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10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 31 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 31
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-05-29 08:53:10
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31. Panathinaikos and a bruised eye

I have problems with waking up in the morning and I have had this problem all my life. I think I have mentioned it before, so when my doorbell rings at seven thirty in the morning it is not the best time for me, especially since I hadn’t had my morning cigarette. For a strange reason when your doorbell rings so early your mind automatically goes to the worst case scenario and you just jump out of bed in a hysterical condition expecting to hear that the sun has exploded and you have ten minutes to get your towel and start running!

Obviously somewhere the sun had exploded because Leena was standing at my door and she looked somehow …strange! It took me a few minutes to realize what was strange about her but I said that I didn’t have my morning cigarette yet. I told her to wait a bit while I put on a pair of trousers and then put the kettle on for some instant coffee. I suppose my face was saying everything so she kept quiet till I had my first cigarette and half of my coffee and then she looked at me like waiting for the question and this is when I noticed her bruised eye! "Jesus Leena, what happened?" I’m an atheist but for a strange reason I say quite often as a few have pointed out Jesus or god! “A small accident in the toilet last night!” Why they always use the same excuse is a mystery to me but I didn’t want to say something, I thought that if she wanted to say something it would be better if she said it herself without feeling any pressure.

“Sorry to wake you up, did you have a late night?” Actually I did but I was sure not for the reasons Leena was thinking. I had a late night because I was listening on the radio to a late sports programme. I think I must explain soon my relationship with sports here. In general I am what was called back in seventies intellectual but not the strong type at least that’s how others cast me; whether I like it or not I have a dark side or that’s how I see it. A side that often surprises my friends who cannot understand what the hell I’m doing and it has often become the centre of our conversation. Over the years most of them have accepted it and it has turned to be the company’s joke and my dark side is football and basketball. I love football and basketball and yes there is a team I have followed since I remember myself.

I suppose the choice of the team has to do with my father, he was supporting the same team and we had been together to a couple of games. The name of the team is Panathinaikos and yes I am even member of the fan club, their forum and I’m even thinking the possibility of a tattoo with the symbol of the team, a green clover! Please stop laughing the thing is pretty serious because one of the major things I miss since leaving from Greece is to be at the stadium on a Sunday afternoon watching my favourite team and yes I am all you imagine.

When my team plays I scream my head off, I get angry and frustrated and I’m lucky I haven’t met any of the referees yet because I had some ideas on what they should do with their whistle. The same when it comes to basketball and I’m really proud Panathinaikos has five stars decorating the basketball team’s jerseys. Five stars means five European cups and I definitely want them to take more.

When I lived in Greece I had season tickets for both sports even if I had the chance to go only for two or three maximum games and when I started living abroad most of the time I bought season tickets for the times I would go back to Greece. I wanted always to have the luxury to watch a game without having problems to find a ticket. But please don’t think that I’m some kind of hooligan or that I don’t enjoy football or basketball in general. I love the world cup and I feel the same for the European champions’ league, I feel angry because Finnish television never shows a single basketball euro-cup game and if Panathinaikos plays I’m listening on the radio!

There is a radio show late at night, between midnight and three in the morning and some nights I follow it while I do other things like writing or drawing and the night before I had done the same thing and since adrenaline was in maximum due to football. I had gone to bed sometime around four, so when Leena appeared at my door seven thirty in the morning wasn’t my best moment! But her bruised eye changed everything very fast and I was totally focus to what she was saying, what she was trying to say and what her body language was saying.

Leena was not saying anything, actually she was ready to talk about anything else than what she really had in mind, I was sure that she would even start a conversation about Panathinaikos if I wanted just to avoid what she should talk about. What she was trying to say was that she was hurt, insecure, scared and didn’t know what to do! I have read quite a lot about domestic violence and the victims psychic to know a few things and see how fragile she was feeling and how ready she was to blame herself for whatever happened the night before. Her body language was a nervous wreck, biting her nails and not knowing what to do with her hands every so often touching her hurting eye. Her eyes were really red obviously she had been trying and she couldn’t focus anywhere just looking everywhere around. The strong coffee was not going to help and I didn’t know what to do!

All characters and events depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to persons living, dead, or fictional or situations past, present, or fictional is purely and completely coincidental

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