The moments that bring us closer are as dark and delicious as the moments that separate us. You and I are walking down the post midnight streets of Beyoglu. Only a few months have passed since you arrived here, and only a few weeks since we found each other on a night like this and let things flow. We are stuck somewhere between foolishness and self-awareness. We are not sure where we are heading. There is a feeling in the air tonight, a feeling that could haul us to the hour of the wolf. Smelling the nocturnal wild air is distracting. This delightful scent allows no-one to sleep. Subtly it becomes addictive. Right at that moment, I know that I am in your mind, quietly. I imagine you are thinking how many different colors a single night can possibly have. The street floor is flowing. We are not aware of the steps we have taken. The neon lights of bars, beautiful transvestites hand-in-hand with customers, greedy street cats, everything you see oddly comforts you. On these vigorous days, we instinctively end up at Araf; a place that feels closer to the sky, not because its located on the top floor, but because its name suggests the borderline between heaven and hell in Islam and corresponds to purgatory in Catholic doctrine. I found you one of those nights, between sky and ground. From that day onwards, water tasted differently. Since your skin left a mark on mine, the breeze leaves me with shivers. But, I knew you had a plane to catch in a few days; a few unknown near future days. I avoid your presence, I embrace your presence. Liminal moments like this cause fear and emotional violence. We keep walking in those tiny dark streets with confusion and fear of attachment. The passion I have for you is growing every second. It is pouring out of my veins and my heart. It is so strong that I feel I will pass out. At that very moment, I turn to you and said: ‘I am going to leave you. Yes, I will leave you, before you leave me.’ I don’t quite remember what happened then. I hear a sudden sound, the sound of a breaking glass followed by a car alarm. It is too loud here, I cannot hear you anymore. I see your hand bleeding, only then I understand that you punched through a car window. Words make no sense anymore. The only reality now is that we are surrounded by a few big angry men. They want cash immediately. I translate this to you hurridly.
After you smashed the glass, you began to act wiser. You calmed down, and gained maturity. We took some cash from the machine to get rid of the car park mafia. But, I vaguely remember that we ended up at the police station. We had no sleep that night, because the police kept us in the office till morning. Until that night, I didn’t know that the police station is brimmed with a queasy smell. It’s a mixture of dirty plastic bags, sex and old battered looking furniture. Fear filled my soul. For a while, I forgot why we were there. It all happened so fast. Then, time got slower. I heard a woman screaming in pain, she was beaten up like hell. The place stank like male sweat. The police station in Beyoglu was a complete mess on Saturday late-nights. The second name for Beyoglu is trouble. ‘Why did you break the car window?’ the officer asked. A beautiful liar, you were. ‘I got a phone call, heard this bad news that got me upset.’ The officer answered cunningly, ‘Man… with this angelic face, you can’t be doing it just like that… smashing the window of a random car. I bet this little lady here has something to do with that.’ We stayed there much longer, your passport, accommodation details, everything, everything. ‘Is there someone else in your hotel room in Bakirköy? It is locked from inside…’
It felt like my heart was wrapped around a piece of tulle. Our fatigued faces were mixed with guilt and misty pleasure. I laid my eyes on your heartbreakingly beautiful face. You had a tip-tilted small nose, that looked too delicate on your wild brown skin. You were tall and had shiny, alluring brown eyes, it was impossible to disregard your sparkle. There I was towards the morning, sitting next to you with implicit love and pain. What was it that made me simply tell you: ‘I will leave you’, when I wanted you badly? How would I know a patient, warm-hearted guy like you would expose his un-bearable anger this way, and smash a random car window? We took a cab back to the small hotel room and spoke no words. I am thinking of the most gorgeously stupid thing I’ve ever said. ‘I don’t know what I mean anymore, I am just as scared as you.’ When we get into the room it feels more cozy; more light, more white than it actually is. Our exhausted bodies are almost shaking because of stress, fear, lack of sleep and an undefined sense of love. I lay my weak flesh and bones in the single bed, ecstatic with the guilty pleasure of being together until all hours. Your lips crave to journey across each curve of my nude parts, but we have no strength for a single kiss. En route to divine sleep, the pillow becomes a cloud. We are high with ambivalence. All of a sudden we begin to smell each other. Your skin seems to hide prehistoric narratives of animals, pure tension in your cells. The story begins with the neck goes to the arms gently then growing ani-malistically as it stops for a while at the armpits. Your arms got longer as I kiss them with love. Each corner of your body provides an ambiguous sense of peace in the dark. The deep fear I sensed was crystallized on the ground of your skin. Arms laid down, I slowly blow out an intense breath into your mouth.
