Cryssarina's First Visit
Part 1 – Athena Did Not Move
With two rakish vaccine shots behind her, Cryssarina decided to take a trip, her first visit to blue-and-white Greece. She had recently learned from a Greek source, an unusual goddess-like woman, that her name may have had Greek roots, like a tree keen to find its kin amid uncaring humans and unrelenting concrete. Cryssarina? Greek? It sounded serious in her mind and her heart. She had no soul to speak of, since she regarded it as a synonym for mind and also disliked the term given its religious connotations. The only gods but especially goddesses she liked happened to be Greek as well, thanks again to this special Greek woman she fondly called Anthi, short for antithesis of everything unkind.
The masked flight was awful to be blunt and concise. Most people took off their masks to eat and consume the plane’s culinary delights. Cryssarina felt sick. How could anyone eat anything even with a mask off? she thought between her blue-and-white visions of yore. No food or bathroom for a few hours seemed more than sensible in midst of a pandemic. She was used to it given her intermittent fasting, although water would also be absent during this shorter-period flight compared to her daily sweet sixteen-hour fasting. She tried to sleep throughout the air disturbances both inside the plane among the other humans and outside among the chalky clouds floating effortlessly in the cerulean sky.
Greek customs were like an Athenian breeze upon showing them her fully vaccinated form. It became as important as a passport. Cryssarina took a taxi to her hotel, rested a bit to collect her excited thoughts, took a Greek shower, and strolled outside to get some fresh air and a taste of authentic Greek cuisine. A Greek shower? I can imagine some of you wondering. It only means a shower where instead of singing anything, one sings in Greek or thinks with every cleansing movement of a Greek god or goddess. Cryssarina was thinking of Goddess Athena. She was one of the reasons she had travelled to Greece. She also hoped to find Patrick roaming around one of her statues and bring him back with her to Canada.
As she was breathing into her being everything Greek, she was also thinking about Anthi probably reading something worthwhile or writing something poignant and unusual. At one point, while drinking some Greek bottled water, she felt at home. It was a strange feeling to have out of the blue and the white. All three of them — M, Patrick and her — did not have any Greek roots, that is unless like trees, their roots had been once connected or very related by proximity when they were born not far from the legendary Mediterranean. Maybe Athena will know, hoping she will come down from her stand for a heartfelt chat.
The Moon and the stars seemed to be Greek too in that enchanting evening. Cryssarina even looked at them from her balcony before resting for the night. What about M? some of you may have thought. M was probably writing with his other two narrators. He was actually glad to see her leaving for Greece to meet Athena and find Patrick. A part of him regretted their silly fight. But wait! I can almost feel at least one of you wondering that if Cryssarina is in Greece and M and the two remaining narrators are in Canada, who is telling this story? Who is the narrator? I cannot reveal myself in this story. I may, however, in another one, Zeus permitting, of course.
The Sun’s early rays caressed Cryssarina like a lover who had never left but remained invisible except to her heart, via her mind, of course. She asked the taxi driver to take her to the nicest statue of Athena but changed her mind on the way, requesting to be driven to the one least conspicuous instead, figuring that Patrick would probably be there, where Athena could be more easily touched. Patrick could be practical from time to time when given the right space. The driver seemed perplexed but drove her there first, knowing that she will ask him to drive her, after but a few minutes with the rather ordinary statue, to the first one he had envisioned in his mind. How rude of him! I thought. How could Cryssarina know what was on his mind?
She kissed Athena’s feet and asked for her help, but no apparent sign from her was there to be ascertained. Athena did not move. Cryssarina looked around the place and asked around if Patrick had been seen, describing him as a cat dressed in a Santa suit. I am kidding, of course. No one there at that time had seen anyone that looked like him. She kissed Athena’s feet again and returned to the taxi, the driver smiling to himself as he was getting another ride from the same passenger.
The nicest statue was not any better, even with Cryssarina’s many kisses and prayers. Please, Zeus! She implored at one restless point while looking towards the direction of Mount Olympus. Please, help me find Patrick! Only her heart moved but she did not give up. She came to Greece for at least two weeks, both days and nights. Perhaps she will converse with Goddess Athena on one blessed day and or find Patrick having a keto coffee with coconut milk not too far from her. Zeus only knows. Maybe Anthi could help.
