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I Thought İt Was A Game
Yazan SadıK YalsıZuçanlaR   
23.04.2014 00:31
 When I ran away from Konya to come to this city I was hoping to become a good actress here. In that café where we first met, you had told me it was a ‘dangerous game’. I just wanted to be an actress, I didn’t care about the rest.

My name was Meftune, I changed it to Özlem when I left my home.

You also knew me as Özlem, and when I told you about Meftune years later, you couldn’t believe it.

I told you much later , too, that my father wasn’t a retired theater set-designer, but worked at a flour factory, and that my mother had never taught English but was a housewife from Bozkır. There turned out to be so many things I hadn’t told you…now I tell them to you as if I weren’t by myself on this bench where you abandoned me, but as though you were next to me.

Remember our first encounter, how you looked into my eyes and said, ’I see a secret in those eyes that I’ve never seen before.’ That was when I overcame my shyness and looked for an instant into your brown eyes, and that was that. Something ached inside me. I felt a very painful but sweet ache. My muscles relaxed, my cells came apart, I became too weak to move, something lighted on my heart. Months had to pass for me to be able to tell you this. I was so shy. Then you sat without taking your eyes off me, you became silent, something inside you was also dislodged. I felt it but tried not to show it as I pretended to listen to Sibel’s nonsense. As we parted that day you recited a line from Neruda. I could never forget it: ‘There is no space wider than that of grief.’ What you were hiding from me was hidden inside. I’m saying it to myself as I sit on this bench where you left me never to return. As you were walking away after leaving us at the stop in Sıhhiye, Sibel looked at me, ‘don’t be stupid,’ she said,’he’s married.’

I couldn’t sleep that night. I tossed and turned in bed. I got up and went out onto the balcony. I smoked.

I went back into the kitchen. I made coffee. I went back onto the balcony. I couldn’t stay inside. I went out.

My father must have gone berserk when he woke up in the morning. He had beaten my mother until he had exhausted his fury. My mother’s body was bruised all over because his fury was inexhaustible.

I kept picturing my mother’s swollen, black-and-blue face. My heart hurt but that was nothing next to what was really suffocating me. Do you remember how I told you when we met the next day that I had thought of you until the morning? You had said,’Me too.’ I had thought of you. Your wife and your son. When I thought of them my heart hurt so much. I suffocated. Day was breaking. I was still in bed with my knees against my chest, arms clamped, staring out with vacant eyes at the windows of the apartments across the street, their dirty walls. The branchees of the trees poisoned with sulfur and lead. When one stares into space one doesn’t see what’s in front of one. I was looking only at you. At your parting words. İt made my fear bigger. It left me in loneliness. I felt very alone there. When I looked at length, intently, at those words, there is no space wider than that of grief’, those words bled into my insides. I can only perceive this now. I understand it better sitting on this bench, where we parted for the last time, where we know for certain that we’ll never see each other again.

Yet the morning of that night when I hadn’t slept a wink, when I came to acting class with the first light of day and saw you, the fog that had suffocated me all night dissolved and the devastating hopelessness was replaced with temporary bliss. That light of hope never went out in me, did you know? Even after the fights where you shattared me into pieces there would always be a glimmer of hope in me. It propped me up. Whenever the thought of taking my own life descended on my soul the light would  take my hand, flickering like a lantern in the distance, marking the border.

When I saw you in the morning I forgot it all, I saw only your eyes. That night had been centuries long, it had been slow to pass. Seeing you was like finding something familiar after many years. Your voice also shook when we met, a deep sense of guilt never left your features, you seemed unable to see anything but me. That day was introductions and the first lessons…such as reading of texts…mimicking, gesticulation, facial expression, body control, being at ease on stage…the instructor that became engrossed in Ancient Greek tragedy bored me the most but I noted every book he cited. I had to procure them as soon as I could. I was determined, I would be an actrees.

After class you took me to that café on Arjantin. We had Colombian coffee. You told me your childhood memories, I listened quielty. You cried. As the tears ran down your cheeks, as I saw the pain on your face, I too felt so much pain. Two opposing feelings have always walked hand in hand. I loved you to death and hated you to infinity. That was how it was for me the whole time. That instant as I looked at your anguished face and left that I loved you with an indescribable love, I also sensed that I hated you for the pain you were caunsing me.