There are plants that bloom nightly and be-come invisible immediately after giving their aromatic smell to the night. This is where the smell of the vertiginous nights comes from. On a night like this in a late April day, the air takes the weight of stone. It was your last night in the city. I am watching the city lights from a terrace of an Asmalımescit bar. The moon is out, making the air less hot and fresher. The breeze on my skin is telling me that I should simply kiss your lips regardless of the restless people around. Impossible dream. Someone is devotedly standing between us, she was, is and will be there until the end. She is a statue made of marble. Take a look at my thin-skinned shadow, it is fragile and temporarily yours. My youth reminds you of the shore where you grew up, the waves remind you of the wild sex experiences you had in the 1980s. In a few months, you will be telling me about those days when sex was pure and just an innocent game, before people became afraid of disease and distrusted others. Yet, I had no idea whether we would even get closer and touch each other. All I had on my mind was that I would never see you again once you took the flight next morning. The anxiety of the idea of never seeing you again was destroying every piece of my body. My cells, blood, bones and flesh had no presence or peace. At this cheerful bar, we were celebrating my birthday with others who talk, drink too much and embrace the late night with joy. I saw you look at me. You were charmed with my broken smile and began to realize that we were about to enter a dead end. I was watching this thin woman on the terrace, smoking angrily. I was thinking of possible reasons for her melancholy and tried to forget mine by focusing on hers. Just then, the playlist picked a song that I knew, an old Radiohead ballad. It instilled a killing silence between us. My heartbeat got lighter. We were too scared of the perfect tune we had. It was already 02:35 am when four of us left for another bar. Secretly, I was flirting with you. Years later, our common friend from that night admitted that she thought you had one-sided love for me. No one would ever imagine that I would be falling for you. When the two of them walked a little away from us and seemed to forget about the rest of the world as they have rhapsodical chats on upcoming exhibitions. I walked next to you, and look into your eyes directly and said ‘Tell me.. whether you like to spend the night with me or not. I have to know now.’ You tried to hide your confusion and mumbled that I cannot control everything. I saw the slow nasty smile that you failed to hide away.
In a few hours, we were completely alone in your big hotel room. The dimmed light made me look undeservedly guiltless. I remember I didn’t like that feeling. I was absolutely aware that I wasn’t doing the right thing. We laid down on the bed. My nudity in your arms referred to innocence, we became believers. Very timidly, I was feeling you through the touch of my fingertips. Kisses had no ending. You kissed all my awkward bits with patience and full dedication. In a hidden place between shaking and melting, I was feeling conflicting emotions simulta-neously. I forgot about every-one I thought I loved, all the beds I had ever slept in, all the water I had swum in. In one night, you became the only reality. You played with your tongue, lips and mouth as if the body in front of you was a delicious piece of cake you hesitated to eat with hunger. I was the Bambi a hunter couldn’t kill. 20 years of life experience, the gap between us became smaller and finally vanished. The more we wanted to hold ourselves back, the more we desired. The more we ignored, the closer we got. We were hopeless. After days and hours of denial, the fear of intimacy was broken. ‘What do you expect from me?’ you asked, ready to give everything and nothing at the same time. It was completely new to you, sharing two different heartbeats at the same time. A man with a wife, however should never leave an open door as he leaves unempty rooms. Hours later, we woke up to a collapsed morning. Nothing could be more hurtful than this. The death of your child, images from the Hiroshima bomb, the streets full of state violence, silly mistakes that cause terribly painful incidents, a car accident, a plane crash, a time bomb in the middle your heart… set to explode any minute. We were in the middle of a grievious morning.
Few hours before your flight, no breath of life left for us. So much passion was wasted, nothing left to give nor to move. Between sun and shadow, we found ourselves in a café for a meaningless breakfast as we had no strength or will to feed ourselves. We were forced to say goodbye on a day like today. I never thought that sweet cream, fruit and honey would taste as sour as this. It contrasted the taste of the night before. We hugged without making any promises out loud; left words unspoken. I watched you like I was made of stone as you walked away.
Our souls felt like useless heavy garbage. The only thing we could wish was to recycle our leftover bodies and bring out love.
A laptop on wrinkled white sheets on my bed was the only essence of your imagery. I used to wake up with your early morning calls, had fallen a sleep with a skype call on, spent hours reading your emails, writing replies. Despite the unavoidable kilometers of distance, we were full of each other. This urge to live in unphotographable moments we make, became the reason of our existance. You said ‘This is something you can not take off like a t-shirt. This is something you put deep inside.’ It wasn’t like closing your eyes and seeing each other in front of you. It wasn’t tactile. It wasn’t there. Day and night, no matter what, the idea of being together was the only real concern. Obsession couldn’t get more alluring than this. It took days, weeks, even months to organize a weekend escape. We would need to go back to the city where we met. It was by no means easy. You had to make up projects, invent reasons and plan a short business trip just to see me for couple of days. Every detail was meticulously planned.
