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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 7 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 7
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-06-07 08:22:52
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7.  An itch and Pekka

Helena was waiting for me next to her small car; she has one of those pocket Japanese cars. She was rolling a cigarette and she had one of those I don’t give a damn styles. Helena is tall nearly six foot with short hair, always warring jeans and white men’s oversize shirts. Cowboy boots were completing the picture of a tom-boy. She kissed me three times – Russian habit as she always said – and lighting her cigarette asked if I was ready for another coffee. I said I liked ice-tea and she laughed.

She was busy these last two weeks with a magazine she totally hated but it paid well. It was some kind of church magazine or a religious organization magazine, I didn’t really understand and she wasn’t going to give me more details, but she was definitely steaming for some reason with them and her English vocabulary was quite rich when it came to swearing. She had to come all the way here to meet a photographer to talk about the cover picture and she was angry with him and his ‘touristic’ as she called it, styling.

Then we talked a bit about me and I told her about my ideas for a new book. She asked if I had started my main book and because I didn’t want to depress her I said that I had. We finished our drinks and we stepped out of the pizzeria-pub-café for a cigarette. The day was bright and summer was definitely getting here, even in this corner just round from the arctic zone. She kissed me again three times and got in her pocket car storming away in an unbelievable speed for the area.

I was alone again and I had this strange feeling that something was happening around me. I have this feeling sometimes and I never understood how it starts or if something really happens to excuse the itch. Perhaps it is a symptom of my diabetes or the high blood pressure, I don’t really know. But there was something that bothered me and the feeling that something is not right.

Later in the evening I wrote my daily article for the magazine, I checked the usual news agencies and the blogs looking for that thing that was giving me that funny itch but nothing I could find so I turned off the computer, turned on the DVD and started watching my all time favourite classic, “who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf” with Elisabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. There is a scene when Elisabeth Taylor totally out of her mind, totally drank asks Richard Burton to give her back her life. Amazing scene and then the unforgettable phrase after he breaks a bottle, “I hope that was an empty bottle, George! You can't afford to waste good liquor, not on your salary!”

A long time ago I met girl I dated for a few times. God this must have been long time ago! We been out a couple of times and of course this was before diabetes take over my life so I had a few drinks. The third time we met she suggested to go to the cinema and she wanted to see a certain film; it was “Leaving Las Vegas” with Nicolas Cage where an alcoholic writer drinks his way to death. Half way through the film the girl turns to me and says “Darling I think you drink too much and you need help!” and she found out after going to a pub for a couple of times! I don’t know what got on me but I stood up and left the cinema and her saying …I can’t afford to waste good liquor, not on your taste darling! Never saw her again.  But watching this scene again it all came back to me and I started laughing hysterically. Marianne I think was her name and I hope she found a man who drinks just tea and chamomile and be happy.

The funny thing is that I never got really drank in my life and I always know my limits with alcohol. Except that as I have mentioned before I much rather a good bourbon, a glass of good white wine than all the beer and the hangover.  I went out for a cigarette still laughing and I stayed there for more than half an hour looking at the purple sky turning gradually to dark blue.

Summertime in Finland has its own magic. The days getting quick bigger and bigger and you get in the end of June to have days that last nearly twenty-two hours. And that in Helsinki, going further north and especially in Lapland the sun faints for a few minutes only. The sunset, if you could call it sunset is total magic especially when you are next to one of the thousands Finnish lakes. The shades of blue, from light blue to dark blue-purple is something difficult to describe with words and I have had some fantastic and really inspiring moments next to a lake looking at the soft ripples and the light playing with the water. Finland in the summer has this funny talent to connect you with the nature and that is Finland’s acropolis everybody should have the chance to enjoy.

It took me a while in the beginning to get used to this midnight sun but after a bit I could sleep easily without any problems. Actually in one of travels lately to the south I found strange the deep dark of the night.

The spirits of the Finnish night had overwhelmed me and I didn’t understand how I came two o’clock and I wouldn’t have notice what time it was if I hadn’t seen Pekka running out of the building and rushing towards the main street where I knew that he parked his car. He gave me a surprised look and nodding he continued his way. Pekka knows that I sleep late at night and he was not surprised to see me so late out in my patio smoking. Pekka is a policeman, well something more than just a policeman. I never really understood the ranks of the Finnish army or police but I think he is something like a lieutenant or a captain in the Finnish police. I saw him only ones wearing uniform and it must have been some kind of serious celebration or an official party. The rest of the time he’s wearing plain clothes, of course always a tie, but jeans and sports jacket.

All my life I had problems with authority and policemen always represented the bottom of any respect I had for authority but Pekka is a very nice man. He’s something like ten years younger then me, a really quiet type with great love to sports. The other day he was telling me that every weekend he’s doing something like twenty-five kilometres Nordic-walk, this funny walking with the support of the two sticks like the ones skiers use. In the common room in our apartments block Pekka has install a series of instruments and he has create a mini gymnasium with a gym-bicycle, a walking aisle and a series of weights. I know his family and I always liked his kind who they are the kindest people in my neighbourhood. Pekka was the one who got involved in the end of Leena’s case and helped when Juha hit me.

So seen him rushing out of the house at three o’clock in the morning without his tie and just a slip-over and rushing to his car made me more worry and I felt that something serious had happened and that’s why the itch all day!



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papi2010-06-07 22:36:52
You and your itches...
Ξέρεις πώς χαίρομαι κάθε φορά που βλέπω Helsinginkatu 10,ε?


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