Back in his room he liberally applies ink to the cutting board illicitly borrowed from the communal kitchen next to Room 5, rolling until it’s flat and even, on both the board and the rubber of the roller, black, opaque and glistening. The semi-translucent plastic window in the door is dimpled and textured with a vertical striation of stylised drips, manufactured from a plaster mould by Chazikosmas of Thessaloniki in 1976. It vibrates slightly to the tap but serves its function well within the aluminium doorframe by obscuring the interior of the room from the balcony outside with an inherent optical trick.
Each year he hopes, with little expectation, that Eudoxia will update the rooms, or at least the mattresses, but times are always hard, and she has the best spot on Magazia, where he can set his alarm to ring before dawn, walk across the balcony, down the steps to the beach and be swimming as the sun emerges out of the liquid horizon. Once in the sea he chants wildly, ranting about his inner purpose. “You…are…not…where…you….said…you…w-would be….I am h-here and will m-make a d-d-difference…I leave a m-mark…you…s-smear m-me with your m-mistakes and I l-leap upon them. This is my island, I come back again and a-gain. Skyros, where Theseus was thrown from a c-cliff to his death…Heraclitus speak to m-me…Matthias where are you?….and now my friends have bought a little s-sunken house over there, with thin walls and creaking vines….I climb these steps. I look down from the B-Brooke statue square. I look up from the sea to the H-Hora.”