THE ARBITRARY

of Vassilis Tsiaboussi

Dimitros K., my classmate from high school, built a shed over his son's memorial and, when it was raining and snowing, he went there in the evenings, drank, smoked and listened to modern Greek songs at full volume: Remo, Vandis, Rouva... .the same things that the child heard when he was alive. And whenever the free channels broadcast any football match, he would carry a small television, connect it to his car battery and watch the match with his boyfriend.
However, some people reported him to the Town Planning Office and, after giving him a heavy fine, they ordered him to demolish the shed within ten days. Dimitros, having in mind the ministry's campaign that said: "Declare your arbitrariness to save it", came to my technical office with the decision in hand and asked me to start the legalization process.
What he was asking for was outrageous, however I patiently tried to explain to him that his case did not fall under the law and that both my effort and his money would be wasted. However, he insisted that everything is possible in Greece, it is enough to find the right button.
In the end, in order to get rid of him, because I had other work to do, I said to him: "Let me search the legislation, in case I find any loophole". And to show that I would deal with the issue seriously: "For how many years do you want a conservation permit, if they give it to us?".
"Until I die, I know?" Put thirty years!'
As he was leaving, he turns and says to me: "It's a good thing they didn't sue me for disturbing the peace!" I tried to hold back, but we both laughed so hard that his eyes filled with tears...
A month later, the local newspapers published front-page photos of Dimitros, who chained himself to the building to prevent its demolition. Next to him could be seen a dish and a couple of municipal employees with work helmets on their heads, ready for action. Finally, after the intervention of the prosecutor, the shed was dismantled.
Another two months passed and one morning I met Dimitros in the market. At first I tried to avoid him, but I couldn't. He, however, approached me as if he had no complaints that I did not deal with his case. And he started talking to me about football and about the money that would be drawn on Sunday in the lotto, ten jackpots each. So I didn't hold back and asked him how the well-known story ended, meaning what had been done with the fines and charges.
He smiled. "I found a solution to the problem and I don't care about anything else," he answered. "Twenty days ago I bought a small self-propelled caravan that also has an awning. And every night I park it next to the grave and everything is fine. Sometimes the night watchman also comes and keeps me company; we eat, drink, play cards and time passes without realizing it.

Read more in ANTHIVOLA, issue 1

ANTIBOLA 1

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