Thanks are due, in part, to Anthi Psomiadou’s kindness and support! She seems to love these two words. I, of course, similarly to M, prefer other words that can be often found in many of his stories’ titles, lines and or sexy paragraphs.
Part 2 – Athena Moved Her Right Foot
Anthi Psomiadou has graciously agreed to be included as a fictional character in this unusual visit by Cryssarina to Greece where she hopes to speak to Goddess Athena and find Patrick who may still be alive somewhere wandering around her but possibly someplace else.
Ancient Greece was robbed by Rome, slowly but surely. But luckily, a lot of the architecture was left almost intact, including all the gods that Rome unabashedly copied and changed, including their names. Modern Greece in turn was robbed by the European Union (EU) that brought it to its knees with its inhuman financial edicts reminiscent of those perpetrated by Rome. The EU is almost like Rome, especially that most highways in Europe lead to Brussels, its administrative cor non grata (heart not welcome). Yanis Varoufakis (I love him), economist and former Greek Finance Minister, is a great source for this EU blunder. But this is not a story about the EU or Brussels. Rome, however, plays a certain underlying part.
Cryssarina woke up for a second day in Athens, the city always protected by Goddess Athena, even during World War II (enough with the Roman numerals); I mean, World War Two. But where were they, the Greek gods when the Romans took over? Briefly, the Greek peninsula lost most of its body to the so-called Roman Republic during the Battle of Corinth (146 BCE) when Macedonia was turned into another Roman province. Southern Greece, however, while also under Roman control, saw a few of its key city states (poleis) remain partly autonomous and thus avoid the crippling Roman taxes and rule.
The Greek gods had decided to remain on Mount Olympus, allowing the humans to continue with their deadly war games, often betting on winners and losers. Goddess Athena was probably the only one chagrined by what she witnessed. Is it any wonder that M fell in love with her? Is it any wonder that Patrick went to look for her as he mentioned in his note, even if he was doing it for M? Is it any wider wonder that she is still loved by most Athenians and the rest of Greece as well? I am sure that even Anthi loves her.
Cryssarina surely knew this about Goddess Athena but needed help from someone locally to find every public Athena statue and in the process perhaps Patrick. The hotel manager was nice enough to suggest a few places, but Cryssarina could not rely on one interested source or on a taxi driver who may take her for a ride. She left a message for Anthi on Medium, asking for her help. Anthi, the Greek goddess that she is in spirit at least, happily agreed to meet her later that day, which left Cryssarina ecstatic. She was going to meet one of her favourite writers on Medium, who was also keen on helping her find Patrick.
In the meantime, Cryssarina stopped at a few shops to buy presents for M and the two other narrators. She made sure that nothing she bought contained any tree meat, hypocritically known as wood. They were all of one mind by now as to all trees’ plight, swearing to never purchase anything made from them, not even paper. She returned to the hotel to rest a bit and freshen up before her meeting with Anthi. Her heart was pounding at one point from anticipation. She was also about to meet a fellow writer, though she had barely written anything compared to M or Patrick or even the other two narrators, let alone Anthi. She googled her name and was pleased to discover that Anthi meant “flowers” in Greek. She must be beautiful, she thought, as she closed her eyes and thought about all her favourite flowers and plants, and all the trees that were never kissed before being killed.
Someone from the lobby called her to announce Anthi’s arrival. Cryssarina felt elated, instructing the caller to ask her if she wanted to come up first. Anthi agreed and Cryssarina felt her cheeks redden. She was ready but felt that something was missing. Only her mind, it seemed, as it suddenly weighed like one of Athena’s statues. She opened the door before Anthi’s potential knock, unable to say a word except for Geia sas (Hello, in Greek). Anthi quickly sensed her agitation and hugged her. It did the trick for Cryssarina who proceeded to kiss Anthi on both cheeks, taking a bit longer with the second one, which happened to be on her right. Anthi was indeed beautiful like a flower, though Cryssarina could not choose which flower suited her best. They chatted for a little while on the balcony where Anthi pointed to her a few of the visible Athenian landmarks.
