Ikaria-like People

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"No man is an island” the poet said once. Which means, no one can be whole by himself, detached, independent, self-sufficient. But, not all islands are the same, or, to be more accurate, not all islands mean the same to everyone. As do people, for that matter.

In any case, there are some people, that you come across at some point in your life – you might have started off together, or met later on, it doesn’t really make any difference- and in that one moment, over a glass of wine, or through an innuendo, whole worlds open up. They may be small to fit just the both of you, or huge, immense to embrace the universe. And it’s like you’ve known them your whole life, always, you just had not been properly introduced. You might lose them for days, months even. Whole seasons go by without a word because – who knows? - that’s how life works sometimes, putting obstacles along the way. You might get angry at them sometimes, for not being there enough, for you not being there enough, but, listen, the distances are so long, and time so short, the days full of a thousand tiny little things that you try to make just enough space to fit everything, and, inevitably, every now and then, things slip through the cracks.

And then, you meet again. Always. Over and over, with a regular recurrence, like your meetings have their own routines, like you recognize the ineffable limits, the ones you are not allowed to cross, because, you know, you do have so much love and patience, but these also need to be nourished somehow. Not just for you, even; for the other one as well. The phone rings; you get startled because “you are never going to believe this, I was just thinking of you!”; you buy the first ticket out and there you are, together, again. Crouching on the floor, picking up the conversations from where you’d left them, your hands tracing wild trajectories in the air, laughing over ancient jokes.

They’re these “Island-like People”, “Ikaria-like People”, that are always there, even if they are not. You carry them in your pocket, where ever you are, you stroke them with your fingers, like a coin. That, every time you visit them you feel like they have set the same tablecloth on the table, set the chair in the same off-centered position under the window; the same cat (or maybe her offspring) is always strolling the back yard, and the same old, salt eaten geranium sits in the flower pot. The same note hangs on the wall, the first thing you see when you come in: “Welcome”! The Ikaria-like People are few, but they are our homecoming. And that should be enough.

Roxana Theodorou

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