2003 - Saloni M swims East
He recently had a short story published in Overland Ed 172.
also recently worked with Konstantino Tsetsonis in the first English translation
of Vasilis Zioga's absurd play The Comedy of the Fly (presented
at Fringe Festival 2003).
Memories, like directionless icebergs, float in my Vodka on this slimy Friday night. The waitress’ profile burns my skin - as she serves the blue suited digital boys. The counter lures her and she reveals a robust cleavage. She charters a cargo of traitors.
I dream of her breasts careering over my face and my index finger worming up her arse-hole when….suddenly… I am woken by my colleagues’ toast to sobriety.
I move out into the cold night and my hands crawl into my coat pockets like fetal marsupials. I board the tram berthed like a tug boat on Collins St and sit next to a drunk who is waxing the window with his saliva.
Like a slug under a blanket of drizzle, the tram turns into Gertrude Street. White washed shop windows hide foreign women feeding industrial sewing machines. Steam vaporizes around the ankles of sinewy young men whose thin heads are attached to Triple 555 cigarettes.
The tram stops, and I find myself on a sidewalk mosaic of trash and dog shit. In the Van Nguen grocery I ask for a packet of Camel, while reciting the verse on my father’s funeral card. A kid hangs his head over a Nintendo while his mother negotiates the cost of a live mud crab wrapped in string.
The kid fixes his game on me and beams me back to Vienna, back to the Bermuda Triangle for over priced drinks, sipped by beautiful young men and women with fascist young hearts. On New Year’s Eve we all danced the waltz, leaving black footsteps on cotton white streets. All I wanted was the girl with the ski thighs. She said, "You can see all the way to Budapest from St. Stephen’s…on a clear day", but all I saw were the crows circling the city.
Meanwhile, the boy is dragged away by his mother and I walk home to the tune of Macedonian folk songs from the alley. I enter and switch on the TV which bursts at the seams with forecasts of tax reforms, 1600 kg daisy cutters and models turned authors.
I sink into the couch and slip back to Istanbul. Back to the military marches on the 22" Grundig in that four-star hotel room. Generals pinned medals on Turkish chests and saluted the F-16s cutting the sky above. The lead sky hangs heavy over St Sofia but now devotional wailing resounds over the Bosporus.
I woke up in Athens fondling the belly of a spent Metaxa bottle. Outside a chorus of cars cluttered the poisonous night. I moved on to the balcony and canvassed the red veil over the city. Vespas made evil patterns on slithers of footpath. Achilles wiped his dick on an Albanian whore’s cheeks, and I took charge of the needle and lemon. I raised the needle and celebrated our history. Achilles said, half asleep and half awake, "We invaded Troy six times, we invaded Troy six times, but in end they beat us…they have better heroin." He continued, "Hecuba was right we had no reason to leave our shores…us Greeks…should have not left our shores."
Meanwhile, the Late News reveal North Koreans in dentist coats loitering around metallic boxes. Iraqi’s with moustaches, fire off hunting rifles. My fridge buzzes in the corner like a dying insect. My window faces the car park and I stare at them fucking on a mattress of cardboard. The BBC World Service helps me sleep.
We should have never burned our ships….
© Fotis Kapetopoulos 1993.