There is a bench on the sidewalk. And all around only the wreck of Ellinikon. I can almost smell the ghosts of the passengers that once here were waiting for a shuttle. For a cab. For something. Someone wrote on the blue rusty sign close to it "Limousine Service". Two street dogs are watching me walking back and forth, behind a fence. The silence is majestic, as the feeling of lost and desertion of this place. I am in the middle of nowhere. With no plans or destination.
The old junction for the Airport is rusty as everything else. There is a kiosk nearby, but in this city there is always a kiosk nearby. Behind me I almost can feel the sea and the coastline, with the beaches and the clubs for Athens' seaside. A completely different landscape compared to this one.
2001 Olympic. Departures and Arrivals. The part of the old Airport that is still public is abandoned, "like an empty beer bottle, cigarette butt, worn-out shoe", as Dennis Vickers wrote. Beyond the illusory order of the facade, there are hidden little hills made of debrits, of papers, of junk forgotten there who knows why.
Right in front of the main building there is a line of old but tidy chairs that seems to give at the entire complex a sort of order and the illusion of a kind of basic maintenance attention. The glasses of the windows are all unbroken and the sign of the Olympic Games becomes, to me, almost a statement of strength, a link to a past that here is not forgotten neither forgiven.
From the distance the beauty and the desolation of this place set in something stronger. More powerful and evocative. The towers, the antennas, the buildings, the line for the cabs, the rusty old traffic signs and all around the silence of empty streets. Just an echo of the past remain. Like a black and white picture of someone you used to know and now is lost. Memory, Past, Lost are the leitmotiv of this journey that somehow remains impressed in this emptiness.
Leaving for nowhere
There is a strange combination of wait and movement in this sad leaded passenger. A lopsided man scrambling an airstair for nowhere, with an heavy hand-luggage. Like a metaphor of the human condition. There are burdens to carry with us: memories and neglected hopes that slow us down along the road. But we keep going, following our dreams and expectations that like the faded picture of a Winged Victory of Samothrace at the end of this staircase, are just flaking off right in front of us.
Close until Summer
I wonder how many people sat here. How many stopped in this small restaurant holding for the arrival of someone, having a beer or a meze, or just waiting, as everything in this place seems to do. How many hearts, stories, lives touched this place. An airport is somehow a crossroad: a starting and ending point of something. Sometimes, however, before any decision there is an abeyance. A time off, a break to go have a frappè waiting for something. Sometimes, anything.
There is only a way to discover where a passage will lead you. Follow it. Life is not different. Taking a decision is always a choice between two different identities. Two futures. Two passages. Choose freedom. Always. However, it does happen, that from time to time someone forcibly nudges you down a corridor, locking you out from the door you just came from. In that case, there is only one way. And it's the passage that lies right in front of you. You just have to take the first step.
It's just a something written behind a sign, but I take it as an advice. It reminds me that the act of waking up is a turning point. The night is over, the day begins. Or maybe the other way around. Still, it's a stop. A definition of something finished. Like it's over. This walk, this day, a chapter of my life. An end, whatever end, is always painful. Only later, when it becomes a new fresh start, sorrow turns into excitement. But you have to wait. Wait until you wake up.