Night fell,me left the café, walked to Kızılay. We sat in children’s playgrounds on the way, we were very quiet, like two strangers side by side, motionless, as if we weren’t breathing…as if we were entering a void…awere of neither yor nor myself…crossing from hope to fear to pain to weel-being in one thousandth of a second…as if it had never happened, asif I had never known you, as if I were seeing you for the first time…then as if I knew you like my father...like my mtoher…as if I’d known you for years…without words…breathing deeply now and then…espelling my breath as if it was constric my insides, suffocating me…fearing  that you might be reading what was in my mind…feeling embarrassed…we sat, walked again an sat again and walked again. You acconpanied me to my house. At the corner of the street you held my hands, kissed me on my forehead so I could feel your furry breath, and I was shaking. I left you thinking, I wouldn’t see you again the next day. Thinking that I shouldn’t see you.

That night also went by without sleep. My feet ached. Sibel was home. ‘Girl wher’ve you been, I made spaghetti, I didn’t eat because I waited for you,’ she scolded. ‘I’m really tired,’ I said, and withdrew to my room. I collapsed on my back onto the bed. I fell asleep for a few hours. I dreamed of you. You were on a steep, rugged hill, dressed in white, running towards me. I wanted ton run towards you but couldn’t take a step. It was as if weights were tied to my feet, I coulden’t run. I was watching thorns grow between us as you came closer. The thorns grew larger and larger and larger and angulfed the entire hill. You vanished. I woke up feeling the poison in my blood from the thorny, poisonous vine wrapping around my body. Sibel was calling, ‘Get up girl, that’s enough! I’m so bored. ‘I got up. I asked her if there was any coffee. She told me to have a bite first. I told her no, I wanted coffee. She told me well, go make it yourself. I made a dark coffee, without sugar. I lit a cigarette. How I’d missed it. I drew on it deeply. I took a few sips of the coffee, trying as much as I could to feel the sting of the bitter coffee on the roof of my mouth. I said nothing. After a while Sibel said, you’re at the beginning of the road, girl, you need to snap out of it before it goe any further. I couldn’t snap out of it. İt was impossible now. I only thought of you. You were my entire consciousness. I had disappeared in an instant, filled with only your presence, besieged completely. I could see only you. Nothing else entered my vision.

Each day now my eyes opened not on a new moment, but the same misty morning. I felt myself to exist when I opened my eyes on the same realitiy each day,but that sensation didn’t save me from wheeling around the same dead end. I thought I might go crazy if I didn’t see you for a second. When I was with you I couldn’t stop seeing your wife and child and the pictures in your house. The jealousy was slowly eating away at me, destroying me. I thought one day there would be nothing left of me, that one day I would either annihilate you or myself, and my mind couldn’t handle the weight of this thought, wanted to sleep and blank out everything.

Do you remember the day we first slept together? We were in that horrible apartment of Serdar’s in Seyran. We met in Kızılay and went around the bookshops. We had doner on bread and ayran, walked from Sakarya to Kocatepe. Serdar, when we entered the street, proclaimed, ‘Oh no, I have to be at Language and History at three o’clock.’ You smiled. Grinned, to be more precise. I wished I could disappear into a crack in the earth. Serdar handed over the keys, said, ‘You guys go ahead, I’ll be silent. We walked to the apartment in silence. The flat was a sunment. You seemed afraid that someone would see. As if everyone could tell what was about to happen. Ridiculous. We went in. İt was messy, filthy and dark inside. ‘You go into the living room, I’ll put the tea on and be right back,’ you said. I put the packet of simit onto the ground beside me. You came back soon after, ‘so, our tea will be ready in a minute,’ you said. You sank down next to me. You laid your haed against my chest. It felt like my heart would stop. I could hear your breathing and heartbeats. Everything was so quiet and meaningless…everything right then became so difficult, so mixed up…the teapot boiled over..you steeped the tea…we were quiet like that for a while…it felt like my heart would stop…I remembered the wedding of my aunt…it went on for three days and three nights…the first day was prayers and the mevlit ceremony…a stew of meatballs and dried beans and a pot of rice was cooked…ayran, salad and lokma sweets were served…the second day Ahmet the Blind came and the henna party went on until late…women danced to traditional Konya rhythms…the final day was the handing over and reception of the bride and nuptials…my father’s sister had overseen the nuptials…she had taken the blood-stained sheets and brought them to my parents in the morning…my father had gone down to the orchard and fired off a few rounds…my God so much had happened…I was in first grade back then…nuptials and bridals and weddings used to be so crowded and festive and frantic back then…my fear of nuptials had started then…when had I gotten away from those fears? When had those weddings come to an end, those brides, those festivities? How far away I was from that childhood, sitting here alone with you now, in the grip of some kind of fear. I couldn’t see it. Where was it? What had happened to my father, to my mother? What was left from it, from me?

