Life is a short, warm moment
And death is a long cold rest.
You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
Eighty years, with luck, or even less.
I set about disposing of all these clothes that had piled up in my closet which stood no chance of further use.
Under some useless trousers, I find a box with pictures of my youth. I pick one at random.
I try to understand who this Afro-haired sixteen years old boy is.
Sixteen years old: The most wonderful yet the most confused age.
A time of your life, when you shave your moustache again and again, hoping that one day you’ll wake up and be a pride owner of a fully-fledged beard.
A time of your life when nothing can bring you down, except your self-esteem which is reduced to zero when a bloody pimple makes its appearance in the dead-centre of your nose.
A time of your life when you think that having sex is just as legendary and masturbate with anything that’s handy – the only prerequisite is to depict a woman.
Yes, a Modigliani’s nude painting or a Brancusi’s sculpture could trigger an adolescent’s imagination and masturbate.
Parents are unbearable, the house is a prison and the town you live in is small and dull. All you want to do is leave everything behind, fly away, even if you don’t have a clue where you want to go. You don’t care where you go, all you want to do is just leave.
And I’ve got a strong urge to fly.
But I’ve got nowhere to fly to.
The school is boring with the exception of the classmates during summertime, especially the ones wearing thin T-shirts and you can see the shape of their bra.
A strap or a bit of lace could do the trick and you were in for wet dreams.
The bus stop which I got off to go to high-school was also the stop of a “mature” girl to attend her school. Mature in a manner of speaking…She should be no more than twenty years old.
She always wore T-Shirts which allowed me to see the lace of her back strap of her bra. I was following her mesmerized.
Ooooh, I need a dirty woman.
Ooooh, I need a dirty girl.
After all this time I have no memory of her face or the color of her hair, but this lace bra.
In the beginning of 90’s we grew up in a small town near Korinthos. There was no internet, in fact we didn’t have a clue what a computer was (a privileged few had Atari).
At that time, there was only one music show on the radio which we could listen to. Bon Jovi were at their highest.
The most hardcore guys who were into more obscure stuff had discovered Metallica, Sepultura and Slayer. We wanted to grow our hair too, but those who dared to do so had secured expulsion from school until they had their hair cut.
That was the way of a typical Greek province in the 90’s.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
During high-school my seatmate asked me if I had listened to Pink Floyd. I knew only “Another brick in the wall”. He gave me a book with the lyrics of all their songs right through “The Final Cut”, both in English and Greek.
At that time I was in search of a personal meaning, because what I learned in school or from my family was not in accord with me.
I had found in the library and read a synopsis of Marx’s ”Capital”. I didn’t understand a single word. I made a stab at “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. It was left undone.
I loved literature, but I wanted something more.
I read the book in one breath. Then I copied it in its entirety in a notebook. I could have photocopied it or I could –better still- have bought it. Instead I took the time to copy it word-for-word.
Once I was done with reading and copying, I asked Chris (who possessed everything Pink Floyd had released in vinyl) to write me a tape.
He introduced me to “The Wall”.
I listened to it hundreds of times. I put the tape in my walkman, I was sitting on my balcony for hours on end and I was literally losing myself. Once it was over, I would listen to it again and again and again, as many “again” adolescence can afford.
My father would find me there and was in a real flap. Why did I waste my time like this? What was wrong with me?
He couldn’t understand me. I was sixteen years old.
I didn’t want to understand him either. He was an old man, forty-something…
But I have grown older and
You have grown colder and
Nothing is very much fun any more.
Once I had absorbed “The Wall”, I set about to listen to all of their records. The psychedelic early years, when the loony Syd Barrett was a member of the band, right to the masterpieces: “Dark side of the moon”, “Wish you were here”, “Animals”.
For one year and a half I listened to nothing else but Pink Floyd.
Learning to play “Wish you were here” on the guitar was a good reason alone to take some lessons.
Until one day, when we had almost graduated from high-school, another classmate called me and told me to drop by to his house as fast as I could.
“You’ve got to listen to this” he said, “I captured it from the radio”.
He put the cassette inside the player and from the speakers I heard for the first time, with a fair amount of noise I might add, Curt Cobain shouting himself hoarse.
It was “Smells like teen spirit” which signified the end of adolescence and the beginning of youth.
We were not kids anymore.
Years dragged by, just like they do, unnoticed and mercilessly. You are twenty years old, then you take a look at your watch and you’ve reached forty.
We’ve heard a lot of music, beautiful music, old or modern. But very often, spontaneously, some lyrics from the troubadours of our adolescence resurface from the banks of time.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.