I was sitting at the bar when a bunch of English tourists came barging in. The owner spoke of the Pullman(Greek for “fancy bus”) that was parked outside, near the sand by the beach. They were the tourists that the bar counted on for a large amount of their business. The bar was suggested to them in the travel brochure. And they had coupons for lots of free beer. There were about 50 of them. They all had beers. They were as young as 18 and as old as 50. They danced to whatever music Gianni, played.
Gianni’s son, Pavlo, about 15 or so, worked the bar. The English are a very jovial bunch. They must be the ideal, low-maintenance tourists entrepreneurs in the tourism business look for. Nothing fancy. Not too demanding. “Just give them their beer,” someone next to me said. “They’ll just leave till they find beer.” And Gianni had about 5 types of British beer.
A young lady named Mona put her 2 beers on the speaker and climbed on it herself to dance to a Bob Marley song. She was smoking her cigarette and gyrating slightly. Guys were buying me and the Greek guy beers. Total little-bar bedlam. At about 2 or so, the older Brits went to get their bags from the bus and check into their rooms. They needed their rest.
Gwen asked me if I was into Watersports. “You know, at the beach,” she said, making sure I knew what she meant. Even though I was too bad a swimmer to say yes, she still invited me to the yacht for lunch the next day. Or later that day rather. It was almost 4 when I went to sleep. I heard the church clock at 5 and fell asleep right after.
The yacht belonged to some old Greek guy from out of town. He just stood there and watched as everyone had fun. He flirted with the girls and had dozens of beers for the dozen or so of us on board. Gwen was a nurse in Manchester. She liked the Gothic feel of her city but needed a break once a year and loved this little-known part of southern Greece. Earlier, she had gone water-skiing and scuba diving.
“I’m too old for this, Gwen. ”
“I know. That’s why I let you sleep. You’re so straight. I like that. Like a professor reading some big useless book. But a cool and mysterious professor. ” She smiled and opened another beer. “Interview me like you did last night.” I took out my phone and she started a monologue about how great a day it was in beautiful Greece. She was wearing a string bikini and a hat with the English soccer team logo on it.
The yacht went nude. Even the old guy. There were yells from everyone as though they were partying and drinking. Oh yeah, they were.
We got off and I had a great afternoon with Gwen. It was great because we were in a position of freedom and lack of fear to discuss anything, even the most taboo of subjects. It was tiring and refreshing. I felt that good sort of tired you feel after a good swim. Gwen let me nap afterwards and woke me up, drinking her beer and smoking a cigarette.
It was partying at Gianni’s place again. Every day was more fun and tantalizing than the previous one.
“Professor, it’s been so fucking cool. But the 4 days here are up. And I’m sure you’re missing some rest and sanity. Call me whenever you want.” Her kiss, as usual, smelled of cigarettes and beer.
Off she went to her next destination. I wish I were 15 years younger.