August is the traditional month when Greeks go on holiday. Some folks choose to get away just on the weekends, others take a couple of weeks, and some take a month - or more. Many businesses close down, including movie theaters and restaurants. The normally busy, bustling city becomes a ghost town.
My husband has gone off with his family to the beach, and I am left behind to do some work, because apparently my master's thesis ain't gonna write itself. Normally on a Friday night at midnight or 1am, I'd still hear the sounds of people on the street and see people on balconies, lights and candles blazing. Tonight, everything is stark and quiet, the balconies are shrouded in darkness and calm, no lights behind closed shutters. The stillness travels through me like a sudden chill, it seems as if I have the city to myself - the last woman on earth - until the silence is shattered by the roar of a single motorcycle, shaking the calm like a death rattle. One last breath before the city dies, only to awaken again, a bright phoenix in the ashes of the deserted streets, after a long summer's slumber.