A little girl once went to sleep with a painting brush and didn’t wake up for a very long time. Everyone forgot her. She has now woken up in a 33 year old woman. Issue is how do we explain it to the world? But a bigger issue is who will explain it to the woman?
After 12 days of staying inside and being occupied with survival tasks such as eating and taking showers, there hasn’t been much creative work. Last night was particularly heavy with heaviness in the heart like a brick. I refused to call it fear. You can call it denial. The next day I made a deliberate effort to wake up, get ready and head out to the most touristic place in Istanbul called Karaköy. The place was buzzing with activity along its harbor, blending trendy cafes, late-night cocktail bars with local bakeries and family-owned stores.
The place had a blend of Ottoman-era structures adorned with street art. It is like living on a crumpled white sheet of paper with moving bodies with their heads on a string attached to the sky. They don’t see me and never will. My highway is on a much lower level. I found water which looked nothing less than a flat LCD screen animating blue. I found my way to the ferry station where I got on a ferry to Kadıköy which is a neighborhood on the Asian side known for its lively market.
I hopped on the ferry with my melancholic heart and looked to find a space for myself. At that point I also realized that I will not always have the best views of the world because that is just how it is. So I must prioritize safety and not go on the deck if a step in between does not allow. It’s a small sacrifice. I sat across a young boy who watched a football match on his mobile phone. The ferry moved and everyone enjoyed a live band performing familiar tunes on violin and guitar. The artists slowly played high beat songs towards the landing time to garner more attention hence more money.
I got off and moved towards a crowded place where people enjoyed in restaurants, cafes and in the street. I moved among them enjoying my own solitude. I found a small lane of book shops but they did not have a huge variety of English books. I found and purchased one book about a dystopian world and another one about a young boy with a facial deformity. I then walked back looking for dinner without feeling hungry and ordered İskender kebap at a restaurant. The meal was a disappointment but my appetite was more incompetent.
I was making and scratching notes about everything I wanted to write about. But all this time I could not stop thinking about the kiss that I saw when I was getting off from the taxi in Karaköy. We live in a world where there is and isn’t any love yet I feel I am walking in a bazaar of love where everything is for sale except love. I see lovers with their eyes locked, arms around each other’s waists making promises that I hope they keep. And how does the journey of a kiss work?
Does he try to convince her with his kisses or have they reached a new milestone? What is the journey of the kiss right in the middle of the street? Is it the destination or the beginning? Is it a full stop or an exclamation mark? How do you even randomly throw in a kiss in between this chaotic course of life. What is the anatomy of this journey? I finished my meal and made some notes.
When I headed out I bought myself some flowers. I flashed a 50 Lira note to a woman who greeted me and asked her to pick some flowers for me. She picked a bundle of shocking pink rose buds and wrapped them in white paper and I happily took the bouquet. Everytime I buy flowers. I pretend they are from Allah. I also bought a small pack of water chestnuts and got on the ferry back to Karaköy. I enjoyed the sweetness of the nuts and looked across the coastline of beautiful Istanbul.
Back at the harbor I sat to write a few lines and also ran through the books I had purchased. I ordered hot chocolate and sat across a table where tea and love was being served. I was witnessing a man and a woman bringing their love to life. I wrote about them but I kept getting interrupted by a street singer. I don’t know what he was singing about but it definitely felt like a heart break or trauma. I wanted to pay him to stop singing but I let everything flow around me instead and see where it leads to. It all only led to the bill.
Before I left I took one last look around it. Like scanning the stage for all the actors who had given a remarkable performance of life. I hoped the singer made enough money to satisfy his sleep and stomach. I prayed on the table where love and tea is being served, honesty is also served. I also hoped the people fishing right in front of me would find a good catch but not the best so there is something to look forward to tomorrow. A girl came over to sell me some more flowers but I thanked her, paid the bill and exited from the scene.