My official hotel breakfast is in pieces and keeps coming and coming. A salad with what looks like pressed ham, huge olives, the local cheese, that heady goat schmear, plus a second cheese of unobvious provenance… A boiled egg… Yogurt topped with fruit… Some kind of fritter that appears to have been drizzled with honey and dusted with cinnamon… The coffee is abysmal — my cup’s content is basically hot coffee-tinted milk-water — and the juice I poured myself a generous glass of is super-gross, a sugared blend I can’t quite parse beyond orange and pineapple. But I bet the food is good, even though I don’t prefer an egg boiled hard.
Just as I was sitting down the French couple appeared to have their morning meal, too, and quick-quick-quick I pulled my things from the sprawling central table and went to a little one in the corner, saying, Pardon — je préfère être seule dans le matin parce que je fait l’écriture. I did it! I did it.
This fritter thing is turning out to be a banana pancake. I want butter for my toast, which is now cold, but the communal butter pot sits still on the communal table where the French people are now presiding, and I cannot reengage. And actually maybe I don’t want butter, or toast at all. Really all I want is good coffee, and to be doing this outside. Well. No place is perfect.
There are books everywhere here, which is great. I asked about a trade and Christos said, Trade? No. But you can read while you are here. Maybe a goal for today can be finishing White Noise so I can leave it with him when I go, to everyone’s betterment, enriching his library and lightening my load. The wall art is large printouts of color photographs and lithographs of ancient Greek art stapled to cardboard, and all of the tabletops are slabs of white marble. And I have gone ahead and opened the window by my table and now I can hear the waves again.