Archive for May, 2005

Why am I not…

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

… pressing charges, now that I’m on the mend?

Well, the overwhelming air of contrition from the thugs, the desperate pleading from Eleni, the reasonable argument of Pope Soutsos that no good would be served by it, the fact that I DO NOT want to attract attention to myself in any newspaper, and the niggling feeling that I might have been partly responsible for the incident all contribute to the decision.

On the other hand, limited revenge would be all I could achieve. To be honest, it would have been very difficult to move from confused, cossetted patient to vexatious litigant, and a very strong-willed person would have found it very hard. I am not that person. The incident is now referred to as “το ατύχημα” (“the accident”).

Finally, especially since I returned to the island, Eleni’s family have been such a tremendous support, with transport and hospitality. The boat-building has proceeded apace with two willing thugs working all their spare time under Alexis’ direction. We are now fast friends, the thugs and I, and it would be unthinkable to take action against them.

I’ve replaced my laptop – the biggest hassle was getting the contents of the old hard drive (fortunately unharmed) cloned into the new machine. There are still irritating problems, but I had a lot of stuff backed up on CDs and so on.

And…. I finally got a digital camera, so you can look forward to a few more photos, though I have to be careful, still, that there are no landmarks in them that could betray my location. And here is the first one – a bit of road. Like it?

A Road

No. Neither did I, but it’s only a test, really.

To continue…

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

… this senseless tale.

I woke up in a hospital bed. I have no memory of being transported to Athens, which is where I was. I could feel a bandage on my head and a plaster cast on my right leg, together with a very great number of bruises and contusions. I still wasn’t seeing very clearly, and I kept drifting off into a dreamland of buzzing fluorescent tubes, occasional injections, X-ray machines, vaguely nunnish nurses and doctors so young I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d been on day release from junior school.

Throughout this period, I spent my waking hours, which were few enough, flinching every time the room door opened, in case Shimrod’s thugs had come to finish me off. I couldn’t understand it. He must know I was no threat to him.

And then it happened. On the first day on which I was able to actually focus and hold a conversation that I could remember five seconds later, the door swung open, and Number One Thug entered, brandishing a stick-like object. I couldn’t help it. I yelled the place down and he retreated. I’m actually going pale as I write, remembering the panic. A minute or so later, the door, to which I was transfixed, moved again, and Pope Soutsos entered, puffing reassurances and waving both hands like seal flippers. Eleni followed, still weeping as I last remembered her. And Number One Thug came too, with a most doleful expression of sorrow on his face, carrying what I now recognised as a bunch of flowers.

The story came out in broken English and fractured Greek. The thugs were Eleni’s brothers. Eleni, according to the Pope, had acquired a crush on me whilst cleaning up after my slovenly habits, and had begun to entertain a totally unfounded hope that I was interested in her. I have to confess that I omitted from this journal the increasingly oppressive soulful gazes Eleni had been directing at me whenever we were in the house together. When the Suldrun incident happened, she apparently started crying all the time and mentioning my name in her tears, whereupon her brothers decided that she’d been dishonoured by yet another filthy tourist, so they came and sorted me out.

She had now reassured everyone that nothing dishonourable had, in fact, happened, and, indeed, it had been the Pope and Eleni who had come to my rescue on the night of the attack. Everyone was VERY concerned that I not press charges. Frankly, I wouldn’t dare.

What next? (If there’s an emoticon for [Sigh...], insert it here)

I made a resolution…

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

… not to go back and alter any previous posts, except for grammar, spelling and stylistic purposes. In short, not to alter history as recorded.

So it’s all the more difficult to make what happened to me on April 18 (4 weeks ago yesterday) sound logical, because there’s no history to back it up.

I awoke in the dark to the sound of my bedroom door opening. Someone was standing there, breathing heavily. My mood moved from curiosity to embarrassment in one heartbeat. Struggling out of bed, I was apologising, had this notion that I’d overslept an appointment and that my meeting had come looking for me. But there was something about the posture of the man in the doorway that told me he had come to get me, and I immediately realised that Shimrod had sent a hitman. There were two of them, as I saw when the first man switched on the light. Sticks in their hands. Angry. Local men by their dress and chin stubble. Very angry. Snarling in Greek at me. No negotiation. They started to hit me in the legs and groin. There was nothing I could do. I yelled and tried to grab the sticks, but it was no good. It was soon clear they weren’t out to kill me, just punish me. I can count the bruises now, but most of them I never felt at the time. At some point, I must have fallen over – there is a dent in my head where I hit a bedpost – and I was out for the count, but I have no memory of that, either.

My next conscious memory was probably not long after. It was still dark outside, and Pope Soutsos was leaning over me making sympathetic puffing noises, while Eleni pawed at me, weeping uncontrollably. My bedroom was a mess. My laptop lay smashed near my head. I couldn’t get up. Something was wrong with my leg.

That’s as much journal as I can manage now. Continued later.