“I want to be Loved by You”
Sept 10 2002
Well, today is Tuesday morning and we catch our boar back to Athens in the late afternoon. I feel great this morning, as opposed to the all-day hangover I experienced yesterday! But the ocean is mumbling, with soft waves pushing up against the reef. The Sunset Internet Cafe (where I am), is only about 30 ft. from the water but this is where I’ve noticed most of the topless sunbathing. The women come to the exact same spot everyday so they must come early and stay late because they never seem to leave. Where we are is called SKALA, on this island called AGISTRI. Yesterday, Rusty and Daddyo took a boat over to the bigger island, Algina, while I hopped a motorbike and explored more of the island. If you ride all the way around, about 75% around, really, you get to MARIZA, which is a beautiful big-rock swimming area with reef and mountains. But my favorite beach was DRAGONERA, which is nearly halfway from Skala to Mariza, about 3 Kilometers away. You have to negotiate a steep downhill to get to it but it is most certainly worth it. But yesterday was the day to myself and I did it with the worst hangover. So I should say what happened the night before, huh?
Well, the main bar we have been going to, ALTEREGO, which is owned by YANNA and run by her and her 2 daughters, VASSO (nickname: Shrimp) and KAITH (nickname: Katy or Goth Girl), was happening and, from my memory, I was drinking there at the bar and eating some food. I believe I had a large piece of roast beef with rice and Greek salad. We were all drinking and I was especially drinking with this English couple and the night just kept rowing away like a fishing boat on a mission and I lost count of the drinks. At this point, Katy said, ” why don’t you do some work. All you do is drink.” Now, you have to know Katy to understand her serious face-humor thing she does to everyone on a regular basis. You would never know she was 20 years old if no one told you. So I picked up a rag and started cleaning off the tables. It got fun so then I started taking beer orders and bringing out cocktails. Everyone was having a blast. By the time it was nearly 2am and there were still 10 or so customers and Yanna never closes until the last customer leaves. So finally, it’s 3am and the English woman suggest we go for a swim (by we, I mean her husband and me) but he is more interested in his drink-as he should be-but, being quite inebriated at this point and very close to out of my idiot, decided to give it a shot.
Although the Brit had a swim suite under her clothes, Kaith and I stripped to our unders and took in a nice swim on such a nice night. After drying off, the time had crawled to 4am and so I said good-bye and walked up the hill back to my hotel, which is about a 2 minute walk. The sky was so beautiful with stars and the quiet roar of the waves, I decided to sit on the steps and take it all in. And that’s where I fell asleep! I finally woke up at 6am and went inside and slept from 6am to 9am, when I was woken up by those guys getting ready to go to Algina. So, not being able to sleep and armed with a ferocious and unforgiving headache, I rode to Dragonera and went for a wonderful swim, wading in this wonder and funnily thinking to myself how nice it all was, even with a hangover!
Afterwards, I walked back to the ALTEREGO bar and Anna made me a deliciously fresh tuna sandwich. See, on the opposite side of the island, there are big tunas everywhere, so, if you want a sandwich, they simply pull some fresh tuna out and mix it with mayo and seasonings, toss on some salad and there you are; tuna salad. I washed it down with Coca Cola light (the word DIET does not translate in some European cities). Afterwards, Yanna said, ”Michalis, you need a nap. Go home and sleep for a few hours and when you return, you may have some Greek red wine.” So, that’s exactly what I did. I walked to the hotel and in the lobby I saw Anna, who no longer worked next door but now worked at our hotel. Anna asked how I was doing. I told her I didn’t feel so good. She remarked that she saw me on the side of the road and that I was very drunk. I thanked her for her suberb memory and said,”that’s wonderful. Now then, if you’ll please excuse me, my bed is calling my name.” and with that, I handed my room key to Leah, the hotel Manager, and excused myself to my quaters.
It took awhile but I finally got to sleep, giving up on killing mosquito’s, realizing the impossibility of the situation; I was out numbered and they weren’t hangover. But, while I was asleep I had a dream about Anna; we were drinking wine on the beach and she sang me a song that Marilyn Monroe made famous in a movie. Something that simple. But I slept for 4 hours and it did me good. I rose up and showered and dressed and was at the bar by 5pm. I left the key with Leah because those guys wouldn’t be back before 7pm.
