|Ladies and gentlemen (if you swing that way), the Holy Grail of the Goodlooking Male has been found. It is, veritably, the land of the Greek God. Throw some Turkish blood in the genetic cauldron and the policemen look like strippers, cabbies have more pheromones in the back of their necks than three Brad Pitts standing abreast and waiters… oh — the waiters.All this is revealed because, even as you read this, I am pushing Baby A through the marble streets of Athens dodging large American tourist posteriors and writing this in my head. Not true. As you read this I am back home in carbon-monoxide central but that’s only because it is two Sundays ago in my head and there’s not a net café in the city that’s open and I need to show the editor proof that I wasn’t a lazy, irresponsible goof-off.
Two Mondays ago then – it is the permanent roommate’s birthday. Seeing as how he’s usually quite a good sport about being grist for the mill I thought I’d write him a present. Can’t say how old he is, just that I was going to put thirty-three reasons I married him. Randomly? His surname makes me sound like a socialite, he taught me to ride a motorcycle, travels to the point of sickening gluttony when I cook and has very big ears. Sitcoms, single friends and some movies all bring to discussion the moment of knowing when someone is ‘the one’. I refer to this moment as The Fridge Incident.
A cosmic confluence of bitch-luck, a blown fusebox and the inadequate emptying of the aforementioned fridge caught me off guard as I came home from out of town one morning. I opened the door and was engulfed by a pestilence of small, black rot flies. Choking, gasping I cleared my eyes only to see the maggots. Millions of them. Squirming busily round traces of honey, falling mindlessly and then squiggling back to what must once have been a pea… The fungus hung shyly in the background. Mushrooms the size of pre-schoolers looked at me earnestly as if to say, ‘leave us be, we’ll repopulate the rainforests.’ Then I began to gag.
The potential-permanent-roommate, popping in to say hello on his way to work, found me at the sink, retching and pointing helplessly. White cotton shirt and crisp khakhis notwithstanding, the boy deposited me in the hall and cleared the animals of death away. Washing his hands, he blew me a kiss and rode away into Lower Parel. And that’s when I realized – he was the one.
Having said that though – about those Greek men… It is two Sundays ago in my head. The evening sun tints the tourist plaza a hazy tangerine. We haven’t seen the Acropolis but a gorgeous waiter, undoubtedly named Dmitri, is ruffling Baby A’s hair, making her giggle. Across the street a bronzed, handsome middle-aged seller of pretzels has just lit a cigarette and is making arab eyes at a saucy peroxide blonde in a souvenir store.
I don’t know it yet, but tomorrow, while I walk with Baby A alone, two beautiful men will slow down their macho jeep and throw undoubtedly lewd, suggestive, incomprehensible but nevertheless appreciative language lassoes at me. It will make my day. She doesn’t know it yet, but when Baby A is 16, I will be 42. We’re going back. And not just to see the Acropolis.