Our city driver who died, my friend

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He just died. I soon found out, as I approached his car. He lives behind his wheel, his notebook is in his hands, and his pencil is with his left hand.He took me an hour ago to the church to celebrate the holiday. Inside we were only about ten, including the priest who insisted on us coming today and not sticking to the restrictions of quarantine. My relationship with the pastor is solid since I decided to confess before him a year ago, “in search of refuge” as I said at the time.
The street was empty. Shops are closed and nobody is on the way. A man and woman sit on their balcony unaware. A dog on the balcony opposite. In the car, music called “Post Rock” was continuous, and Costas got acquainted with this genre by a foreigner who delivered him a few days ago to the airport, on the eve of his temporary closure.
In fact, I did not know him before the stone. I remember his face among the faces of drivers who parked their cars alongside the wider public square in our small city. But he laughed at me since my first career with him. While I was riding in the back to avoid any rapprochement, I saw him wrapping his face with a rag and spraying it with a small nebulizer, he answered that it was “a forgery of … the alcohol that I love … instead of the Spirito”.
He laughed quickly, its features melted between the wrinkled faces of his face. Then we saw a young man at the second sign playing balls between his palms “to earn money in these difficult days,” according to Kostas. I soon went on to say: “I was less than 15-20 passengers before the crisis. Currently it has decreased to between four and five. Just”.

“It’s Raining Men” by American artist Nicole Eisenman (Oil on Canvas – 61 x 45.7 cm – 1999)

It was a great mockery. He never mocked the fearful people, but he was laughed by “the lost authority in this extraordinary time.” I remind him yesterday that he mocked the “arrogant” style of an official who was reiterating on radio the importance of health measures and the need to adhere to them. “The authority is stripped naked when you speak,” he said in his speech.
I walked long after the ambulance transporting him to the morgue arrived. A police patrol stopped me because I broke the restrictions. In my apartment, I looked long at the Kostas nebula, and started drinking from the same drink. I bought the bottle and a tobacco bag on my way back.
It is the first time that I smoke in about a year. It is the first time that I drink this large amount. Costas brought me back to them the moment he died. Even after that, I did not return to the church as I had been, and I did not seek help from anyone, and I do not know whether I will ever return.
I used it during this new siege. It was my only connection to the outside world. Our knowledge period does not exceed two weeks, but we quickly got closer. He used to go up to my apartment in the last days, to drink coffee before or after our journey. He tells me what is going on around us, especially since the taxi driver is, in his view, “one of the few who can know every day of their city.”
Two days ago, as I remember, he told me that his mother had died in the year of our city’s division. Almost a week, my father and sister died as a result of the bloody conflict. I did not tell him.
We had many things in common. He is a fan of poetry like me. He also did not tell me that he was with his mother on that fateful day. She questioned the matter when she discovered in his notebook a drawing entitled “My Mother” of a woman who fell to the ground, her blood surrounded her head and there was a little boy crying in her lap. Costas has a clear scar on his face, but I do not know if it was the result of that tragedy.

I know that each of us travels to love alone / alone to faith and to death

He also told me once that the rag with which he wrapped his face was taken from the last dress his mother was wearing. “I prefer to face the damn virus with my mom’s rag,” he said, laughing. His eyes were teared, but we went back to laughing a long time when he showed me his drawing about our city. A cartoon of the ancient wall of our city, but two gunpowder guns were placed on top of it, and their crater was in the form of warriors who wanted to withdraw, fearing the coming horrors. He said, “The first looks like our president, and the second looks like you.”
I cursed him, and I told him, “It seems that holding the pen left will affect your drawings.”
I think he has not changed his habit. As for me, in the past four days I used to hold the pen left. I tried to draw, and I really did not succeed with more than a large number of small white circles and a little black surrounding them.
My failure here did not prevent me from looking to work like him. I think the career of the taxi driver will be my preoccupation, and my way of monitoring my surroundings, which I can no longer look at with anxiety.
A few hours after my decision, the pastor visited me to ask me the secret of my constant absence. He found me sitting in the chair, the notebook in my hand and I was adding a large white circle surrounded by black. He found me dead, just as Costas died quietly.
I think I died when I called him to remind him of what the Greek poet we shared his love said:
“I know that each of us travels to love alone,
On his own to faith and to death.
I know that. Try it. It is not useful.
Let me go with you. ”
Here, I heard a key click, and the priest entered.

* About the “Correspondent” blog





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