Who was I now, here, how was I? You came closer bit by bit. You sidled up like a cat and gently touched my face, my hair. I felt a shiver. I looked at you and saw the features of an angel. I couldn’t tell if it was an angel or something else. Then suddenly a pain startad in me, began as a twinge and got larger, larger and larger, until I couldn’t contain it. Could I contain the pain? The words it’s a great sin it’s a great sin I said to myself. You asked, what was that, darling, what are you saying. I whispered the words over and over. You could’t understand. I can’t hear you, you said, what are you saying? I looked at your face, at your eyes, saw a weak light in your eyes. The light is too weak I whispered. You embraced me tightly. You embraced me and it was like a river flowing into my body. Now I was looking at the space, my eyes closed, the space between you and me. As I looked the space got much wider, deeper. I was so afraid. My body hurt. My groin hurt. My lips were dry. My cheek was on fire. My hair was on fire. My hands were on your back, on the nape on your neck, on your head. You were kissing me constantly, you were saying I love you I love you, saying my dear, saying my love my love, you sounded like you were crying, I had lost you and myself…I stained the couch with a few drops of my blood…when your breathing calmed you suddenly burst into a flood of tears…Your sobs carried on for a long time…I didn’t understand…what happened…why did it happen…why are you crying…at some point, holding me tightly and sobbing, you told me you loved me…I love you…my ears seemed to be full, plugged…ı couldn’t hear a thing. I couldn’t see a thing. Your face had gotten much smaller. Your eyes were brown. They shone. I could see your pupils. They burned like amber. This was my first sin. This must be one of your many sins. I had given you my womanhood. I had given myself to you. You had already taken me from myself. Then without hearing you or anything else I got up and walked quickly out the door. I walked until my feet couldn’t carry me any longer. Sibel had been long asleep by the time I got home. Day was about to break. When she opened the door I collapsed on top of her. I remember her cry out.when I woke the next day it was mid-afternoon. My head was pounding. Right now my mother must be next to the woodstove with her thick needles, doing some knitting. My fathet back from the mosque, on the corner of the divan, reading glasses on, reading the rest of the paper. The sound of the stove from inside must be spilling into the silence.

Sibel wasn’t in. I went into the kitchen and took two painkillers, made coffee.

My legs hurt. My groin ached. Something in me had been wrecked. A wall had been scaled. A road had been blocked off. The hum of the city rose from outside. A flood of people gushed. So much was going on. Life was such a mystery. The more we suffered the more we could see what huge mysteries people were.

On this bench now, I’m thinking about the secret  you told me when we first slept together.

That was the second phrase that never left me, there was indeed no wider space than that of grief, in that moment I understood better.

So then after that day, for two days you neither called me nor did I want to see you. This time when İ saw you in the schoolyard I really did feel like I was seeing you for the first time in years. You couldn’t look into my eyes for a long time.

İn the evening you were invited somewhere with your wife so you left early. I wandered around by myself for a while and then went to the movies.

When I went in the movie had started. At first my eyes were dark, as if I were falling asleep.like entering a dream. Then I began watching a dream on the screen. I forgot about myself, you, yesterday, tomorrow, everything.in exchanging my story with another I forgot about the world.

