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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 2 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 2
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-05-02 09:12:12
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2. The quiet neighbourhood

“I can see it in your eyes!” Leena laughed at me and I tried to show that there was nothing going on my mind! She was laughing loud making her cat to stop whatever was that she was doing in the ground and turn and stare at me. She never really liked me and I had the feeling but she was blaming from everything in this world. “You are ready for another mystery, aren’t you?” and she continued laughing making me flashing red.


The truth was that all has started the year before with me wandering what this blood ring Juha was proudly wearing meant and I had still no answers. Of course after hitting me and having all the problems with the law that followed, Juha had totally disappeared and I had no answers about my mystery but the blood ring kept coming and going in my mind and it didn’t matter how many people I asked I couldn’t get any answers. My friend Risto had given me an explanation, quit silly actually but somehow didn’t cover my curiosity and I even had done a sketch of the bloody ring with the big red rock showing every chance I had expecting some answers often making my self sound really pathetic. “Two cripples trying to solve a mystery! My, my; even Miss Marple would look healthier even if you combine us both!” and she continued laughing. Fine, her cynicism makes me sometimes nervous and I would like to tell her that we are not both cripple, I just had a small contrition but her picture on the wheel chair stopped me of saying anything.

“They think is the son of the family that lives in the first floor, whoever hit the storage room seemed to have keys and there are rumours that the boy is in drugs.” She said with a lower voice. “I have the feeling that no need for Sherlock and wheel-chair Watson here!” This time I laughed as well. She was right, we were pathetic and a small itch on my left arm was there to remind me how pathetic we could be. Juha despite his five feet four had managed to take me and throw my six feet one on the ground and if it wasn’t our policeman neighbour who had heard all the commotion I think that my left arm wouldn’t have been the only one to suffer especially since Juha was targeting my head with that heavy piece of wood.

I looked at my neighbourhood, house from both sides of the small community road, some of the three floors, most shared in apartments with families living in most of them. I didn’t know each one with their name but I could recognize faces and occasionally some of them said hi while walking around. The time was eleven in the morning and most of the kids were at school with the parents at work. An older woman was coming our way carrying a heavy bag and a younger woman had stopped near the sandbox in the small square between the houses talking to a small kid that was playing with a big plastic car, a pram next to her full of plastic shopping bags obviously on their way back from the supermarket. A quiet neighbourhood.

“Well, I have to do some shopping,” Leena said trying to stand up, “I’ve better take her back home first and then head for the supermarket” she added pointing at the little cat that had stopped her digging and she was looking at her friend. Leena didn’t wait for any answer, took her crane and started walking slowly to her house which is something like fifty meters from my house with the cat following her after giving me one of her usual dismissing looks. With Leena leaving I lit another cigarette and I returned to my book and the every day life of the ancient Athenians forgetting everything about last year’s incidents and the break in the storage room. And yes I don’t care what you might think but it is really fascinating the feeling you get with the knowledge that you born and walked in the same city, in the very same streets with people like Socrates and Plato.

The last few days I had again some little pains in my back and my doctor had advise to take it easy making me like always wander what the hell the doctors mean when they say, take it easy. What does easy mean for them? Laying in bed for two days or don’t run a marathon this weekend? Anyway I was taking it easy, I had counselled a couple of appointments I had – not very important anyway both of them – and I had decide to head later to the near mall and have a coffee with a croissant. The café we used to go with Marc the last three years had done some kind of major renovation taking away the old metal and plastic seventies style furniture and replacing everything with wooden long benches with soft pillows and wooden tables with red tablecloth. Fine is not exactly the seven stars luxury café and yes the cappuccino is still made the industrial way in a machine but it is the best you can get in one so busy mall and as I have said many times before I am a creature of habits.

Marc had found a job lately and a new hobby; he was trying one more time to learn Finnish and with all his babysitting and housecleaning jobs he had somehow disappeared or better lost in his insecurity for some kind of stability. Living for over thirty years abroad I had seen this so many times it was becoming something like out of book of immigrant’s behaviour not many could escape. Living the immigrant’s life with all the financial insecurity and the language barrier – doesn’t matter how well you speak the language you are always a foreigner – makes you create a small environment where you feel stable and secure and then gradually lock your self in there. Very Carl Jung attitude but suitable in an often hostile environment that can sometimes lead you to paranoia.   And Marc had embraced this situation especially since a new job had completed his personal reinsurances. In the beginning our daily coffee brakes had become weekly and lately they had turned into sometimes calling each other and talking on the phone for a couple of minutes.

Me, well sometimes I feel very old, hundreds of years old and some other times I feel very young full of energy and wishes. Perhaps I’m too old to try but the same time too old to try and somehow this last three years with all my health problems led me to new paths of creation and self awareness. Perhaps everything led me to new values and a new appreciation of life. Perhaps nowadays I learned the value of the small things I missed in the past. But then again is long time now I have realise that what really mind is when you know what you don’t want not what you want since my wants change!



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