I have a dear friend here named Zisis. I met him my final night in Thessaloniki on my first visit back to Greece. I was out that night with my friend Kristin, for a late dinner and drinks before my flight home very early that morning. Zisis was immediately a charmer.
He had these dark eyes and furrowed brow, very mysterious- like he knew something no one else did. He overheard Kristin and I speaking in English and turned around, tapped me on the shoulder and said: “excuse me, do you come from America?” it being about the 90th time I’d been hit on in my trip due to the fact I speak English I said, “yes, I come from America and I came to speak to my friend here who I haven’t seen in nearly a year.” Most often a man would take a hint, and leave us alone. No no, not Zisis. He is a determined man. He said to us then, “okay, you have your dinner and catch up, but I’ll come back to sit with you in an hour and we’ll talk then.” Persistent. You couldn’t help but let him sit down when he finally did come over as Kristin and I pushed him away for nearly 3 hours.
He wanted to talk to the English girls. So he sat down. Zisis is a very well versed man. He knows a little about everything and makes for a wonderful conversationalist, though his one downfall (in my humble opinion) is his taste in music. He will tell you though that all women think they have good taste in music when in fact none of them do. (side note- anyone recognize a line from When Harry Met Sally there? “Everyone thinks they have good taste and a great sense of humor.”) Anyway.
So, after speaking with Zisis that night we kept in contact throughout the months after I returned to the U.S. and became closer. Our friendship grew into a common respect and we found more and more in common. One thing that always astounded me about Zisis though was that when I complimented him he always said he was not a good man. Any time I would ask him to explain this to me, he would avoid the question. So finally this brings us to last night.
I got to see Zisis again last night only for the 2nd time. He still has those mysterious dark eyes that know something you don’t. He still has the boyish smile and charm that could get any woman into trouble with him. So we sat down to talk and I asked him, “why do you always say you’re not a good man?”
He responded to me in a way I didn’t expect. He said- it’s not that I am not a good man. I am. But for me and for my life, I am striving for something greater. To be a great man. I am not that man yet.
I asked him what that man looked like. He said it was someone who found love in one woman, cherished that love and that woman for the rest of his life.
Ah, so there it was. It always comes back to love.
That was something else Zisis said last night. Love is all that really matters in life. Real love. I obviously, could not agree more. There are so many kinds of love out there. unrequited love. Jealous love. Pure love. True love. idolatrous love. False love. Love with no feeling. Forbidden love. Forsaken love. Unconditional love. To find the person in life that can love you truly and wholly without question…that’s a very difficult task. So for Zisis to want to be this man, to know the one woman he can love this way doesn’t make him a bad man or even a good man. It makes him a bold man. A strong man. A man who’s brave enough to search for what he wants. A man like that deserves his love.