restricted access Letter of Mathios Paskalis
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L E T T E R OF MATHIOS PASKALIS The skyscrapers of New York will never know the coolness that comes down on Kifisia* but when I see the two cypresses above your familiar church with the paintings of the damned being tortured in fire and brimstone then I recall the two chimneys behind the cedars I used to like so much when I was abroad. All March rheumatism wracked your lovely loins and in summer you went to Aedipsos.* God! what a struggle it is for life to keep going, as though it were a swollen river passing through the eye of a needle. Heavy heat till nightfall, the stars discharging midges, I myself drinking bitter lemonades and still remaining thirsty; Moon and cinema, phantoms and the suffocating pestiferous marshes. Verina, life has ruined us, along with the Attic skies and the intellectuals clambering up their own heads and the landscapes reduced by drought and hunger to posing like young men selling their souls in order to wear a monocle 42 like young girls sucking a sunflower to make its head lilylike . The days pass slowly; my own days circulate among the clocks dragging the second hand in tow. Remember how we used to twist breathlessly through the alleys so as not to be gutted by the headlights of cars. The idea of the world abroad enveloped us and gathered us in like a net and we left with a sharp knife hidden within us and you said "Harmodios and Aristogeiton." Verina, lower your head so that I can see you, though even if I were to see you I'd want to look beyond. What's a man's value? What does he want and how will he justify his existence at the Second Coming? Ah, to find myself on a derelict ship lost in the Pacific Ocean alone with the sea and the wind alone and without a wireless or strength to fight the elements. Kokkinaras, 5 August 1928 43 ...