It was late afternoon, almost evening, that brief special period comparable to the time between two kisses. Anthi instructed a taxi driver to take them to the colossal Athena Statue, a marvellous portrayal of the goddess sitting atop a triangulated column, emulating her statue in the Parthenon back during the Golden Age. Cryssarina could not contain herself when they stood facing her. Created by the Greek sculptor, Vassos Falireas in 1952, it showed Goddess Athena prepared for battle with her shield, spear and helmet. At the base was a memorial to Commonwealth soldiers who fought in the country during World War Two. Cryssarina’s tears flowed helplessly in front of their goddess. Athena was everyone’s goddess, but most people did not even know her. Anthi knew it very well, as she held Cryssarina to comfort her. They looked around for Patrick, but he was nowhere to be found during the hour that they spent there.
Just before leaving, Cryssarina beseeched their goddess to help them, when almost imperceptibly, they could swear that Athena moved her right foot. They looked at each other, nodding their heads in agreement. Athena was there with them, listening. But could she help them? They kept looking at her, but it seemed that she had left for the night. Cryssarina then told Anthi that she will return tomorrow at first light to spend all day with their goddess. Anthi nodded her head in agreement again, and looking straight at Goddess Athena’s head, said the following words: Se agapó óso tin agapó (I love you as much as I love her). Cryssarina did not understand Anthi’s words but felt extremely loved.
Thinking about life and all its tribulations and happy endings, to be loved is, after all, everything that anyone could wish for. Surely to love as well. But it is never balanced. One always loves the other a bit more, even more than a bit. It is acceptable, I think, and I am sure that Anthi would agree, that to be loved is the greatest feeling there is whether by another human being or a statue of Goddess Athena. We have to love ourselves as well, but that is already a given. May Goddess Athena walk on Earth again and always! Perhaps she does already, unnoticeable and or invisible.
They both kissed the bottom of the pillar holding Goddess Athena, though they were sure that it was the goddess holding it. They walked hand in hand towards a taxi Anthi had summoned and did not notice the time that elapsed until reaching the hotel. They would have had a meal together, but they both felt satiated. Goddess Athena had already nourished them with her light. Anthi kissed Cryssarina both good night and see you tomorrow at first light.
Part 3 – Athena Is the Greatest
Anthi Psomiadou did graciously agree to be included as a fictional character in this unusual visit by Cryssarina to Greece where she hopes to speak to Goddess Athena and find Patrick who may still be alive.
Cryssarina could not even entertain the idea of sleeping during her second night in Greece. She was simply too excited following the two events of the past day and not sleepless at all. She had met Anthi and they both saw Goddess Athena move her right foot. How could she sleep after such unusual happenings? She was sure that Anthi was also having the same feeling of exhilaration. Goddess Athena was there with them. Goddess Athena was on Earth. Cryssarina felt like dancing and breaking plates, as she had seen in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She eventually calmed down and fell asleep, looking at the Moon and the stars through the opening she had left between the curtains, dreaming of Goddess Athena and apparently Patrick.
She was awakened by the rays of the Sun before her wake-up call. Only trees truly welcome the Sun after a night of Moon and stars. She was meeting Anthi at 6 a.m. for breakfast in the hotel. Cryssarina did not generally have breakfast given her intermittent fasting and keto diet, only eating her first meal of the day in early to late afternoon. But not having eaten the evening before, a breakfast was being demanded. She was ready in the lobby before 6 a.m., waiting for Anthi who arrived a few minutes later, as the clock showed 6:05. Cryssarina was the one who hugged Anthi this time, pointing with her head to the clock. Anthi did not understand at first what Cryssarina was alluding to. Five minutes is not considered being late. But then she remembered that five was Goddess Athena’s number. Did they get a second sign from her?
After breakfast during which they kept looking at each other with excitement in their eyes, they took a taxi to Athena’s statue. It was just after 7 a.m. when they arrived. They forgot to look at the time but I can tell you that it was exactly 7:05. A coincidence? Perhaps. Time will tell; I mean that I will tell. Methinks that I just did. There was no one there this early in the morning; no Patrick either when they looked around for him, but not before kissing again the bottom of the pillar on which Goddess Athena stood tall like Mount Olympus. They looked intently at the goddess but could not discern anything unusual. She did not move. Yet now was the best time. There was no one around and she had already moved her right foot in front of them. She could have moved her left. She must be right-footed, they reasoned while keeping their eyes on her statue.
