Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Lady in Athens
I loved him very much,
we met in school.
We spent warm afternoons at the Acropolis,
where love found us.
We graduated together,
he from engineering
I from architecture.
We got married.
He worked in a plant,
and I worked at home, as homemaker.
We had a cute, beautiful baby daughter
and a reasonably happy life,
A car, a house, summer holidays.
Then he changed --
high profile job, more money, more power,
pretty young women all around,
women with no career
good time, fun time, any time ladies.
He had an affair,
hurt, but I did not take it seriously,
until one day he said "divorce!"
He said, "we forgot that we were married!"
He said, "we were good friends, but not lovers!"
I hated him
I hated he would leave me
I asked our daughter should stay with me, he accepted
I asked him to send me to a tour in Europe, he accepted
I asked him to wait until I got my driving licence, he accepted
I wanted him to wait until I find a job, he accepted,
I went to Europe,
I got my driving license,
I got a job as an architect,
then one day he left.
He packed his luggage,
as if for a regular business trip -- late in the night
This time I did not stop him.
He had an accident that night,
I did not go to his funeral,
I cried but would not let anyone else to cry.
Now, after 17 years,
hard work was my therapy,
I learned how to live alone,
Dealing with clients, worse than husbands,
I still miss him.
Our daughter now has her own life,
I am alone in my house,
with a company office,
big orders, big projects, big success, big money.
I paint, sculpture, seek time consuming activities.
I am in therapy, hoping for some peace of mind,
after 17 years,
I still ask myself, what should I do?
Should I try to stop him?
Should I beg him not to leave me?
Here in the last row of the tour coach late at night,
on the way to Athens
with all my university friends,
they are with husbands,
husbands of all sorts,
drunk, sober, successful, incompetent, funny, serious, exhausted
never mind good or bad.
I am alone with no one to love or hug,
I have money to spend in Athens,
to buy almost everything, every silly item, in Kolonaki.
drink and sing all night, in Plaka.
But no courage to go to Acropolis.
I wish to be in this Plaka tavern,
drinking white Macedonian dry sek wine,
sing the same song in two different languages,
"good to talk to you."
"thank you that I look like Elizabeth Taylor in 1960s."
"thank you that you say I am still beautiful at my age."
We had no divorce,
still I keep our common surname,
never thought to change,
where are you my love?
why did you leave?
why didn't I stop you?
But it is too late --
someone to love,
someone to trust to talk to,
to sleep with,
to travel with,
I am ready and waiting
And, next time I will never let him go.
Athens, 2004, based on a true story.