“Whoever Disrespects Me, Shall From That Moment … Feel My Wrath.”
(Anonymous Athenian Taxi Driver, 21th Century)
By now I had realized that the Anonymous Athenian Taxi Driver—cause I had noticed something peculiar about the way he rolled his eyes, upward toward the sky—that the oracle had spoken through him. And so, it is my duty to drop that message, once again, into these pages, for all to see. (For what is the point of oracles, if we do not share them with the rest of the world?)
But first, before I go on to tell you what my eyes recorded on the night of May 6, 2010, the address of the King, I must hastily include a small paragraph here, which I have neglected to do so far. And as I attempt to follow the customs of the world, I will now place it below, somewhat belatedly, I realize. But at least I managed—and succeeded—by doing so, to abide by the conventions of humans!
As I seldom know where the beginning begins or where it ends, I usually start somewhere in the middle. That way, I can be assured that at some point I will either reach the beginning or the end. And so, I start somewhere around the very, very early middle stage of time— Or, rather, the latter stage of early life. This allows me to employ a number of lingistic tongues—for what reason, I know not. Nor do I know what that means.
The King of The EU … On His Bicycle
Athens On Fire – 11:00 Hours
I did not know when I wrote my letter to The Professors on Sunday that by Wednesday actual blood were spill into the streets of Athens. It was a figurative conceit of mine, plucked from The Kingdom of Words.
I washed my eyes with saline solution, for by then, the fumes of combat had reached the Kingdom and dulled them. Then, I stirred cubes of ice in a bowl of water with fingers, and rubbed them on my face until it stiffened.
I splashed more perfume on my body than usual, to repel the enemy, peeled off my other mask, replaced with the mask of the warrior, for this is a special mask, when traveling among enemy and disaster and war zones, and brushed the dust from my boots for combat. I pulled at the roots of my hair until they became thickened, and my tresses grew ugly and fierce. I pinned my shield to my chest, threw my spear over my shoulder, strapped it there, leathered my arms for battle—sprinkling them first with gold dust—and plugged my boots into my ankles.
And left the Kingdom.
Headed for the nearest ship to Athens.
But my eyes watered—which is good—despite having washed them, and the dark lines I had painted around them fell and deepened, and therefore appeared more ominous, darker than usual. I was a fearsome sight.
Missteps and Stumbles
I stumbled onto the wrong bus and was forced to step down exactly where the Archaeological Museum of Athens sat, and from there looked along the horizon for the right bus. As my eyes fanned the landscape from the fumes of yesterday, I saw standing there, a woman whom I knew, but whose function I had never known until that moment. She would be my guide into the war zone. I had been protected! I thanked my patron, still unclear about her intentions for me, but followed where she led me nonetheless.
We entered the war zone on foot, our first stop being the sight where 3 persons in their 3rd decade laid dead before our eyes. I had packed a candle to set on their altar—but I don’t know what happened, or why—but I was unable to bring myself to do so. Instead I sat on the perimeter and watched others do so, under the watchful eye of the police. The building, I was told, was old and made of wood, and therefore fire spread rapidly there, and those who had perished never faced the opportunity to escape from their fate. They were doomed. But they had not known that when they had awoken that morning. Surely they had another day of life left in them, they had thought.
But they did not.
After this somber visit, enshrined by the cameras of television, and the silence that flourished there, my guide and I continued on our journey, deeper into the war zone, but not before we stopped and nibbled at morsels, for by then, I was hungry again. Hungry for Homer.
We picked at the tiny fish that swam on our plates, and drenched our irritation at what we had seen thus far with lemon (I consumed mine greedily) —
And I drank my favorite beverage, while my guide imbibed iced water she had carried from the stream on her mountain, nothing else. We sat and reminisced about Past and the Present she had given us, and outlined our duties to her. Things were critical, we concluded. And we left our shucks simmering on the plate, and the fish still swimming, and hastened to the chasm of the war zone.
Along the way, we admired the remote and quaint corners of Athens, her shops of sweets, and good shoes, her books and fine paper, before reaching the Epicenter of the zone…
The Circle Within The Square
16:00 Hours— OMONIA.
There we watched cars drive around her circle, and people of all colors, crossing her corners, and heard the voice of the people clearly and evenly distributed through vast microphones. It was there that I began shooting my film. But why I had reached into my iris and pressed the record button was still an unknown factor to me. I just pressed and pressed until I had squeezed the events of that late afternoon and evening into a 90-minute movie.
The circle was clean and people went about their business. Buses bussed people to their destinations, gold was sold and bought there, and so were telephones. The voice—that of a woman—resonated throughout the air, and invited all men and all women to join the Battle of the Country, who was, at that very moment, fighting for her life, nay, wounded and bleeding, but still standing, her head erect and determined.
She would not be conquered!
We surveyed the scene carefully and moved on.
At this point our footsteps quickened—no more loitering in the corners of Beauty—and grew stubborn.
Unlike the Epicenter, Syntagma saw an even but slow migration of people entering Constitution Square, and where they stood before the closed doors of Parliament, and in civil disobedience—a lesson that surely needs to find its way into the books of history—demanded that the voice of the people be heard. Crouched behind locked doors and heavily guarded, those elected to serve the ideals of the people, sat gambling the fate of their country.
One can only guess what they were thinking—because the windows were open, and an aroma wafted through the air, and mingled with that of the streets. Surely they had heard the people gathered outside. Surely, they had. But did they listen? Or had they buried their hands in their pockets, too busy to listen?
Woman With Megaphone
(NOTE: I have grown hungry again! Must go to my favorite neighborhood restaurant and eat someone. And when my stomach is full, I will return to this spot, and give a loud belch, and spew them from my mouth.)