days of naze
|it was just one of those things
An obnoxiously large
(101k .wav) audio greeting
from the Author.
|November 30, 1998
My Affair with a Greek woman
It's the kind of thing that catches you when your guard is down.
I happened to be in Nashville on business. The afternoon was free, so I called a friend to show me the sights. We ended up at a museum in Centennial Park. A tall thin man with a gentle Southern accent was engaged in a thoughtful conversation with a shorter, thicker fellow as they studied the black and white photos of folks from the outlying rural areas. Our hunch was rewarded when he confirmed that he was indeed the artist and that the other gentleman was his assistant.
Following a very pleasant chat on the challenges of getting candid shots of people one has never met before, I drifted towards the stairs and headed up while my friend considered a sizeable landscape in oil on canvas.
The concrete steps rose into darkness. I slowed but continued. Reaching the top, my stomach did a flip. A row of enormous stone columns fifty feet high towered over me, supporting the vast ceiling of the central chamber.
I stepped between the columns and there she was.
I pride myself on being somewhat unflappable and even-keeled. Well, in a single moment she capsized my boat.
She stood alone on the far side of the room. Her proud face up and her eyes focused into the middle distance. Sleeveless cotton floor length dress, thick soled sandals. Tall. I mean really tall. Not a conventional beauty, but feminine and strong.
I felt an immediate sense of recognition. In a daze, I crossed the empty chamber to get closer to her, see her better. Frankly, I didn't think she had noticed me although it would have been impossible not to have.
It wasn't exactly a conversation. I could tell she knew I didn't want anything from her, I just wanted to be close. And she spoke to me, quietly.
She'd been living in Nashville for about five years. How she ended up here, she wouldn't say, but you could tell she misses Greece.
With a measured tone of one accustomed to helping extract her friends from unhealthy situations, she talked about this guy she had spent a lot of time with trying to get his life back on track, which ultimately meant he got back with his wife. She smiled. I think everything worked out. I couldn't tell how she was involved with this guy; it didn't sound romantic, but I'm not completely sure.
We talked about stupid things we had done and she was completely embarrassed to admit that she entered a beauty contest once. It was a disaster and a bunch of people she knew got into a huge fight over it.
We snickered and then sat for a few minutes in silence.
She remembers nothing of her childhood. Her parents were strong-willed, creative, and selfish. They fought incessantly. Growing up in a large extended family, things were very competitive. One time she got into this contest with her uncle and won. Said she's not much of a gardener, but created some variety of tree that's very popular in the Mediterranean.
She'll go back some day, but it won't be the same. There was a bad accident that pretty much destroyed the house she grew up in. She didn't want to talk about it.
Her place in Nashville was remodeled a few years back. Big brass doors on rollers. High ceilings. A little gold leaf. Spartan aesthetic. Her eyes shone as she described it.
I can't quite put my finger on it, there was a sadness but also a little bemusement at how things had turned out for her. Proud, compassionate, strong. She belonged to another time, another place. And yet here she was.
We parted in silence.
I wonder if she is lonely. If she is loved and appreciated by those who live closer to her. I don't get to Music City very often, but when I do, I count the hours till I'll see her again.
p.s. Some of her friends are putting together a site for her, but they're not quite done yet...
p.p.s. The new days notification list: alert or warning?
p.p.p.s. Bonjour France, Israel and South America.
|previously on days of naze:
what have you done for
|May you never be more active
when you are doing nothing.
|in the feedbag:
game: In the iron grip of X-Wing vs TIE Fighter Flight School. One more injustice in an unjust world: the training exercises are a cakewalk with no risk and big point scores. In the combat simulations you protect a convoy of ships from squadrons of TIE Fighters and Imperial starships, you are ground into shrapnel and receive a reprimand (negative points) 9 out of 10 times. What's the deal?
book: Nicholas & Alexandra by Robert Massie; March 1917 - Revolution. My assessment of responsibility for the collapse of the Imperial government: Empress Alexandra 35%, her slavish insistence on pushing Rasputin's absurd advice on ministerial appointments took a dicey situation for the people and made it intolerable; Tsar Nicholas II 25%, a good father and a truly gentle man, and his great big flaw was loving his wife too much -- he submitted to her incessant parroting of the Mad Monk's line and ignored good advice to the very end that would certainly have saved his country and family from the savagery that was to come; Rasputin 20%, his abuse of Alexandra's blind faith in him is unforgivable, especially in light of the fact that the result was the opposite of the end that he desired; Fate/Historical Forces 20%, how the people of Russia know suffering... World War I, terrible infrastructure, and a centuries old veneration of, and reliance on, autocracy.
|We few, we happy few...|