The moment I saw you waiting for me at the airport was the beginning of the ease that would turn into a beautiful hurricane. The disease of joy began to infect me during the flight. I was ecstatic – unwillingly spreading my joie de vivre. As the plane landed, a few hopeful guys gave me their cards and numbers, in hope of a date. We met in a rush, walked fast and got into the cab quickly. It felt as if all this happened in a few seconds. After months of dreaming, hallucinations, hours of sleepless nights, we were in the arms of our long awaited reunion. I will never forget the feeling I had in this cab ride from airport to Grand Hotel de Londres. This simple action of just being in the car with you is a memory that will always stay with me. It is well hidden in my history. That night, the magic rush of bright summer ate us. Once we were completely alone, I realized that we would never be completely alone. She, the woman you share your life with was with us. The more you touched me, the guiltier I got. The achy relation between tears and orgasms was something new to me. I had to look at the mirror to grasp how sorrowful I felt. The only thing on my mind was your betrayed loved one, your lies sharp as a knife and our troublesome heaven. The exhausting happiness we had, began to bother me deeply. You cuddled me softly and tried to calm me down with your tenderness.
The following morning brought a broken sunshine. We walked in the streets of Taksim without speaking much and learning to appreciate simplicity. The day passed just like any other day until the enchantment of the blue evening caught us. We were growing nightly wolf teeth. Everything around us felt like a film set as we walked up the stairs to the big terrace overlooking the sea and the Golden Horn. Standing in casual high-heeled shoes, my black summer dress on and carefully applied eye-liner. I was starring in my own drama. We were selfishly in love. All we did throughout the days and nights was to embrace each other, bury reality and love in silence. When the day I had to leave finally came, the temperature had changed. It didn’t get warmer or colder, but the humidity changed. My skin got slightly dryer. My flight was around 2:30 pm and we were again in a cab, this time to the closest subway station. You couldn’t come to the airport, because of your commitments. My sunglasses were to hide the love in my eyes, not to avoid the sunshine. I never had a fear of sun in my eyes. It always amazed me. You walked into the subway with me and hugged me so tight. You made me feel very loved at that moment. All the words in each love email you wrote to me lost their meaning. The reality of that good-bye hug was so relevant, so timely. Leaving you at that very moment, suddenly became something impossible.
I couldn’t look you in the eye, I would never leave. I smelled you as you embraced me deeply. I burst into tears all at once. Just then, I left and moved in my own way and followed the route in the subway that would take me to the airport. I wore my sunglasses to hide my tired eyes. For a short while, I believed that you were still with me. I arrived at the airport as you sent me a sms saying ‘One more day with you would be a dream.’ This brief get-away was not enough for both of us. I craved to be with you again so much. But I had my checked-in already on a one way plane ticket away from here. You had a train back home in a few hours. There was no place in Istanbul for you and I anymore. Full of mixed feelings, I felt so lonely in that gate that would tear me apart from you. Suddenly, everything started to go wrong. I was insecure and loveless. I called you to tell you to stay. In a few minutes, they annouced that the flight would be delayed. You should have come back to the airport and taken me back in your arms. We wanted each other so badly. I had to be with you. I was completely unnerved. I was ringing your phone, but found no answer. I waited for you to call me back. 15 minutes passed already. The faces of the people got uglier, the voices got unbearable, the air got heavier. I was drowning in uncertainity. When you called me back, the second delay was annouced. I was desperately trying to explain the mess I am in. I said ‘Darling, let’s stay one more night, as you said in the message. The flight is delayed one more time.’ You were confused and couldn’t figure out how to react to the situation. There was no other way than being with you, but your beastly commitments would take you away from me. You come, you comfort yourself with my presence. You go, you comfort yourself with my absence. You come and go, and your selfishness stays the same. As I hung up the phone, it was clear that the flight was cancelled. I told you not to take that dreadful train darling. After a few hours of suspense, I was on the bus that would take me to the hotel near the airport. You felt terribly guilty as you were leaving the city. We were both on the way at the same time. You, on the train, me, on a bus with complete strangers. It felt like a dream to us to leave each other this way. You called the hotel room to make sure that it wasn’t a dream. The bubble burst. You told me that you would never forgive yourself for taking that train.