it’s a four day weekend. six, if you push it. i could be with you. but now i’m here. and i have to make the most of it.
My first weekend in Thessaloniki, I treated my mum to soy meat with dairy-free tzatziki spread wrapped in the softest pita bread God ever cared to create. It was phenomenal.
It was phenomenal for many reasons.
- I could taste the tang of fried meat, without it swimming in oil.
- The spread did exactly what it was supposed to do: spread. It slipped flawlessly in between the wrap without sticking uselessly to the bread and staying in place.
- The lack of potatoes was not bothersome.
- The pita was so soft, easily throwing the rubber-like stuff you get for most regular gyros off competition.
- I had no caloric or ethical concerns while eating my second serving.
Sitting down on a low bench with falafel and tahini sauce, we watched the sun get swallowed up by the sea behind Great Alexander’s statue.
I told my mother about my worries.
There was no judging or fleetingly fearful looks; no this is what you get for messing with boys. Her advice, or lack thereof, was honest and to the point. Is this done with the intention of love? Yes or no. Are you the person responsible for showing him that kind of love? You get to decide that for yourself.
I hope I make the right decision.
In aiding me to do so, she told me about the story her mother shared with her when she was in a similar position. It had to do with monks and churches, so I opted to hold onto the meaning.
A young man had troubles with his personal life; his mother breathed love laced with bitterness into his life; and all family time was stressful for him. Wanting to be rid of his toxic family environment, he sought out a monk with whom he connected. He decided the monk life would both suit him and save him. He went to enter the monastery, but the monk he so deeply connected with wouldn’t let him in.
“You will first sort out your troubles and find yourself, before you can come to me.”
The man felt betrayed, but the feeling was brief. After being forced to retrace his steps and fix his relationship with his abusive mother and indifferent father, he went back to the monk.
The monastery let him in, not because he was running away from his former life, but because he had grown from it.
We walked home with the monk in mind; and I got to keep some of the falafel in the fridge for tomorrow.