travelers well, now well on their journey, to the other side.
OMONIA, however, was quiet at this hour. Only the aroma of fresh coffee poured into the trolley from the corner store.
Athens had begun to spin.
Some covered their eyes.
Others stared at the sun.
“EVERYONE TO THE STREETS”
The signs said.
I dipped into the city below to cool and freshen myself, and re-emerged when I had reached Constitution Square.
SYNTAGMA – 14:30 Hours
I was hungry by then.
So… I strolled into my favorite restaurant, Politi.co, and ate a plate of potatoes there.
The owner was deep, elsewhere, in the Regions of Worry, I think, and did not see me that day.
A feather landed on my pen.
I tried to shake it from there.
But it would not budge.
Men in suits and dark glasses hovered on the streets around me. Some sat and ate at the table behind me, but I could not understand the chatter.
I left for my perch, and there, I asked the Barista what was on the menu for the day.
“Demonstrations, today?” I said.
“Don’t know,” she said.
(I pressed her.)
“Tomorrow,” said the head Barista. “Wednesday.”
But I thought today was Wednesday!
“Barista, another Doppio, please. And a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. And a bottle of water.”
(No matter, I thought.
I will sit and wait.)