Mytilini, capital of the Island of Lesvos

Lesvos is Greece’s third largest island, known for producing its best artists, including the ancient poet Sappho, natch, and a handful of others I had never heard of, except Eleftheriades, an art critic, who has a 7 story bookstore named after him in Athens. Half the world’s ouzo is produced here, which sounds impressive until you remember, who drinks ouzo?

The little pamphlet on the North Aegean Islands from the Ministry of Tourism mentions nothing of Lesvos’ women-loving reputation, but it does give Sappho the only adjective of all the artists: Illustrious. I love it, the word, the hills that droop under the weight of all the olive trees, the honey hued bay that gently sways with fishing boats, the 14th century Byzantine castle that sits atop a pine-covered hill, like a benevolent yet lame duck patriarch.

It’s 8am. We’re in a cafe where the line between cafe and bar is indistinguishable, watching people watch an infomercial about a vibrating massage belt that, from the looks of it, startles the cellulite off your body. Outside the port is dotted with anarchist graffiti, saying things like “Smash state-racism” and “Do you think capitalism can endure?” and I think, yes, I could wake up here. Even the fish seem willing to help out, jumping into the air in surrender. Take me, Lesvians, I am here!

Though, the fish smell is starting to get to me (insert the lesbian joke you’re dying to tell now in the comments). The smell yes, but also the eyes. Those lucid, bulging fish eyes everywhere. The funny thing is I used to love fish. Then I went fishing when I was 9. I caught 4 fish; I was so proud,until my grandpa told me we’d be eating them for dinner. Then I cried and cried and actually tried to put them back in the lake. It was too late though, they were already dead.

picture for dramatic effect. the agony!

I think I would’ve become a vegetarian much sooner had the meat been strung up on hooks in store windows, their staid, unmoving eyes staring back at me. Or maybe I’m too sensitive. I still apologize to food that I have to waste or that’s gone bad.

More on Sappho, the bisexual patron saint, to come…


One Response

  1. Yes, you were always a sensitive child, which I still think is a wonderful aspect of your personality. It is good to know your place in nature. Sorry that you will forever be traumatized with that childhood memory.

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