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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 24 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 24
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-10-18 09:15:19
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24. Days of self-pity

Alexei was listening and the girl was talking non stop and then he turned and put his hand around her waist, but what really stroke me was not the move but the smile on his face. And it was like thousands of scenarios fled my mind in seconds all of them with Alexei testing handcuff. Strange how things turn but that moment I felt betrayed and it was not Ferah that was betrayed but it was me, you see the girl that was walking in Alexei’s arms was nobody else than Ferah’s sister. There was no other explanation.


I was so stand with all those thoughts that I lost them. I run towards Mannerheimintie but nothing, I checked around the Swedish theatre and nothing, I looked for them in the Forum shopping centre but they had vanished and it was so sudden that for a minute I started doubting if I had really seen them. It was those eyes that had stack with me from that photo with the dead girl and they were the very same eyes that I had seen crossing the street and looking Alexei.

Suddenly I felt very tired my diabetes was giving up at me letting me in the middle of the street with the agony to walk the few meters that separated me from the metro station. Always the same story, in the beginning a little tired and then suddenly you realize that everybody around you moves a bit faster than you. Then it is like you have stopped with the earth continue moving around. I checked around for an R-Kiosk, something sweet, an orange juice perhaps would help me for a bit but my investigation was just ending the worst possible way with my body betraying me.

With great difficulty I managed to reach the metro station in Kamppi and I was really happy to find an empty seat in the metro. For a bit I tried to read my magazine but it was in vein, my diabetes was beating every single bit of energy I might had stored since this morning. The next two days proved nightmare in self pity and me hating my self and what has happened to my body. I was sleeping most of the time and trying to forget that my mind wants to run but my body cannot follow. Marc tried to call a couple of times but as usual when I feel like that I avoided the calls and just turned my telephone in mute mode leaving it in another room as far away from me I could. 

I stopped answering since people started saying things like “you must understand that these are all signs of aging!” nothing makes me more angry than that, I dint know many people in my age that have to take seven pills a day, one of them to deal with the side effects two other’s bring and actually most of the people of my age looks fine not to mention some like Harrison Ford who could easily be my grandfather and looks fine ready to make another Indian Jones film. That’s what I mean self pity. While asleep in most of my dreams I kept having visits from Ferah and nearly in all of them I had the sense that there was something I was missing. Oddly every single time I saw her in my sleep she was laying on the grass just like she was in those photos Pekka shown me and in all of them there was this strange feeling transform into agony that there was something there that should or shouldn’t be there.

The third day I managed to stand up, have a proper shower and go out in the patio for a cigarette. It was the first cigarette of the day, I had just finished with my insulin and I was feeling the liquid rolling inside my veins bringing energy to every part of my body. Having smoked very little the last two days the first cigarette of the day made me feel a bit dizzy so putting it down I just sat there letting y self in the morning cold air with my eyes closed.

“Good morning, how are you today?” I opened my eyes to see Pekka standing in the entrance of my patio with his little dog smelling the air. Hi Pekka, much better thank you. Pekka is pretty aware of my condition and he even visited me the last time I was in the hospital with my heart problems. I’m really fine today, I added reinsuring him. He didn’t look reinsured but he said nothing just said something in Finnish to his little dog that was pooling the other way and away from the patio. Perhaps he is one of those anti-smoking characters.

I don’t know what got on me but I thought that it was too big to keep it a secret and having spent two days in self pity made me weaker in front the face of the law so I told him. I told him that I saw Alexei in the centre and I told him who was with Alexei trying to minimize, unsuccessfully I have to admit, the way Alexei was holding the girl. Having lived a dictatorship and the role the police had played in that dictatorship informing the police of anything made me feeling uncomfortable but Ferah’s face that didn’t want to move from the back of my mind made me feel that I was doing the right thing. Pekka didn’t say anything and he didn’t say anything for long time.

He looked at me without saying anything for a bit, no doubt in his face with what I had said and then saying quietly, “take care of yourself, you are not ready for the marathon yet, you better stay in today” he walked away. I was still there smoking my second cigarette – the dizziness had gone – when I saw him all dressed, suit and tie walking towards the main street and his car. Swearing y diabetes and all the gods and demons that had planted inside me I inhaled a good portion of smoke trying to forget what had just happened. I even tried to close my eyes but it seemed that that morning every time I closed my eyes somebody would appear in my patio and this time it was Leena.

Not in my patio exactly since the autumn had brought back her wheel chair and all the pains. “Just saw Pekka leaving” she said instead of good morning. I told her everything and she told me that her pains are back then we both became a chorus complaining about doctors and medicines. It was something like an ancient Greek drama. Then I asked her if she fancied some coffee or tea with biscuits accompanied with photos. And I did explain to her this funny feeling I had that we were missing something or we had overlooked something. She didn’t seem to agree but she was ready for a cup of hot coffee after all the air was not just refreshing anymore in Helsinki and we both could do with a chocolate biscuit.



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