They conversed about their lives as the hours passed. Cryssarina learned many things about beautiful Anthi but promised not to say anything to anyone, not even M. But Anthi did not know M as well as I did. He could be trusted with anything, even a woman’s panties. Cryssarina also talked about herself but seemed not to have much to tell. She was almost like a blank slate. Cryssarina could be a perfect prototype for a female AI. It may be the reason why M finally accepted to be with her. She looked artificial, yet she was human, all too human. Anthi hugged her at one point, as if to make sure that she was made from flesh and bones. But Cryssarina hugged her back and kissed her on both cheeks, again taking longer with the second one, which again was her right. Her heart was beating faster than normal and Anthi felt it but did not say anything. She knew that Cryssarina was worried. Will they ever find Patrick? Is he even alive?
When Goddess Athena had not shown any sign by the beginning of the afternoon, they decided to go not far for some lunch. Cryssarina had decided to forget about her intermittent fasting while in Greece, but her keto diet could be maintained to a certain degree. She loved Greek salads which in Greece were simply salads and she also liked souvlaki of the chicken and fish variety. White meat under blue skies and not far from the blue sea seemed like a peaceful symphony. A Greek tragedy would have involved lamb, a “baby” that never got the chance to jump and live for a decent while. Like M and Patrick, Cryssarina never ate lamb or veal, considering them “infants” and thus off her menu. Eating their parents seemed more humane, but it was not, of course. But life was made thus. Humans needed the proteins from other animals to be healthy, but only organic given all that was injected and fed to the poor usual variety of for-food creatures.
They spent the rest of the afternoon near the statue of Goddess Athena, the evening too, and then it happened. I am still thinking about the way in which to tell you this part of the story. Maybe I should just retell it exactly as it unfolded. Cryssarina kissed Athena’s pillar from time to time, displeased that she could not reach her. Goddess Athena was standing high overlooking the entire area and beyond. When almost no one else was nearby, Goddess Athena suddenly stepped down from her pillar and floated to the ground next to Anthi and Cryssarina. Yet when they looked at her statue, she was still there. Anthi and Cryssarina looked at each other but did not say a word. Goddess Athena approached them and said: O Pátrik eínai mazí mou (Patrick is with me). Cryssarina also understood what Goddess Athena had said, having heard it in her head. Will he return home with me? Cryssarina then asked. Eínai sto chéri tou (It is up to him), Goddess Athena replied. I love you, Cryssarina then said. Ki ego se agapo (I love you too), Anthi added. Xéro paidiá mou (I know, my children). Pígaine spíti kai epéstrepse ávrio tin ídia óra (Go home and return tomorrow at the same time). Óla tha apokalyfthoún (All will be revealed). Cryssarina asked Goddess Athena if she could kiss her hand but she disappeared before she finished her sentence.
Like the evening before, their taxi ride back to the hotel seemed to have elapsed like a dream. Again, Cryssarina and Anthi had no appetite for any earthly food. They had just been nourished by a goddess. Even words became uncalled for. It was as if they understood each other’s thoughts. They kissed again good night and see you tomorrow but at the late afternoon this time around. Athena is the greatest. What a goddess! Even I love her. Do you?
Part 4 – Athena Is in Love
Anthi Psomiadou has graciously agreed to become a fictional character in this unusual visit by Cryssarina to Greece where she hopes to speak to Goddess Athena as well as find Patrick who may be alive and still afraid of flying roaches that abound in both warm and hot climates.
It was only her third night in Greece; Athens, to be precise, and Cryssarina, with Anthi’s first-time’s-a-charm help, had already met Goddess Athena face to face and even was spoken to by her. It happened to both of them. Cryssarina could only imagine what Anthi must have felt seeing the most famous protector of Athens alive and well and speaking to them and to the point. Patrick was alive and with her. But what did she mean by Patrick was with her? wondered Cryssarina. Did he become her mortal husband instead of M? Did he fall in love with her when she came down from her statue to see him up close? Did he drop to his knees and kiss her feet? Did he propose to her right there? Who would have not, facing such a goddess? Cryssarina continued to wonder and wander through her memories of the past few days. Her first visit to Greece would surely not be her last.
