I remember coming here when I was little. I wish I were young again. When I had nothing to worry about and was far from all cares, then I knew nothing. I could not yet imagine what life could mean, its difficulties, its responsibilities, its ups and downs. I wish I could be a kid again, swim in this lake like back then. I was enjoying the warm water, holding my breath, and swimming as deep as I could in its waters.
Now I’m holding my breath. Keeping it as long as I can. I can’t do otherwise. Regrets suffocate me. They enveloped me like her waters. This lake has always been a calm place for me, my soul. Now I can’t escape inside her, from the truth, not anymore. I am drowning.
I grew up. I am no longer a child. And like all kids growing up, it was expected that I would discover real life. I found the passions, the fraud, the mockery, the misery. To escape, I became dizzy with lust, with the pleasures of life, the ephemeral sensations that in the morning hours leave. Every time I opened my eyes, I insisted on finding them again and returning to their game. I insisted as a fool.
I got into trouble. I had a crush. A love that fascinated me. I felt the adrenaline and the rush like a woman had never made me feel. Gambling. The money, the game, the addiction. This piece of paper magically appeared and disappeared before me, changing hands with dizzying speed. Sometimes I lost them, and sometimes I won them. But when I was winning…
I felt full, strong, and proud. I forgot about the misery of real life, and I felt complete. For a while, then it was all over again. I couldn’t bear to be away from the green table, the feeling of playing and winning. I couldn’t bear to avoid my lust.
At one point, I was forced to borrow. No, I didn’t expect to lose. I played them, but I lost them. I borrowed from elsewhere again. This time from dangerous men, whom I was told to stay away from as a small child. Now grown up, I approached them out of necessity. I asked for money to keep my addiction, to extend my great love, the one that filled my life, even fleetingly. They gave it to me.
I lost them over and over again. Greedily, the money was leaving before my surprised eyes. How could I lose it? I was irritated, but I didn’t see that this flaw, with each passing day, brought me closer and closer to the lake.
I have always loved these waters, and I wish I could be a kid again. In the lake’s calm, beneath its surface, I erase all my debts. I don’t owe anything to anyone anymore. I don’t have money to give. It doesn’t matter anymore. I pay my debts and more.
The same men I owed, the loan sharks, brought me here. They were pulling me towards the lake’s waters, which I love so much. I begged them to let me go. I didn’t have the money they were asking for. I had nothing left. I made a mistake.
They threw me into the water, and now I am calm as the waters. I’m holding my breath, just like then. In its clear waters, just like then. I am reaching the bottom of the lake like I was a kid again. The heavy stones are pulling me from my feet. I’m drowning.
Created by Diana Chemeris
Story in Greek: