I undo the string that ties the makeshift iron mesh gate to the short post, and enter the orchard quickly, hastening my pace, anticipating our renewed meeting.
She is always there, waiting for me in her quiet elegance.
We are old acquaintances, spanning two and a quarter years, and I visited her dozens
of times in all seasons (except for high summer and the dead of winter).
In spring she was surrounded by window-high plant growth.
Now, at the beginning of autumn, pears and Damson plums were ripening on nearby trees, and nuts already filled the treetops.
She caught my eye from the start, worn and old, covered with stains that took hold, yet telling a story of beauty and dignity.
I took immediate notice of her beauty, her charm, and captivating personality.
I imagined her elegant Champaign colour of the days she travelled great distances, with people everywhere stopping to gaze at her with envy as she drove by.
She stands in a most strategic point on the island and many go by her day by day, but, aside from me, no one comes for a visit.
Her sole companions are a couple of ducks, a few goats, and a brood of chickens. The man who feeds them doesn't notice her any more.
She has long lost her mobility and feels abandoned, forsaken and powerless.
On every visit it seems to me that her physical condition deteriorates. Alas, this time she is injured and damaged.
Someone had struck her right fender; the headlight broke off and fell to the ground.
The windshield was shattered. Two doors were broken into and left gaping open, a handle and a hinge broken off and one door tilted on its side.
The rear seat, covered in red leather, was already worn, cracked and torn.
Green and yellow patches of moss covered the doors.
Rats got in, seated themselves and cracked nuts open, leaving behind the empty shells.
"We must get it out of there", Dimitra says to me, as I tell her that her condition has seriously deteriorated since my last visit in mid June, 2016.
Panayotis, her husband, got it as a present from his parents, but never really got attached to it, letting it become a nuisance.
"It'll be difficult to remove it", she says, looking at me, "that's not good, that's not good…"
I walk around her, talking out loud. She tells me that she's ready to end her life and return to the earth.
It is hard to live with these open wounds. As I photograph her in twilight my shadow blends in with her image.
In March, 2017, a week before my return to the island, the automobile was sold and removed from the orchard.
Soon enough she will be dismantled for her parts.
Fresh grass will grow and cover any sign of her presence on the earth.
All that will remain is this story that is dedicated to Kasimatis Panagiotis tou Vasiliou (Karinos).
תרגם מעברית: חנן קוביצקי
מעניין לשמוע מה אתם חושבים