While we stood in a small knot waiting for Dad to make a scene about our luggage or transport or whatever, one of these young men wheeled over, introduced himself with a radiant smile as Theologos Gorillas and offered to make any arrangements required to get us to our destination. In the brief moment it took my father to move from unabashed skepticism to resignation, I noticed that Theo had begun chatting up my sister.
Gigolos rises steeply from the concrete ferry slip and main, commercial village in a series of stark, treeless hills and plateaus. Following Theo in a mini caravan of hired carts and canopied, two-stroke “taxis”, we wound through a couple of small squares, each with a café or two and tiny streets and alleys radiating precipitously away in all directions. Typically Greek, white stucco houses and courtyards lined these streets and squares, random and choc-o-block, sprouting from one another like mushrooms and unified by the ubiquitous glare, the arched doors and windows and the red tiled roofs. Most of these homes let rooms out to tourists and our rental was at the end of one of these small streets about two thirds of the way up the slopes; a lovely, spacious spot with a beautiful terrace overlooking the town below.
One evening while sitting at the café watching the ferry disgorge its cargo of adventurous damsels and the attendant swains jockey for position, I met a German girl, Gisla and her mother, who settled in at the next table. No doubt attracted by my fine, fine suit, Gisla soon made it quite clear that, Greek boys on scooters notwithstanding, she’d be delighted to spend an evening with me! One thing, of course, soon led to another - as things evidently did on Gigolos – and, as I balked at using the twin bed next to her mother’s, we absconded through the window on to the rooftop of the adjoining house. There, caressed by the warm Ionian breezes and bathed in Grecian moonglow we drifted off to sleep….
Until about three in the morning when I awoke to a hot, stiff wind blowing the hard, stinging Sahara before it. Pulling on my jacket, grabbing for my glasses, I stumbled up from the blanket just in time to see my pants fly off the parapet, blend with a vortex of detritus and vanish. Naked from the waist down save for a pair of classic, two-toned saddle-shoes, I bid the confused Gisla a hasty farewell, barged back through the window, past her sleeping mother and out into the streets of Gigolos in hot, if somewhat undignified pursuit of my trousers.
It seems she and Theo had stayed out all night with the fishing fleet, lustily jigging for calamari and had lost all track of time. According to reports, my father was not only able to find the House of Gorillas at five in the morning, but, after much door pounding, produced not only Theo’s father but half the neighborhood as well. In wild polyglot passions raged until, at the end, all agreed that Theo was a cad who had brought dishonor to his family, while my own family’s honor had been restored despite my pantless midnight ramble.