• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 06
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Somewhere between Poll Nam Partan and Cape Sounion

I wrote a poem for him. “On Kitchen Life, Love, and other Shenanigans”. Before that, I'd written a story. It was about a woman, a lying ancestral storyteller. Moira was her name. And even before that we'd written to each other a lot. But all I ever wanted was to take him to Greece, to see the light, and to discover places where the food is simple. He read the poem, and the story, I can't complain. He even thanked me. But he never came to Greece, and now it's too late. I stopped sending poems, I have no more stories to tell.

But I went back to Greece on my own, and Greece has stories to tell. Greece doesn't need me anymore than he does. But Greece is still there. I don't know what that means, except that I can go back to it, whereas I can't go back to him. I do not always want to, go back, but the urge always returns. Sometimes it comes when nothing else seems to be there at all, and it is the only thing that's left, and it's strange, because I've never really known the place.

People take pictures of their food, I've noticed (I'm sure you have too). I've thought about it, taking pictures of food, but I take terrible pictures. I don't think I ever sent him pictures of food. Maybe I should have, maybe he would have come to Greece with me if I had. Or maybe it wouldn't have made any difference. I think no amount of pictures would have brought him any closer to the South. So I wrote a poem for him, with words like “vinegar” and “soap”, and “broth”. But it did not have “tomato” or “shell” or “crab” in it, and it did not help. Moira didn't help either. Although she did try to bring back Great Beauty for him from her travels in Scotland, in a small glass bottle. He thanked her. He was not very impressed.

What can you do? He says: “Au Nom de Dieu”. I say: “Νὴ τὸν Ἄγνωστον” (In the Name of the Unknown God). Can we ever bridge that gap? Should we? I wanted to. That was what I meant by wanting to take him to Greece. That's what I meant when I wrote him that poem. But maybe I gave it the wrong title, or maybe I didn't put the right words in it, maybe it was not the right food, or the right kitchenware. I don't know.

Losing him somewhere between Poll Nam Partan and Cape Sounion was difficult enough. The real drag would have been not to have a Greece to want to take him to. The sublime hilarity of all this is that, now, every time I go back to Greece I think of him, as he's not there, and I pray to him, my forever Unknown God.