It was still raining when Phoebus Dalezios reached Aides, the small town near the river with the narcissi.
He quickly puts on his raincoat and stands on the stone pavement outside the station, suitcase in hand. A cloud of mist, a fog, envelops him; he sees nothing. The trees, wrapped in a flowing wetness, seem to pulsate with the rhythm of his heart. He is eager to reach that solitary stone house which he saw three years ago, which attracted him in a strange way – a house that looked more like a pile of ruins. Yet the landscape had intrigued him. Narcissi and asphodels and giant cypresses and murmuring streams that shuddered as they flowed from three rivers into a huge lake. A landscape wet and soft, friable, enveloped dream-like by swirling patches of fog. There, solitary and abandoned, stood the house. He bought it immediately. That is what I want, he thought, I will come here one day, when I am desperate or in love. He panics. I am both. Or perhaps only tired? His body still aches from the nights of love, aches with anger and desire. Here I will recover my lost soul, he murmurs, and tries to banish the thought. Drenched from the rain, standing in a rural train station at the ends of the earth, now is not the time he wants to remember Moira and his last night with her on the banks of the Seine. Nor does he want to think about his beloved Hector, his bosom friend and collaborator, who betrayed him. His mind aches. Oh, yes, it was betrayal to choose another composer for his new film.
Suddenly an undefined fear comes over him. Am I starting to grow old? “Does the gentleman want a taxi? A cart? Where are you going?”
The voice is suspended. “You are English? French?” He turns and sees a tall man with clear eyes and a face that is both rugged and gentle. He quickly shakes off the rainwater and tries to appear less absent-minded. “To the house near the river with the narcissi…”, he says, in fluent Greek.
His parents were Greek, and his childhood was spent in a poor neighborhood in the foothills of Kolonos. He felt Greek to the bone, even though he had grown to manhood in the revolutions of Parisian Mays. Today he would say that his homeland is music. “But…but…no one lives in that house…”
His eyes were incredulous.