Written by George Gad Economou



I ponder my return to Athens; how can I

live with my folks again? how to put

behind the boozing nights, the dawn hours of

cooking ice? how long will I

survive? I drink tonight, 43 days to

go; can I make it?

no way in Hell, the voice in my head

states honestly. will I find the means to

survive in my hometown?

NO! the answer comes from

above—more silent discussions with

my father in the kitchen “what do you want to

do with your life?” he’ll ask, I’ll have

no answer to give. after all, I cannot just

say “all I want is to drink, do drugs, and

write; it’s who I am, someone that sleeps on

park benches, that punches irritating buffoons, that sells

good homecooked glass to desperate vessels that lost

their soul.” how can I tell him that the

grandchild he so much covets was conceived back in

2010, and was aborted? that its mother died that same night from

junk overdose? I was tanked at

her funeral, can hardly remember where in the

graveyard she was

buried. I just remember hurling

poems written on yellow pages

in her grave; the rest is a blur, details made up

in my head as I desperately try to form a coherent

story from my dreams. wine and bourbon flow

freely, like wild rivers ravaging untamed lands; I’ll

move back, forced to embrace sobriety and proper living.

no way I’ll survive; without hooch, I cannot

fight the eternal midnight mist. there’s no

way out, I only crave the cabin in the middle

of a virgin forest. all I get is a tiny room

in an apartment wherein every step and word and breath

will be scrutinized. the needle on the coffee table is

more inviting than ever; could the evil spike that took

my Emily also reunite us? more tempted than

ever before, four years since the last true fix, do I

dare go back? yes, I fucking can, I slap my face.

no, wait a minute, a soft whisper in my head; it’s Emily.

I break down. write a few more pages, she insists,

don’t give up now. I gave up, look where it got me.

you were stronger, she rebukes. no, I wasn’t, I was weak, soft. I took

the easy way out, I stayed, mourned, missed. you’re with

our child, I can’t be there to hold you both.

don’t rush it, she persists. you went to the Bar, you came back; there’s

still time, our child’s still a baby. one day, we will be

a family, like the one we didn’t dare become. WAIT.

I stare at the clean, virgin spike; no injection. chasing

dragons in flowery meadows is simple, superlative. burning

junk in a bottlecap, breathing in the

sweet blue vapor. colors envelop me, I’m nowhere near Emily

and our child. I drink, I’m still alive, still thinking of the

atrocious streets of my childhood. it’s all over; looking for

the end of the world, stuck in the middle, nowhere to go,

not forth nor back. story of my

fucking life. I lurch forth, certain answers lie

somewhere ahead, in some dark corner of some back alley I

sell my ice in. nothing

this time; maybe, it’s in the next alley. push forth, one more try.

one more alley.

there’s always one more motherfucking night.


Text © George Gad Economou



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