Monday, December 06, 2004


I wonder if all lives are as strewn with wreckage as mine?

I harbor the fantasy that Marina is reading this, and gradually forgiving me. A fantasy that rests on the fantasy that she remembers me, in particular. The one no more probable than the other.

I remember the narrow white scarf she so often wore, her signature wry smile, the way she would begin by rolling her eyes, but lose the exasperation in sheer amusement, melting into a warm smile before the rolling was even finished.

I miss her today.


April 1980. I made my way to the far side of a little Greek island -- I don't remember its name any more -- stripped, and swam in the chilly Mediterranean Sea. It was harder to climb back out on the rocks than I had expected, and I remembered how Odysseus tore his hands when he tried, with his last strength, to get to a rocky shore through the surf.

Polytropon. Everyone tries and fails to translate that epithet for Odysseus. Much-turned. Widely-travelled. Many-metaphored. Well-versed. I wonder if you'd use the same word a bit of jetsam rolled in the surf. I suspect you would.


Do you remember that rather maudlin Hollywood cold-war comedy, The Russians are Coming? The stranded Russian sailor with the extraordinary blue eyes, on the beach with the girl he's ineptly tried to take hostage, suddenly throwing a stone far out into the sea and shouting "I do not want to hurt anyone!"

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