Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time…
Girl on 40 bus to Dulwich is listening to Green day and goes back in time, back to 1997 and her first break up. She would listen to the lyrics and hide her face under her pillows on a cold winter’s morning and cry and cry and cry. They say you never forget your first love and we never forgot each other. We still text each other on birthdays, whenever I am visiting Athens, whenever I smile to my memories. Like this song. Do you ever just smell an old perfume, or hear an old song, or pass an old hangout spot and kinda break inside for a couple minutes? He had the saddest yet most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen. He would sit next to me on huge concrete benches at the backyard of our school and tease me for moving my feet back and forth like a child, calling me “koutsiko” which in greek implies you’re tiny and cute, as he was extremely tall and I was just a short neurotic teenager. “Koutsiko” it implies protection and care. That boy was the first one who dropped me in this enormous, deep blue sea of what constitutes falling-in-love. And it was like being reborn. It always is. Falling in love is a delightful euphemism for falling in this mentally and emotionally addictive state where you discover that version of yours that you never even thought it existed before. You are becoming. Out of “we” you see the “one”, but in fact, you meet “yourself”, before you really know the other person.
So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos and memories and dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth it was worth all the while
I still remember the night we met after many years of not talking to each other in order to hurt each other and feel less hurt inside. I remember him saying what it meant to be in love with me, how he felt when I kissed him and left him alone at our usual spot at the backyard, telling me about the girl he fucked just because he would not have me and how empty it felt having to smell her hair while kissing her, she did not smell like me, she did not feel like me. That’s the thing about people falling in love. Once the chosen significant other is gone, no one can put their face on and replace them. At least for a – long – while.
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.
As I stepped out of the bus, still listening to this song, I came to realise, I loved my ex-s. I surely did. Each one of them gave birth to a new part of me. As if my body is missing many small, tiny parts, yet each one is getting filled in once I get over the fact that we were over.
I am thankful to everyone who has deceived me, loved me, made me laugh, made me tear myself apart between geographies and conscience, between reason and fantasy. Thankful to boys who stepped on my heart and ex lovers who made my exorcism of them persist in a whirlwind of records, books, movies and sharp lines. I am thankful to friends who held my hand, and to friends who broke my back; men who saw the worst in me and strangers who saw the best in me without speaking. You’ve been my inspiration and everything you did, knowingly or unknowingly, requited or unrequited, has been ingrained into my writing. You are my special credits. Thank you.
I will never forget listening to music with Konstantinos and dreaming about life when life had just began for us. Vassilis for writing love letters to me and tossing them under my flat’s door. Petros for motivating me to get a real job while studying at 21, it made me the professional I am today. Konstantinos for making me embrace my body and explore my sensuality. Nikos for his beautiful hands, our long talks and for walking with me behind the glass gate at the airport after our first date in Paris.
I have come into terms with the past, and the healing is still forming new skin on my flesh. I am filling the missing parts and still believe in love, for love you cannot control nor ignore. You can pretend you love someone but you cannot pretend you don’t. It comes from within and spreads itself around us, creating these invisible bonds. I was never one of those who exactly hated someone after a separation, ex-s, friends, whoever, how can I hate someone who I made memories with, who I made myself with?
At the end of the day, we are all still little spoilt kids dressed in adults’ bodies suits seeking for endless love. But as we get older, and our skin defines our age, deep inside we learn how to deal with ourselves. We realise that we are taught how to love others but not how to love ourselves. We are all self taught in loving our little inner child and this makes us unique and irreplaceable!