Text: Nelly Andrikopoulou/ Commentary: Danai Dragonea/ Photography: Carolina Mey/ Make-up: Mairy Fakinou
Ever since I was a child, I loved dancing. At nights when Thalia was over at mine, she would play the piano and I would jump off the bed and start dancing like mad to Charleston she had taught me.
The nights when dad was late from work, mum played the piano until his return -Sopen and the rest, I loved them all. Growing up under a Bechstein, I was meant to become a pianist. I was engrossed by music, but becoming a painter was another certainty. When I was given a red book with golden engravings, I decided I would read all the books in the world. I wouldn’t spend my time cooking since food was always delicious -expect from spinach of course! I wouldn’t waste time tidying up -somebody would always do that. When mum did it, my stuff changed places but it didn’t really matter, it wouldn’t take a moment to put back.
…and as far as that thing called love, incredible! Being constantly in love! Even with a street cat, especially if the cat had grey hair and blue eyes. Like that man had. But I would refuse to look at him. I’d pretend to be indifferent, looking somewhere else. Although I was determined to madly fall in love. There would be someone with whom we would become one. One; talk the same language, travel together. And so I started running and running. I had an aim and just glance at life passing by. She cried or laughed. I would always look at her in profile. Once I stopped running, she had acquired volume and depth. She was mine at last! We stood across from each other, face to face. She leaned and said it all. She talked about the mind and heart, the five senses. About illusions and visions, freedom… About manipulations from family, society, politics. About God and misery, illness. About our worst side. Our paranoias and fears, our hardest regrets. When she talked about sorrow, the wind was blowing. When she talked about love, the sun was setting.
She mumbled something about friendship, growing old. The rocks next to us, where filled with blossoming daffodils.
Nelly hangs out only with young people. I am able to see her only when she’s got the time and imagine that she lives just a floor above me. I met her five years ago and every time that she invites me at her living room with the black piano, the paintings and the millions of books she tells me a story. From Nelly I found out about Athens in the 30’s, for Mataroa’s journey, for her friends, which, before I came to know her, I only knew as characters in books that I had read, bust most importantly I learned how to call her just Nelly.