Sauntering in Thessaly

 

It was an early-winter night. The moon gleamed royally from the lonely distance. A frigid wind swept its way through the terrain, penetrating through fabrics and stabbing at exposed flesh.

I pocketed my remaining Marlboro Golds and went for a stroll. I did a good job of layering up, so I wasn’t too riled up by the chill. The streets were quiet, dark and near enough barren. I kept ambling with no particular destination in mind. I just simply walked. 3o minutes or so must have passed before I stopped to assess my location. I was in some unfamiliar section of Larissa.

Since a child, I’ve never really had a problem with being lost and alone, nor felt the slightest anxiety when l found myself in some new, unknown place. I’ve always figured it was because my grandmother used to always say to me as a kid:
You see, the best thing about losing something or being lost, is that you find things or places you would have otherwise probably not come across. At times, it’s a beautiful thing to be completely and utterly lost.’
To an extent, of course.

I placed a Marlboro between my frosted lips and rummaged through my pockets for a lighter before realising I’d not brought one. ‘Dammit’, I uttered beneath my breath. I surveyed the area for an off license, but I was short of luck. Hardly anyone was around. In fact, the only person I spotted at that moment in time was a petite lady on the other side of the street, solitary and stationed by a streetlamp.

She just stood there, clasping herself together beneath the weight of the cold. Her positioning in contrast to where the streetlamp was meant that, from where I stood, most of her form was silhouetted. She seemed to be waiting for a taxi or something of the sort. I began to make my way towards her, and she looked up in my direction. I paused a few steps in front of her.

“I don’t mean to trouble you,” I began. “but you wouldn’t happen to have a lighter I could use, would you?”

She looked up at me with those big, sumptuous eyes. Distinctly and remarkably olive-green. Even beneath the inadequate lighting, they still glimmered.

“I’m afraid I don’t.” she said a few notches above a whisper.

My ears picked up on her response, but my mind was swept into an entirely different region of thought for a moment. We both stood there in silence for who knows how long. I remember being wholly beguiled by her beauty as my eyes soaked in more of her.

Dark patches circled her eyes which enhanced their emerald sheen. For a moment I thought about thick, sombre clouds, coiling themselves around a brilliant full moon. Then, pine-green auricula flowers came to mind – on an easy summer afternoon, all leisurely encamping beneath the pleasant shade of a tall tree.

Her jet black hair, which appeared to be wet, was tied up in a simple bun. Her small hand brushed a few fallen strands behind her left ear. Her pale, beautifully chiselled face sat at the peak of a more-than-decent form. She wore loose mom-jeans, a large khaki pullover, and white Reebok Classics.

“That’s no problem.” I eventually responded.

Whatever the reason may be, to me, this lady exuded a peculiar facet of grace, an organic allure I’d never come across before. As I made my way back home, my mind gripped tenaciously onto recollections of her face. I had to express the sensation they immediately gave me. I had to bring to tangible life what her eyes stirred up in me – to convey onto a canvas what I’d experienced on that idle stroll. But I couldn’t find the right words.

So I painted. I painted a young boy wandering alone through an expansive forest, and captioned it, ‘At times, it’s a beautiful thing to be completely and utterly lost’.

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