When the lights came on and the dream ended, I went back out to get lost in the hum of the crowd. I couldn’t loose myself completely there. I went home early this time. Sibel still wasn’t in. I rolled the grass I got from Serdar with some samsun tobacco and had a puff. With the second drag it was as if the ceiling of my mind opened, my insides rose up, I became light, like a feather, like flying, I dwindled even more with each new breath  as I slowed and lightened bit by bit.

From that day on we saw Serdar more frequently. You and I would meet every other day and sleep together at his house. This time I would cry. I would scream at you. Our fights grew. You were incredibly rude to me. I swore at you. Then  either you or I would cry and we would embrace. Then as you left me to go home I would cry curse you, say I hated you. I talked to myself. At school, in class, in conservation, waiting for the bus, sitting alone in a café, eating with Sibel at home, I talked to myself constantly. I’d listen to someone briefly before our fights, the things you whispered to me, my confessions to you began assailing my ear. I couldn’t hear anyone. I heard nothing but my own voices. I was starting to resemble you. I could see that you were slowly turning me into you. The venom of loneliness would flow inside me especially when you would leave me in the evening to go home. Here now, after all that’s happened, even in this moment that I’ve lost you forever, I’m not as forlorn as those times you left me. I went home every night with another piece missing from inside me. A part of my brain missing, a corner of my heart shattered, the light in my eyes dimmer…you suffered more through making me suffer, I could see that, but there were nı excuses that could prevent the growing of the hatred I had for you.

September arrived. İt meant the appereance of the only thing about Ankara I liked. This city was beautiful only in the fall. Melancholy would first begin touching the colors of the trees in the first days of September, painting them golden, then blow through the streets as an incessant wind, whistle like an orphan over windowsills at night, and wrench one from the peripheries of the life one clung tightly to, erode the earth to which one was rooted and enmeshed from under one, and by phases turn it into the capital of silence and loneliness. By the time September arrived the simoom wind blowing between us had  long poisoned and killed something within us. September spread new autumn sheets in the space between us, buried me  a little deeper into the pit of hopelessness I had been in for a while and covered us with its bile that drove you farther away from me into loneliness.

Two weeks into September, you came to me one evening and said we could go to Bursa the next day.

How I had embraced you and surrendered my lips to you for minutes, as if Sibel wasn’t there.

I don’t know if you remember but I said I love you for the first time in months. How I cried, how you told me to hold you, how happy I was, do you remember? That night was so long.. my eyes were swollen. Right after getting on the bus in the morning I laid my head on your shoulder and started snoring. When I struggled to open my eyes, you were saying. ‘ah come on now, that’s enough, we’re almost at the stationi see,’ I woke up and put my head back on your shoulder.

The six days we spent in Bursa was like a resurrection for me. True, you were more immersed in melancholy, sunk in a deeper silence, you were more alone, there was more pain in your eyes when you looked at me but I was drunk with the joy of discovering that my soul was of the soul of this city.

Every day we saw a new facet to the city, we turned another one of its pages.

We watched time in the faces of the eldery people in the courtyard of that mosque in Bursa. We smoked hookahs. We cleansed ourselves to steal inside, the pool, the sound of water, human-sized Arabic characters, serene people, their steps discreet, relaxed; quit, calm elderly people touching their pale brows to the ground, their features lit by the light streaming through the stained glass windows…we went out to have tea from a samovar…you took photos of me with a Lubitel…I watched the way rolled tobacco, lit it, breathed in…I watched the melancholy in you…your being was permuted with melancholy…you said happiness, joy, these things are useless…you said there was only peacefulness…peacefulness as a permanent bliss…and that only as you don’t betray yourself…still the door of hope is always open…get dirty all you want, the sea doesn’t show stains…you must dive into that sea, you said…a step of fear, a step of hope…you were looking at that pain in me…you were alone…I was alone…together we were deserted…we spent six days in Bursa. İt was all familiar. I felt myself to be in the place I was born and raised in. I had met you here. Here you were mine only. It was like a dream. We wandered around all day, hungry for the city. We would return to our pension in the evening and sink into silence in the room. Then we ould come out of our tongue-tied state and talk about everything without pause, either you or me would talk incessantly. Night we would surface, pass underneath the wide trunks and through the heady scent of the old lindens to wander the streets of the old city’s center, now quit deserted, rest in the great lonely greens hiding tombs and small masjids, and we would talk of the past, of chilhood, of today, of old-time enduring love, the restlessness of today, its hopelessness, the way two hearts meet like two seas, the way two bodies mix in passion, the way the child’s will to exist draws two entities to one anotheri of the lives being lived inside the windows that were the eyes of the old houses, with lights still lit inside, that we looked at we talked and thought of everything.

