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10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 28 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 28
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-05-17 09:39:39
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28. Some thoughts about separation

We were in the centre with Marc to meet Denise and my mind was constantly flying back to yesterday’s events. I wanted to talk about the whole thing with Marc but for one more time I avoided the conversation and I think the main reason was that I didn’t know if the whole thing was funny or serious. The whole conversation with the ‘I want to be author’ Juha was a mixture of drama and comedy and didn’t want to explain how I got to find myself with an invitation for morning coffee and end up with somebody who was emptying bottles of cognac and whisky at the speed of light.

Marc was not in good mood meeting Denise; she has this strange attitude to life leaving you always with the sense that everything must turn one way or another to money conversation and she tries to boss everybody around with her ‘I know all’ ways. I think if she tried to relax a bit and not try to force her problems to the others she would have a much easier life and I try to keep in mind every time I meet her that perhaps this is her defensive mask but it doesn’t always work. And it was not going to work that morning so I decided to change directions and have my usual walk in the centre including my visit to the library and then to the foreign books bookshop and coffee at ‘Baker’s’.

While at ‘Baker’s’ I tried to write down some of my thoughts about the whole thing but nothing could come in mind, it was the blood ring there and it was the alcohol abuse, it was Leena who, for a reason I could not understand, wanted me to accept Juha and it was her eyes I could not take out of my mind. The only thing that could make sense was that for some reason they were isolated from their social circle and she was frustrated to create one starting with me. Ha, this is what they call tough luck.

It's not that I’m not the social type and I’m not sure if I have said it before but somehow the last few years I have become more selective. I like myself and I have nothing against been alone, I actually enjoy more an evening with a good book and a cup of coffee than I would enjoy any kind of social gathering. I think this sense of separation had already started before I came to Finland but coming here made it somehow worst and in the beginning the first few years wasn’t obvious it just became worst with the time. I think what triggered it was Kevin! Kevin is Marc’s friend and he is a really fine person, very sweet and easy going but after the second time I met him I found out that I have nothing, absolutely nothing in common with him. Even the simplest things became difficult to talk about and the very few times I found my self in the same room with Kevin I was grateful Marc was somewhere around so there was some kind of conversation.

Then I started thinking about it and wandering what makes me go to a pub for a drink with somebody I have nothing, absolutely nothing in common and I realized that the only reason was that I had something in common with Kevin and all Kevins around, we were foreigners in the same country and somehow we were dealing with the same every day problems. Of course all of us had and have a different way to deal with them but that was all we had in common and I’m saying the Kevins of this world because soon after I realized that a lot of the people I was having a drink or share an evening out were exactly the same, people I had nothing in common and under different circumstances I would have never met them.

Somehow the same time I realized that I didn’t want to participate any more in the pub quiz and in most of the activities of the association most of us belong to. Suddenly I saw room full of Kevins and that really hit me. I don’t know, perhaps it all sounds snobbish or something, elitist I suppose is the right word but it is not at all like that and I think one thing that definitely motivates this separatism is that I’m not in the mood to be with people who complain all the time about Finland. I know that they don’t do it intentionally and I know that is not their aim to do so but when they meet other people with only common thing that they are all foreigners in the same country and they deal with similar problems like the language they end up complaining all the time or trying to find way to make money another issue I always had difficulties to deal with. It is like something Denise asked me the other day, she actually said, I know that you are clever so can you please find me a way some kind of business or an idea to make money without needing any capital? Wow, and if I knew the way do you think I would share it with you? Apparently when I told Marc he came with idea but I don’t think Denise will like it. He jokingly suggested prostitution!

Marc called me when he finished with Denise and it was exactly the same time I had finished with my tour in the bookshops, time to head back and that would have been the plan if my telephone hadn’t rang with Helena from the other side. Suddenly I was surrounded from women with similar names but Helena is a very sweet girl, a Greek girl married with a Finn and living the last four years in Helsinki.

All characters and events depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to persons living, dead, or fictional or situations past, present, or fictional is purely and completely coincidental. 

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