“Jeffrey, where are you?”
“At my place, about to drive into town to pick up more books from my publisher.”
“Yes, they’re expecting me.”
“But I have a flat tire. Can’t you go later?”
“If you need me.”
Where are you?”
“By that little taverna on the road to Paradise, just off the Airport road.”
“The one we went to last year out by Kremmides’ farm?”
“Yes, that’s it. Come, I’m waiting.”
I must admit that something about the call gave me pause, because although the caller was my best friend, he had a sense of humor that followed his sense of life: Enjoy the moment, for it shall soon be past.
When I told my girlfriend our trip to town was off because of my friend’s flat tire, she just smiled and did not offer to join me on my mission of mercy. I took that to mean she was pleased to get back to her painting. Though on reflection she probably realized better than I that any call for “help” from my buddy around tsipouro time—ouzo without the anise, favored at around eleven in the morning by men who’ve been working hard since dawn—was suspect.
But off I went, in search of a flat tire.
I was greeted by chickens.
I parked under a fig tree.
I stared around for a flat tire.
But found only a gathering of Mykonian friends escaping from their island’s high season madness.
Bakers and tradesman.
In a throwback to old, non-glitzy places.
Filled with memories of other times.
And those who made them happen for so many.
Zorba would have loved it here.
I sure do.
As for the original misrepresentation that lured me to Karteri (the name of the place), all is forgiven for there I found inspiration for this post. But, good buddy, I suggest you re-read a certain ancient Greek’s fable about the guy who cried “flat tire” once too often—even if for a fun-for-all purpose. :)