A Midday Summer Dream

A Midday Summer Dream

Greece, Athens, July 2013. I’m here for a conference, with some free time to walk around. My hotel is very close to the Acropole and this is my first time here. The Acropole, shining in the sun, is an image that will probably stay with me forever. It is hot, not yet the hottest time in Athens, and the light is sharp, intense, almost numbing. The tourists… so many, in amazement, walking around mesmerized. An Asian young couple asking me to take a photo of them. I put my orange juice down and take the most amazing picture of this extremely young couple. Their faces are glowing and they look so incredibly young… I am puzzled, but then maybe it is just my inability to read their age so I stop thinking about them.

Coming down the hill – a woman with three children (10, 8 and 3), urging her older son: ask this young lady what the time is. ‘Am not that young any longer’ I say to myself and then answer the question the child is too shy to ask and we start a conversation. She is from Piatra Neamţ, a small town in Romania. She looks around fifty, but I discover she is actually exactly my age. There is such a sharp contrast between the two of us and in any other circumstance I would feel so proud to look so much younger than a woman my age, but now… I take no satisfaction and I almost feel guilty about it. I avoid the question when she tries to know about my age, as I avoid to tell her things about myself. I look like a young lady to her, how would she feel to realize it is not a matter of age, but one of unequal opportunities to keep one’s youthful appearance. Read more about A Midday Summer Dream