Athina breathes. Loves. Writes.

Born in Patras in 1986
Finished her Bachelor Degree in Greek Philology in 2009 (University of Patras), followed by a Master Degree in Language Studies in 2010 (Lancaster University, U.K.)
Left her Ph.D. Degree after 5 years of study (University of Athens), for all the reasons of the world, grateful for the broad knowledge she gained throughout the process.
Has worked in the private sector as a copywriter, editor, and proofreader for 4 years (Athens, 2011-2015).



I was certain, certain that at the time you pretended not to see her, but if you remember, she was there, just around the corner, unchaining her bike, the same way she would let her hair loose if they were tangled -which they where, because of the wind that had been trying to stir the bags in the alleyways. Bags that for one moment did fit your fury for anything, dressed your fury as a need, like an alabaster anima, that when you get close to, it is getting horrid.

And, as you were busy making coffee every day, counting the spoons of sugar that suddenly turned into stevia, opening the window, turning the radio on, not forgetting the keys and dreaming how it would be if, today, your alabaster anima stumbled on you accidentally on your way to work or unemployment, as you were looking at the stuck chewing gum on the road that some others had spit before you, you can remember the moment when a smell made you look ahead and you found yourself helping an old lady who got lost in the big city, and old lady with a somewhat retro bag and a big vintage hat.

And while it seemed ridiculous to tell even to a friend that the lady with the wrinkles, the pretentious lipstick and the odd hat, reminded you of your mother when she still lived and pestered you to find a good girl, Emily, yes, Emily would understand and go straight away the next day to buy a sunhat and dye her lips red, just to tell you the easiest thing in the world: how a mom never dies, one way or another and in any case whatsoever.

And at work, the one you know so well, with the piles of books and pixels flickering your virtual reality – as if they know it and are afraid to stabilize their luminescence in your eyes, as if they are afraid of lying to you – that bread crumb which always messes you and pisses you off, she knows of it, I can say she even feels it in her own sleeve and starts shaking and everybody is looking at her and saying , «What a wriggler!» But she does not care, she wants to toss the bread crump that bothers you and nothing else, although she could do completely the opposite, saying, charming everyone with a shaped dress and a smile that kills all the fungi of misery, choosing to descend from a stairway in all of her glory.

But that way she would be the same, she would be like everybody else, but, you know, everybody else can’t be Emily, just as Emily could not be everybody else, as neither Emily nor the others were created for that purpose. And the purpose of this is even known by the wind that carries away the bags, the last petal in a flower bed in the center, the hungrier cat on a dumpster, the most abused dog you can imagine, the dirtiest fiber of the blankets of homeless people that are lie there to remind you that everything in life is just one step away. One tiny step and nothing else.

Because she, after the scare, said to herself  «I am grateful» and joined her hands in front of her heart and raised her head to bathe in the sun, to cleanse once and for all, so you don’t find her somewhere stained when you come. And so now, she wears the confidence that makes her walk through all this, observing and being prepared to bring it to you, without you bearing any pain, and yet, without you mocking it all as something irrelevant, once you finally understand that you need it and demand it from life. Like the pieces of a former self which now costs you  to overlook and its oblivion hurts more than its remembrance.

And when that careless driver gave you the finger out of the blue, although it was his fault, while you were turning in the alley that leads to the side of the big shaft, she was looking in a shop window and she went short of her breath, as she glared at it. Little did she care about the heels and the new collection, her only concern being that your motorcycle is properly tilted so you could escape, so she would be sure that you would pass by again and see you, even though she was certain you were not so sure. She- returned home and put a song to play. You- sold the motorcycle and got a car.

And that part of Emily which was reflected in the shop window so to give you the right tilt, passed once and for all inside your gas tank, the one that you would refill only for a while, but it was not sold with it, it just got into your new car’s gear shift, so you would be able to caress it every time you shift, so that you won’t be like the rest, who have no one to touch and they are giving the middle finger at the traffic lights.

Because Emily was able to be everywhere for you, through you and she is ready to untie the gifts from her bosom, for the time when you will be able to remember and put the facts in order. Little does it matter whether it will be the time when the first train was dragged on the rails or whether it would be war and peace, the times of cholera, surrender or victory, whether you will be young or old or whether it will be the era of gold or kryptonite. It is of little significance, because both gold and kryptonite have come to Earth from space, where the lightchamber which you and Emily walk over is to be found.

And she is pretty confident that, probably, it will take you a long time to understand how the shop windows, the flower beds, the trains, the sun hats, the homeless people and the stuffed bags, the gold and the eras can be connected. And yes, the kryptonite will also trouble you.

But every time you will approach another alabaster anima whose beauty will be drained away, since it won’t be of gold or kryptonite, Emily, somewhere near, will be unchaining her bicycle chains to tell you, without further undo, the easiest thing in the world: That this is how all the shackles somehow come undone and that the most complete man in the world is not the safest, but the most loved.




Copyright © 2019 Athina Zografaki. «All rights reserved».

The image downloaded by Pixabay is the artwork of Engin-Akyurt! Thanks a lot!

English translation by Dimitris Gkioulos.

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