This weekend, that first bite of Greek style plain yogurt transported me back. Just like that, I was remembering being just out of my teens, a 20 year old college student, spending my last few weeks in Greece, after a semester in England, before heading back to The States. I was young, supple, tan, uninhibited. I was free.
I remember being really broke, but somehow made my way to a Greek Island, finding a room in someone’s house with my own shower. A dollar or two a day. Perfect for what I needed and what I could afford. I’d spend my afternoons lazily basking at the beach, topless like all the girls there. Not worrying about my body, just wanting to feel the sun on my body after spending months in the English fog and rain. I was alone. My friend who traveled with me there decided to head to another island. I couldn’t afford to go, I had only enough money to stay.
The nights I’d go out with people I had met there. Other young college students, backpacking through Europe, who were also there to have a good time. We’d meet for a late dinner, then the drinks, the dancing, the partying. I’d meet boys there, who would go home with me. Too drunk or too tired to say no. It was just easier to let them enter me than to push them away. I pretended to like it. Sometimes I did. Sleep would come as he would leave and the sun came up.
In the mornings, I’d find a café. I’d sit outside drinking black coffee and eating Greek yogurt, trying to piece the previously night together and convincing myself it was ok. Lying to myself that I was an adult and was making adult decisions. I’d finish up my yogurt and coffee and head down to the beach. The blue Aegean sea helping me to recover from the madness of the night. In the process, I’d also rejuvenate for the next.
It was a fun and supremely reckless time. I haven’t thought about those days and nights on Greece much. That seems like such a lifetime ago. A different person ago. I’m not embarrassed by my behavior, proud to have lived my life, but there are stories not to be shared with everyone.