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10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 43 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 43
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-10-09 06:55:40
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43. An afternoon at Kitty’s

For the next few days I was pretty busy and I think intentionally I tried to put Leena in the back of my mind. Marc was in one of his dark moods again complaining about everything and everybody and mainly because he couldn’t buy anymore DVDs lately! Lately he’s organizing those dinners with other foreigners as a chance for socializing and meeting others with the same problems. Only the description of their last dinner was enough for me never to join them.

Small groups that gather together in the same table talking about the same things they talk about time after time when they meet, saying the same jokes and using the same clichés constantly and when they finish with the food leave the place without having exchange one word with any other table! I left him talk and I tried to think about a new project I was planning with some more dimensional paintings. We had a coffee together and because he had to meet with her highness, the publisher of one of the magazines he works for, I decided to treat my self a quiet beer.

I don’t know if I have mention it before but I always carry with me a bag where among other thing – a book and a note book plus a calendar – I always have a small sketch book where I keep notes about new ideas or make small drawing about things I thought or things I see. My choice for that afternoon was the Kitty’s an Irish pub in the centre, I ordered a pint of Guinness and I found table in the background. The reason I like the certain pub is that you can always find a quiet place to sit without anybody bothering you around, that they play music quietly somewhere in the background, mainly rock from 70s that I like. So I took out my small black sketch book and I started drawing a …tree!

I always had a thing with trees and since I was very young I stared drawing them gradually evoluting my own style, very minimalistic often using just a few lines and that while I was slowly drinking my Guinness, enjoying the bitter taste of the drink. My telephone was in my pocket and I don’t know if I have mentioned it before but I can rarely hear it. I have the sound really low and I just hope I will feel the characteristic vibration something that happens very rarely. But I don’t know why I felt it that afternoon and checking the number I was surprised to see it was Leena’s number. After the last events I was pretty sure that she would never speak to me again. “Moi!” she said somehow scared. Hi, I answered waiting for a bit to see what was next, “can I see you?” of course you can, I answered immediately not sure if she meant it. I’m in Kitty’s, at the centre, I answered to her question and then she said that she could be there in half an hour before stopping our conversation quite suddenly leaving me looking at my half-finished tree!

I was checking my notes with some ideas I had when I felt her watching me. She holding a glass of Finnish beer and she were just standing there staring at me. It’s funny this thing with small women like Leena, you always have the feeling that they need protection, that something is going to happen to them and you always want to be the shining knight to save the day. So I stood up and after hugging her and giving her the usual two kisses that always surprise the Finns I made room for her to sit next to me. “I’m sorry!” she said when she sat down and after having a zip from her beer. Forget it, I answered and I really meant it. You were frustrated with all the things happening to you lately and it just happened that I didn’t something without asking you! “No, it’s not that! You were right; I shouldn’t have let him break my room!” Don’t worry I have managed to fix most of them, I said with a proud smile! She was smiling as well! “Even the photos I was a child?” Even the photos you were a baby! And for a minute I felt that I could see the girl I met a few months ago when she moved to the house across my own.

For a while we just sat there drinking our beers and just enjoying the music and perhaps the companionship. I have to admit my life was not doing very well lately, constantly worrying about the changes my health problem had brought and the feeling that I am getting older, well past my prime made me need this quiet companionship. Somebody who would just sit with me for a beer without saying anything. And that didn’t mean that I couldn’t understand that she had problems, I just didn’t want to hear any more, I had enough of problems. And that somehow that very moment seemed to work for both of us.

She saw my small notebook and I showed her some of my drawings. She was impressed with my trees and I was happy she liked them; I actually continued drawing with her just watching. An older man was reading a newspaper on a table and a couple was whispering holding hands on the other side. Leena was not saying anything and I had left my mind to get lost somewhere between the thin lines, the pencil and the yellowish paper and I was just hoping that that would last for as long it takes when something red flashed somewhere in front of me!

“Hei!” Juha was there, standing in front our table with a glass of beer in one hand and a smaller glass with something black inside on the other. He said something In Finnish making Leena smile and I just looked at her trying to ask why!


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