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Archive for April, 2009

Written on some napkins

A few days ago I was looking through a notebook and came upon two square napkins that I’d written on in a cafe back in November.

10/11/08
Sitting in Σιναϊτικό, drinking a beer and eating a plate of mezedes. I had thought to bring a notebook with me or buy a paper to read. I hadn’t planned to come here: I had arranged to do a private lesson from 8.30 to 9.30, but it got moved to tomorrow.  So I sat and drank my beer, alone, with nothing to keep me occupied. I thought about things, and half-listened to the conversations around me.

A young boy across the room sat with his father and two of his father’s friends and talked with them. I was touched by how mature and intelligent he seemed. I thought about the child N. and I might have and I wondered about what it would look like. I imagined that its face and appearance was already determined, all we had to do was have it.

I imagined myself sitting here with my son, having a serious discussion, explaining why I’d waited till I was nearly 40 before I became a father. I’d explain to him the decisions I’d made in life, and where having him had fit in.

I looked out the door a lot, at the orange tree outside the entrance, at the benjamins further down, and listened to the hundreds of birds chirping in the trees in the square across the street, a strange sound at night, and I looked at the way the light from the street lamps fell on the flagstones on the pavement, and I felt happy: I had made all the right decisions in life; this was one of the moments all the other moments had led to.

And I looked at my watch: ten minutes had passed. I was sitting doing nothing, and time was passing slowly, without the help of boredom. All it needed was patience, and the strength that inactivity requires. But then I buckled, took my pen out of my pocket, grabbed a couple of napkins and wrote this down. And the time passed quickly.

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