Anthi called Cryssarina in the late morning to find out how she was feeling, knowing all too well what she felt in her heart. They were both feeling beside themselves. Cryssarina wanted to call her too but decided not to impose on her even more than she already did. Anthi had other obligations as we all do. Yet this was extraordinary in the extreme. Something unimaginable had just occurred to both of them. Everything else could only become secondary, or at least clouded, notwithstanding the bluest sky. Goddess Athena’s appearance or reappearance surpassed anything anyone could have expected from life. The implications were uncanny. Their lives had suddenly changed by several degrees of magnitude. Anthi and Cryssarina would never be the same. As for Patrick, they could only imagine what he had been up to since his arrival to Greece around a week before Cryssarina.
Anthi met Cryssarina at her hotel again. It was just before sunset, that special time when no one can argue about anything if looking at the setting Sun. They kissed each other on both cheeks, and as customary by now, Cryssarina’s second kiss lingered on Anthi’s right cheek. I am the narrator and I find it strange. I guess that I will have to ask Cryssarina about it at one point or another, or perhaps Anthi may know. I guess that she will let me know at some other point. She must have special cheeks or at least a singular one. They had agreed to meet at the hotel and take a taxi to Goddess Athena’s statue. It was just around seven o’clock when they arrived, or 7:05 to be precise. They again forgot to check the time. They approached Goddess Athena’s statue, looked at her with love and respect, and kissed her pillar a few times.
The evening felt Greek but not because they were in Greece. The evening felt Athenian but surely not on account of being in Athens. It felt Greek because Cryssarina also felt herself to be Greek. But she was not. She was a narrator in love with M, who flew to Greece to bring back Patrick. But she was Greek, nonetheless. Goddess Athena had spoken to her in Greek and she understood every word inside her head. She became Greek at that moment through Goddess Athena’s words. She had made her an honorary Greek, which is unusual even under normal circumstances. She even went beyond it. She gave her a new name. It was a word that Cryssarina had dreamt about the previous night but did not understand to be her new appellation. Goddess Athena had renamed her. Cryssarina became Eléni, which could mean torch, light and other similar words. It was strange. Everything about her visit had become unusual.
Anthi and Eléni, though Cryssarina did not know yet that she had been renamed, continued to watch Goddess Athena’s statue and kiss her pillar from time to time, leaving the occasional passerby a bit perplexed as to why they were kissing the pillar. Each of them — there were twelve — may have supposed that it was for good luck. It was as well; one could surely surmise. At about the same time as the previous night, Goddess Athena floated down and stood before them, smiling this time. Geia sas paidiá mou (Hello, my children)! O Pátrik eínai efcharistiménos mazí mou (Patrick is happy with me). Me agapáei kai ton agapó ki egó (He loves me and I love him too). Allá échei xýlini kardiá (But he has a wooden heart). Boreí na ítan déntro se proigoúmeni zoí (He may have been a tree in a previous life). Óso gia esás tous dýo (As for you two); esý pou ti voíthises na me vrei (you who helped her find me), tha voithíso mia méra ótan to chreiasteís (I will help one day when you need it); ki esý pou írthes na vreis ti néa mou agápi (and you who came to find my new love), tha metonomáso Eléni kai pánta agapó (I will rename Eléni and always love), afoú eísai méros tou Pátrik (since you are a part of Patrick). Anthi and Eléni wanted to kiss her in gratitude, but she had already disappeared.
The taxi back to the hotel seemed to be flying this time. It was night, yet Anthi and Eléni saw a blue sky with white clouds shaped like tree leaves and hearts. Goddess Athena was wise, indeed. The Goddess of Wisdom had left them flabbergasted. What now? they both thought as if they became one mind. Anthi accompanied Eléni to her room where they sat speechless. Eléni changed the atmosphere when she kissed Anthi on both cheeks, lingering this time on her left one. Anthi smiled to herself, finally understanding who Eléni really was. I guess that I need to write a fifth and last part.
Part 5 – Anthi’s Lingering Kisses
Anthi Psomiadou did graciously agree to become a fictional character in this unusual visit by Eléni (formerly Cryssarina) to Greece where she hoped to speak to Goddess Athena as well as find Patrick who had left Canada to meet the goddess and end his apparently miserable life.
