Wind sweeps up the waves, that are crashing hard on the barriers protecting the old port. They do their jobs, these barriers, as the water inside of them is as tranquil as ever. Alexis stares at his float, waiting. Tourists see the beauty of it, and take photographs of the old man fishing. He doesn’t notice, his eyes and attention fixed, for now, on the float. It doesn’t move. Even if it did, he wouldn’t care very much. He’s not waiting for the fish to take his baitless hook in their mouths. He will buy a fish at the market later, to bring home for his wife to cook. As he has done basically everyday for, well, as long as he can remember.
No, Alexis is not waiting for the fish to bite. He’s waiting for his friend, who joins him on the small bench, as he has done basically every day for, well, to be precise, 42 years, 4 months and 8 days. The first time they sat here, Alexis remembers that day very well. Somehow, like particles moving at high speed through the Large Hadron Collider, their paths were destined to crush into each other: precisely aimed. At least, so it seemed on that beautiful day. There had been other friends, but none had felt so right like Kostas. They both knew they were destined to be together, from that first moment on. Kostas was also married. And also bought fish on the market to bring home for his wife to cook. That was how they managed to come here together every day, sit close together on the small bench, their legs touching. Alexis enjoyed the sensation of being so intimately near to Kostas, and Kostas enjoyed the sensation of being so intimately close to Alexis. Neither had ever said anything about the love he felt for the other. Saying it out loud would bring them in perilous waters. Waters as wild as the sea was today, outside the barriers of the port, where nothing could protect them from the thorn of their society. Surely, things had changed, but not for their generation.
So, for 42 years, 4 months and 8 days, Alexis and Kostas sat close together on a small bench in the port, legs touching in a simmering and thrilling intimacy, staring at their floats not moving in the calm waters of the protected port.