We land by prop airplane on the Greek island of Páros, virtually precisely two years late.
The plan had been to have a good time a pal’s sixtieth birthday — however as we all know, most plans in 2020 went awry. Time handed, Doug turned 60, then 61, and through these years spent in his New York condo, love bloomed, and birthday plans gave method to wedding ceremony plans. And so we have been all reinvited, two years later, to have a good time his marriage.
I understood very nicely. I spent these lockdown years in Milan, and love bloomed there, too, so I’m bringing Enrico, my Italian boyfriend, who taught me how you can cook dinner Italian. I do know only a few of the invited company; Enrico, none. It’s to be every week in a glass home above the Aegean. “A homicide thriller,” I wrote to Doug once I accepted his invitation. A part of a protracted historical past of tales about characters trapped in a secluded place, like in Clue or an Agatha Christie novel or, I’ll later notice once I see the film, Glass Onion. Doug requested who can be murdered. I wrote again: “Guessing is the enjoyable half.”
On the airport, Enrico and I are met by Thanos, a wiry, tanned man with wild white hair. He and his brother run a car-rental enterprise collectively. “It’s windy on Páros,” he warns us, simply as we really feel a burst of the robust Meltemi breezes which have touched these islands since antiquity.
Páros has been well-known because the sixth century B.C. for its flawless marble — Parian marble, it’s referred to as — used to make the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. It’s an island of seashores, mountains, and windswept rocky cliffs, scattered with damaged pillars, sarcophagi, mosaics — proof that the place was handed from the Greeks to the Romans, from the Byzantines to the Venetians, and from the Ottomans, finally, to unbiased Greece. Spherical-shaped Páros: an island worn clean from so many palms.
However it’s also the birthplace of the truculent, bawdy warrior-poet Archilochus, of fox and hedgehog fame. “Leaving it was hell,” Archilochus wrote of a defend deserted in battle, “however in a difficult spot / I saved my conceal. Good shields will be purchased.” A sensible poet.
I navigate the winding street the place we witness, throughout from a pizza store, a stark-naked lady hanging up her garments to dry. A sensible laundress. We drive northeast, throughout a bit of isthmus, to the very finish of the Santa Maria peninsula and down a protracted filth street. How startling the primary drive is in an unknown place. The improper issues stick out — the bare lady, the pizza parlor — whereas subtler particulars are invisible: previous girls on balconies consuming Coke and watching passersby, puppies yelping from garages, a fisherman shaking out a cigarette from a pack. Solely later can we notice they have been there all alongside. Enrico searches the radio for any tune he acknowledges. Then we’re on the glass home, the place Doug and Michael, two males of differing heights joined in matrimony, are waving away in delight.
We head to the hamlet of Naousa as soon as all of the suspects are assembled — the true property baroness, the theater director, the physician, the radio star, the artwork collector, the skilled declutterer, and so forth — every arriving individually by airplane or ferry from the mainland. All Individuals besides Enrico, and have a look at us, in our linen and sandals, ballooning pants and billowing caftans that hibernated for 2 years earlier than being introduced out into the solar.
“Who’s going to be murdered?” I ask the radio star, and in her crafty manner she factors at Enrico. “The foreigner,” she whispers, winking. Enrico seems to be over, none the wiser. Who would homicide somebody with a smile like that? We arrive on the seaside village, a white stone labyrinth the place the Minotaur is merely the setting solar, hiding behind one constructing or one other till it leaps out at us above the beating waves at Fotis, a bar the place a desk is already reserved alongside a half-moon bay. White homes and boats cluster earlier than the solar’s garish tangerine show, which is mirrored in stripes alongside the water.
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You may plan your journey round sights, or you possibly can plan round meals. It’s virtually not possible to do each. Doug and Michael have unashamedly chosen meals. Dinner tonight is on the well-known Mario, the place tables are crowded beside each other and waiters dip out and in like bees in thyme. A plate of starters, the waiter suggests: tzatziki, choriatiki, melitzanosalata, favas. Horta, wild greens. Then a fish in a salt crust, no? Doug gestures to me and we go inside, to the place Mario himself is ready. He reveals us an ancient-looking marble vessel, stuffed with fish and ice. “A giant one, I feel!” Mario says, and I merely level. Who can title a fish in a overseas place? We start our feast, and later, out comes the fish, its salt crust set aflame.