I headed out the door with my green Pittsburgh shirt hidden, zipped under my light grey coat. The previous day I was saved by a delivery man that told me the hat I was wearing was a target of death. The Metropolis seems so continuous that it never dawned on me that there sports would reflect the political divide of the cities. Don’t wear the Green Shamrock hat or they “will cut you and throw you in the ocean, savages, like the Taliban”. I was planning on playing tourist and seeing the ruins of Athens which I why I was wearing my green. Seeing the steps to the Βιβλιοθήκη του Αδριανού my feet went stomping. The ticket booth was hidden beside and under the steps but a bark was produced and 2 Euros were exchanged. Afterwards I walked around the perimeter and wondered why I paid money to see something that offers such a good view for free.
A Gambian man came up to me and tried to sell me a black, yellow, green and red bracelet. I instantly knew the type of person from my experience with French Quarter hustlers. But I had been thinking earlier how long it’s been since I wore any jewelry and how it would be nice to have some color. But my gut said, “No”. He grabbed my right hand and started putting it on, “No man, No man, Diz for our band, we playin’ tonight”. I didn’t pull my hand back and said, “how much?” “2 Euro”. I said ok and he started attaching it and while doing so said, “5 Euro”. I pulled my hand back and said No, he smiled, pulled back, finished tying and said, OK 2. He said “Hakuna Matata, you have a positive vibe my friend.”
I started hiking the perimeter of the ἀκρόπολις it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to pull out the 20 eros and pay to put my feet up to the monument. I was walking through the old corridors where the ancient homes practically sit on top of each other. It reminded me of Guanajuato, Guanajuato. I saw 4, 20 somethings sitting on a retaining wall. One of them said, “Peace and Love” and pointed to my bracelet. I saw he had a joint and I said, “smells good.” He replied, “want some”. Hell yah! We chatted while the joint passed around. The guy that stopped me spoke the least english and kept pointing to my “Drink up YinZ Bitches” Tee shirt, compleate with a shamaroock, and said, 3 Blood, 3 Blood! He grabbed a green team hankerchief from his friend and put his lighter up to set it on fire. 3 Blood, 3 Blood! We laughed, me in a perpetual state of mild confusion, later discovering that “blood” is the word for “leaf”.
They rolled another joint and my smile grew. I asked them what they do? They looked a little puzzled, for money I said. One of them was a fish chef and the other was a waiter there. I thought that was a bit coincidental considering my fish experience of the previous day. They asked if I was here alone. I told them I was sort of here alone. A few days before I left for Greece I deleted my facebook account. My friends and family were all worried. I started an OK Cupid account and had it active for only 3 hours before finding a very beautiful and interesting woman. We’ve been iMessaging during the evening Alfa beer sessions and have become very close. I’ve talked about my father’s and ex-wife’s abuse with her. She visited Greece a while ago and wants to come back. A new friend said, “You should bring her when you come back to Greece”. That sounded like a wonderful idea. I could tell there was some debate about me going on. One of them asked how old I was. I said that I was 42, and the kid that stopped me laughed. I think the others thought I was younger but he guessed my age exactly. He is 24. We’re backwards. I pointed to my thinning hair and said 42. He pointed to his receding hair and said, 24.
They started talking about skunk, which a strain and an olfactory component of many strains. They mentioned chocolate and I replied with lemon, diesel, dirt, pine, nut, orange, cheese, skunk etc.. they didn’t get what skunk was so I said, animal, black, white, mimiced a tail raising and spraying and then the stink afterwards. They understood, Edakzi. I told them about a cannabis farm I tried to start in Colorado and started getting nervous because we were smoking in a place that was right out in the open. That’s were the views are after all. Tourists would walk past every 8 minutes or so. They asked if I was paranoid because of the weed, and I told them that it wasn’t the weed, I’m a professional with the weed, it’s the law. One explained that if I started a fight with him and I won, I would go free and he would spend time in jail. I replied that I knew that but weed is different, that Colorado wouldn’t be the one coming to get me out of jail and the USA government wouldn’t look to highly on my activities in Athens. The fish chef pulled out a piece of hash and said, Moroccan Chocolate. Sweet Jesus. I explained how to make potent canabis oil with it. The psychoactive component needs decarboxylized, which is done by keeping it a temperature of 220 degrees fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Doing so removes a CO2 molecule and makes the drug absorbable. It felt strange giving stoners a science lesson at the base of the Parthalán.
Another joint was rolled, this time with some Chocolate! We laughed and smiled extra bigly and started talking about politics, how both our Nations are screwed up. I tried explaining using some major mime action how the USA doesn’t really have a left or a right. That the fake left is actually more the middle and the right is off the fucking chart. I think they were telling me that their parties are tied together by corruption. We agreed that both Obama and Clinton were no good. The reason I came to Athens was because I am witnessing the death of democracy, so I wanted to see were it was born. I mentioned that my family voted for Trump. They asked if they still like him and I replied that they’re not speaking against him. One of my new friends was trying to find a word…. he thought, thought and said, “Fascism”. I shouted YES! too much TV! I was about to burst into tears because we all knew the world might very well implode.
Subject change and time to move. I asked them where the best place to see the sunset is. They pointed to the Athens Agios Georgios church which I climbed the other day. He asked if I went into the church to use the telescope. I pulled a monocular out of my pocket like magic. I told them that I didn’t even bring a camera on the trip but wanted to remember this special place with my own eyes. We touched on music. There was some commonality in the Dead Can Dance, a band I saw live in Santa Fe and NYC. I tried to give them some coins for beers but they refused. They said it wouldn’t be fun if they took money. They said, “Take the money and give it to the beggers, make their day happy”. My eyes were glossed on so many levels, out came the Ray Bans. How lucky to meet the nicest people in Greece?
I started walking in the direction of Λυκαβηττός hill. There was extra time before the sunset so I did a golden spiral up the back side. A gorge surprised me running some of the crest’s length. I looked out with my monocular at the church I climbed to the previous day. Then I started looking at closer features. I discovered that the 3 blood stadium was right at the base. I still had too much time till sunset so I walked down to the stadium to get food. I entered a greek restaurant with a repeat of the final game from yesterday. I ordered too much food and watched the 3 bloods win, 1-0. It is really a fortunate I wasn’t wearing any green in Pireaus that day. I walked around the stadium and went into their gift shop. My one souvenir is an offical Παναθηναϊκός tee shirt. They are now my football team. Go!, however we say their name. LOL MUSE
I hiked the hill one last time, saw the sunset and tried to find the metro. I had to ask a couple to point me in the right direction. They looked at my map and started pointing and debating furiously. I asked if they lived here. They answered yes and kept trying to figure out were we were, which was right in the middle of everything. They kept looking and I started laughing. I said they were making me feel better because I can’t ever find my way around here. They replied laughing, it’s complicated. They looked at me, professionals near the capital in their 30s and asked, what do you think of Trump? I said, “He’s an Orange clown. How does a person vote for an orange clown. I think it’s STUPID & DANGEROUS.” They smiled and said yes. In a minute they finally figured out where we were and pointed me to the metro, just a few 100 yards away right past the Παναθηναϊκό Στάδιο. It was nice at night.
In unexplored levels of the metro I found displays of BC perfume vessels, irrigation artifacts, graves and a skeleton. After transferring to Πειραιάς Pireás I hid my green 3 blood bag and walked through the empty fish market, bought some strange desserts, and hiked back up the mile long pedestrian street to my hotel. I drifted off thinking how strange it was to miss the Παρθενών and not regret one second of it.