So, now, after the nap, I am hungry again and feeling ready for that glass of wine. Katy suggests the Greek salad and Yanna suggests the Flava bean soup. I take them both up on it and they are winners; the meal is right on. While I was eating, ARGIRIS (nickname; A-BOD), went zooming by on his motorbike, waving. I waved back. He was one of the good guys and was born on this island. He knew every inch of it. I took my last 2 bites of the soup and washed them down with the cold Greek wine, a sort of ”rose”’. Around this time, the guys showed up.
We all walked back to the hotel about 8pm and I ran a hot bath, which was soothing to the body and soul. I stepped out afterwards and realized the water had come up from the draina and the entire floor was flooded. I dried off , dressed and went downstairs to look for a mop. I saw Leah reading a book and having a smoke. ”I have a problem. There’s water everywhere on the bathroom floor. I think it’s a problem with the drain. Can I get a mop?” She looked at me with this funny smile, as if she KNEW it was going to happen. ”I will get Anna to come up and fix the mess.” But I explained to her that I was capable of doing it but she would have none of it and so I went up stairs and lay on the bed and actually dozed off. Then the doorbell rang. It was Anna. I saw her earlier when she loaned me needle and thread so I could sew a button back on. I was too hangover to get the thread though the needle’s eye so she did it for me. Now she was fixing another mess. ”Where are your friends?” She was part Russian, part Greek and her accent reflected both. They were on the balcony, I told her, reading books. She started mopping and we spoke while she did. She told me she was going back to Athens soon and the hotel would be closing till next Easter, when tourism is back again. But each time she spoke, you couldn’t halp but notice the look in her Jade eyes. You got the feeling that somewhere, somehow, at some point, someone had broken her heart. And now I felt like a jerk for having her mop up when I should have insisted. I was tempted to tell her about the dream, but wisely did not.
Around 10pm, Daddyo, Rusty and I went back to ALTEREGO and ordered drinks and then those guys ordered food. Rusty had GRILLED Shark and I think Daddyo had the fried Calamari and they both shared a Greek salad with lots of olives on top. I just nursed my beer while we listen to really terrible techo the bar repeatedly blasts from morning to night. The one humorous part, though, was someone’s techo version of Supertramp’s Logical Song. Very funny, that. So, Rusty and Daddyo took off around 11:30 to go back to the hotel where they had a full bottle of wine waiting for them. I promised to be along shortly but wound up staying till 1:30am, drinking beers with the English couple, Yanna and katy… AGAIN.
I made it to bed by 1:45am, finally an early night, I thought to myself! I hit the hay and didn’t wake up till 9:30 am this morning. I walked to my window and said hello to the sea. The weather was perfect, although a bit warm. I walked downstairs and into the lobby for a glass of strawberry juice. Anna was there cleaning. She looked up when she saw me, smiling, and said,”we are closing the hotel today for the rest of the year so there is lots to do today.” I could tell she was happier now. She wanted to go home, back to Athens. Island fever had set in, I thought to myself, and she was maybe home sick. I wondered all these things about Anna, in my mind. She never knew I thought that much about things that were none of my business. She never knew about the dream. She didn’t notice me watching her mop, even though I was speaking to her I was looking at her like I was curious of who she was. Here I was downstairs drinking juice it was all on my mind. I decided to walk to the Internet cafe because I wanted to get out of the hotel. I thanked her for the juice, dropped some change on the table and started strolling toward the road. I hadn’t noticed but I was whistling a tune. Anna stopped me,” How do you know that song? And why are you whistling it?, she asked. I thought for a second; what song was it? So I asked her,”what songs is it? it’s familiar but I can’t remember the words.” By this time, she’d put the mop aside and was staring at me with a wide, gorgeous smile, one hand on her left hip and the other leaning on the bar. ”You don’t know that song?”, she asked, now laughing a bit. I told her I knew it but couldn’t remember it. She then sang it for me, or one line of it. “I want to be loved by you and no one else. I want to be loved by you, alone. Boo-Bah-Catchoo!” I nearly fainted. How did she know that? She looked at me with a big quizzical look. ”You don’t know Marilyn Monroe’s singing? She is my favorite! That’s how I noticed the song, silly!” She went back to the mop putting her back to me, turned halfway round and said,”It’s a good song, no?” I told her it was more than a good song. It was perfect.