He imagines rolling ink across the bed sheets and walls in a frenzy of adolescent sabotage. He smears ink over his feet and watches as it dries. Eudoxia walks by with a watering can to feed her pots of oregano and geranium. She glances at his stained hands and begins a familiar monologue in her limited but supremely confident English. “Wash hands in sea. Good. Hot day. You think I care? Express service. No cleaning fees. Woman taxi driver, Theophilia, phone her, only best. Athens trash not live here all year, Antonis the worst. They think they big up but Athens now is dung heap of urine. We here good life on the islands still. Last year bad. This year very bad. You want something I no have is best. Cat eat dog. Rinsing tap, feet only. Aphrodisiakos is Greek word. Nice fingers Mister Paxton. Yoghurt new fake powder milk and gelatine, good for you, cheap. What can I do? No mess.” He could listen to her all day, savouring her word play as rich metaphor, but today there is an urgency, although he remains curious about her final comment. Was this a premonition or an inverted challenge to embrace the edges of chaos? She moves on quickly towards the lower terrace, allowing her deliberate over-watering to pool onto the tiled floor, failing to notice the coloration on the inside of his door.
The ink is rogue, quickly occupying gaps and crevices while also smearing the embossed ridges. This becomes a clear enhancement to a kitsch surface and he starts to contemplate it, but in this heat he has to move quickly or it will dry before the paper is applied to what has now become a mould or relief block, to make the print or the imprint as he calls it. He is excited and agitated in what are the early days with these experiments, this will be his first textured window. He’s only recently arrived from the camp on the other side of the island, with its coloured concrete floor circles, where he tried to manifest a memory of his charismatic friend by spending several hours pushing and thumping paper and ink against the hard ground where Matthias ran his yoga classes under the pine trees and their needles, swept daily with an ancient broom. Here he senses that the manufacturer of this tarnished door imagined a higher purpose for its revolutionary imitation glass, and that he is now acknowledging this with a purposeful tenderness. Take a piece off of it. Trace it. Make an impression. Silent rotation. Morsels expressed as faint memories. Cover it with thin curtain and hide, lifting when the fan hits. Not the action but the intent. Touch the oregano on your w-way out.
Skyros Island September 2017