Written by Calliope Pappadakis   
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 09:07

Puerto Plata 2012Her way out was down winding and broken steps, those like the tucked-in stairs along the hilly side of a Greek island town.

All the way, sensing the salt and remembering the seaweed that clung to her arms as a girl. At times nearly freefalling in her quick pace to the place where warm sand and old seas meet.

No hand rail, just glances from children who played on the small verandas between the sets of steps, lined with elongated terracotta planters with bright pink and yellow flowers that might have bloomed the whole year through, except for Hades’ desperate wife-needing.

She didn’t stop, though sometimes she wondered what it may have been like had she slowed for a cup of coffee with the man whose skin is a sun-smeared brown, who sits out on the weathered wooden folding chair smoking a 4pm cigarette whose curls of smoke dance upward to his goats on the hillside above who need a milking. Might she have learned to smoke or sit?

She could have run into the dress shop whose vendor was always out sweeping her entryway with an old broom and a bent back. Around her soft belly that had carried four babies she wrapped a faded and threadbare red apron and sometimes stopped to wipe her hands on it, pausing to notice how low the sun had moved toward the horizon. She might have learned to slow and sew.

The front entrance to the shop was open every time she ran past it and smells of sandalwood, lemon, and dill tempted her nose as she dodged going inside and looked instead toward the sea.