How prettily the light comes in through the hole in a curtain when you are in History class and your mind won’t focus no matter what.

My feeling is that this evening, in this classroom, we are all floating above the desks and everyone is as happy as me.

“Mrs. Bateau” (our great nickname for our teacher) is looking at her list for her next victim. Make it not be me: Papayanni…no… Christiana… yes! Saved again! Christiana throws me a hateful glance. She gets up in front of the blackboard and says something about the Greek Revolution. I don’t want to grow up. Old, tired, with no dreams? How dreary! Too bored to run barefoot on the sand, too scared to scream at the sky. Please, mind, come back. School, the blue color of our uniform and, under that, us thirsty for life, for surprises. It was a gorgeous sunny day today. We didn’t want to have classes with a sun like that. Excursion! We chanted aloud. The answer? The same as ever. Get inside the classroom.

Are we to blame for not understanding your language? Same situation at home. Yesterday, I was thinking of today’s program and it got on my nerves. I was feeling tired and angry. Then, mom comes in and starts harping on the same old tune. You are so young! Why get so upset? Alright, mommy dear. How nice if we could put colored buttons next to ages. Under 12 you are not allowed to feel upset or get tired…

“Mrs. Bateau” brings her ruler down on the desk. Take note: demotic poetry is a people’s mirror…

… and a class window, I say, is the dream hatch. If I could fit into that hole in the curtain! The bell! Oh-oh. Next, is the Physics test. Excuse me, did I hear right? What good luck! There’ll be no Physics! There is a teacher’s meeting instead. 

Scattered notes in school notebooks. All these years later and, again, I don’t want to grow any more. I still like to escape through the curtain holes. The only thing different now is that I am interested in demotic songs and history and so many other things whose usefulness I didn’t understand back then.