It was our empty, white curtained childhood,
wet by the rain
and set to the constant banging
of the whitewashed door in the wind…
and you never liked it.
All through the early hours of the morning that wet, banging sound carrying on and on…
The first glimmers of daylight had not even begun to show when he ran away from the waterside villa. But now the coppery illumination of morning was lighting up the faces of angels smiling in the old stained glass windows of the church by the Bosphorous. And blood was trickling in a thin sliver from his wrist: a sleepy river…
Day was breaking. Far into the distance the expanse of the sea was convulsing like a sick man taking his last breath, turning its face to the night, its twinkling lights writhing in the throes of death. Out at sea the little fishing boats rode up and down as if pushed by the gentle hands of unseen youthful gods. The fishermen sitting in the bows of the rowboats, each one as deep in thought as a Classical philosopher. The cigarettes hanging from their lips growing more distinct in this dreamy darkness with each deep inhalation. Fire picking out the spines of the fishing rods as water runs off them. Silence holds the whole scene tightly in its arms so that even the sound of conversation from the furthest boat carries to the shore.
On the shoreward side the neighbourhood cafe. The steam from the boiling hot tea has whited out the windows. The cafe sits facing the steep rain-washed streets. This is the Bosphorous’s quietest hour. A car or two pass by. Ghostly buses are setting out for their terminus. Empty.
I’m empty inside, he says to himself.
The empty, rushing buses remind him of all the painful sights he’s ever seen. Their white florescent strip lights shining off the empty brown seats. Even when events are now so far away the hell of remembrance is full of what you’ve seen, remember and know. Even when you’ve acknowledged it all and drawn a line right through it and said you’ll start afresh. Like it was easy… Especially when everything in your life was just so hard…
women caressed, loved, paths that have been chosen, traced and followed, friendships that couldn’t be pursued, lies and stories, games and destiny all banging against each other; the last glass raised… And all those drinks he’d been given in the capacious and comfortable lounge of the big house by the Bosphorous. Aperitifs before dinner, Rafet would take pleasure in announcing: ‘This is Scottish whisky my boy. Drink it carefully. There’s coal in this stuff.’
And yet he saw nothing but the fire inside clear amber liquid. It couldn’t be coal with its dust black face, hard labour and deep imprisoning mines. The long courtyards of Mamak Prison, covered in snow. The smell of soot in the Ankara frost as its cold seared your face… the prison wards being readied for winter, the coal bunker… Getting even bit by bit with the song that starts, ‘When we came the shoots were green’.
Drinking green tea and watching TV with Rafet’s wife Aysun and her daughter from her first marriage. The housemaid making the final preparations in the kitchen…. Rafet trying to instil enthusiasm into his voice as he said, ‘Come on, come on; may our worst day be as good as this one my son, eh?’.
Author – Onur Caymaz
Copyright (c) İletişim Publishing, Dec 2012
Translation copyright (c) Caroline Stockford 2013
|Alt Lejant||İki Film Birden|
|Yayın No||İletişim – 1821|
|Dizi||Çağdaş Türkçe Edebiyat – 256|
|Baskı||1.Baskı Aralık 2012, İstanbul|
|Düzelti||Müge Karahan, Melis Oflas|
|Baskı ve Cilt||Sena Ofset|