When Anthi smiled, understanding who Eléni was before and now, she also had tears in her eyes. But they were tears of exultation at the thought that Eléni had been blessed beyond measure by the wisest goddess ever, who still breathed and stood tall on every pillar and platform throughout the world. And herself, Anthi, like Greek flowers always in bloom, had been blessed as well with a wish she could have fulfilled by this floating and talking Greek goddess. It was her turn to kiss Eléni on both cheeks, but she lingered on each one, making sure the left and the right were both equally kissed, counting to twelve in her heart for each one, having reasoned that five would have been too brief.
M sounded happy over the phone when Eléni told him what had happened to Patrick and both of them. Anthi was still there. Eléni had asked her to stay and Anthi had agreed. “It was bound to be either Patrick or me,” M had said. “So, Patrick won Goddess Athena’s heart, and all the rest of her, I rightly surmise. He has earned her love. He went all the way to Greece during a pandemic for her hand. She must have sensed it in his eyes and wooden heart,” he had added before asking Eléni if she was planning to stay in Greece or return to him where he was still writing about all of them in his peculiar way. “I will only return to bring you back with me. I am Greek now. My new goddess-given name is Eléni. I understood Goddess Athena’s words in my head, and Anthi will surely help me learn what she thinks I should know. She is already my best friend, but I feel she is much more.” Anthi moved her head in agreement, but she did not have to since their thoughts were now in sync. Each one could feel the other since their encounter with the goddess. The kisses by Eléni and then Anthi were responses to something deeper that required touch. And what was closer to each other’s mind than each other’s face, where all their senses met for a special concert given by a goddess.
Eléni’s plans for the remainder of her visit became plain. She wanted to return to Goddess Athena’s statue to ask the goddess for her advice. The Goddess of Wisdom would surely know what Eléni could or should do. Patrick was already here. She was too. Only M was missing. The other two narrators would decide for themselves if they want to move their passions for trees and AI to Greece and all its splendours. There were trees here too and AI was international. Eléni even recited for Anthi a Greek-inspired AI haiku she had just composed on the spot.
Do not fear the Greeks
bearing gifts too large to fit
within AI’s eyes!
Anthi could see the words in her mind before Eléni said them. Their connection was still as strong as in the taxi after their last encounter with Goddess Athena. Anthi loved the haiku but it was getting late and she had to leave. Eléni accompanied her outside the hotel where they hugged and kissed see you soon. Anthi took a taxi and left to return to her real life. But what was real now that they had seen, heard and felt the highly improbable? Goddess Athena was not a hallucination. They were both touched by her. They both loved her. And Patrick found his love, and a goddess, no less. What a lucky guy! But M was lucky too. He had Eléni who loved him, but he was still scared shitless of flying roaches, and Greece was surely an area where they loved to fly. In case you did not know, they only fly at night. The horror! Hades must be filled with them. Perhaps Goddess Athena could get rid of them. She would surely love him too as she does Eléni, since he is also some part of Patrick. Who would have thought that Patrick would have the last laugh? I did, of course, because I am Patrick. Goddess Athena loves to read my words. I actually read her my pieces. She surely loved this five-part diegesis. She is so beautiful. I will always write about her. She is Greece. Anthi would surely agree. I guess that she will let me know one day.
I discovered the song, Eléni, as I was writing this part. It seems to have scratched my wooden heart. Eléni listened to it too. I made sure. She had tears which I never intended, but then I joined her and we both cried about the injustices of this world. At least now we had Goddess Athena to help us out, and you too, each one in your way. You can save a tree if you can. Every tree is sacred in the real sense of the word. I will even declare that a tree is more important than any god or goddess, save perhaps Goddess Athena. But I asked her and she replied that I was right and that a tree was even lovelier than her. I, of course, disagreed wholeheartedly. What can I say? Being in love changes everything. Well, almost everything. I wonder if Anthi would agree with this too. We may find out soon enough.
Goddess Athena has allowed me to write about her pussy, so do not be shocked if you read about it sometime soon. I will, of course, change things. She is, after all, my love. I will only be inspired by her lovely godly parts. Pussy rules and prick drools. That should have been always the truth. Goddess Athena may also help to make it reality.
I would like to thank Anthi for being an Athena in accepting to take part in this atypical case of eudaemonia. May Goddess Athena grant her wish if she ever asks her to fulfill it. You never know. Life is stranger than fiction.
There are eight additional parts available on Medium, which will also be included in the upcoming novel: Greece Is My Anthi.