We went bacj on the morning of the sixth day. I put my head on your shoulder again, and slept.

I dreamed of our daughter who had you eyes and my chestnut hair.

Then a cloud passed over, a bus stalled on the asphalt stretching through the countryside and a couple threw the child out of the window onto the rocks. The child plummeted to the ground, her head came apart, her body was ripped into pieces. Her hands, her fingers, her every piece fell this way and that.

I woke up screming. I was covered in sweat. You had been asleep too, you woke in a fright.

When my period was late a month after we returned, when we met up after I had taken the test from the pharmacy several times, seeing the anxiety and fear on your face, I told you, ‘damn the moment I met you,’ for the first time. We were at each other for a week. I didn’t want to see you. I loathed you. The rehearsals of our trial play were beginning, it was the time for me to prove myself, I couldn’t carry on, I called my mother, ‘it’s up to you, my child,’ she said, ‘you may as well give up hope on your father,’ I shut myself in the house, I didn’t want to see anyone..then that day came…you came…

I didn’t come out. Sibel insisted. My eyes were swollen from crying. İt felt like my lungs were being ripped out. There was something inside me, a life, a living thing, and you didn’t feel. You didn’t want it.

I carried it inside me like a pain. I didin’t know anything. How was it, did it have a soul, could it feel, what did it look like, was it a girl, was her hair like mine and her eyes like yours why didn’t you want her why did you love me then why did you sleep with me why were you still married and carried on with your wife and child what happened to me how did I love you to death what was this love this passion what drew me how did I lose myself what was happening to me how did this life emerge in me why couldn’t I protect it.

Why couldn’t I protect it

I couldn’t protect it how did you take that being from me that didn’t even have a whisper of a soul yet?

We went to a place in the entrance floor of a building in a street in Ayrancı. We didn’t talk. Your face was empty.  There was nothing to be seenç ı wasn’t looking at you anyway. I wasn’t seeing you. I wasn’t seeing anyone. The surgeon was an old seniled-looking man. He had a face like a murderer. His face was orange. His nose was huge. His eyes were sunken. His forehead was beetroot red. He had a lisp. He talked too much. The nurse was old, a witch, revolting.

They put me to sleep. You were waiting for me there, in the waiting room in the entrance.

You were waiting in vain, I wasn’t the old me.

I left myself there, you dropped me off at home.

Sibel wouldn’t say a word.

I think she too pitied me a bit and hated you a bit.



                    and was gone.

I was looking up at the sky. I was looking for a long time, my eyes unmoving, my gaze nailed to it,




                            from my grasp,


I lost it,

from inside me

     it slid

          and was gone


I lost it. İt was no longer mine. I was no longer it. I was no longer the old me.

I had been emptied.

The life in me was extinguished.

With that life


 from my eyes


                   and was gone.

Before, I was very big. I was very brave. I was assured..then I don’t know what happened but I suddenly began to shrink…I shrank I shrank…I was alone inside…I had asked Sibel kindly to leave me alone…she was so sad…she left me alone…when she left me alone I began to dwindle…I was shrinking…I saw my eyes my hands my hair dwindling…my breath dwindling…I’m too diminished now too small to see too smalln too small too small…

I m  i n t o o m

a n y p


c e s Ims

h a t ter a d m

y p

ie ces




t  h  e

p  l

a   c



My sides were rotting.

My insides burned, I could smell it. The more it smelled the more my insides shrank. I couldn’t be the old me anymore, I was no longer myself. Your face shrank and shrank. I couldn’t remember your eyes. I’d suddenly fallen intı a lime pit. A singeing pain, a smell of burning, an ache was growing inside me that I’d never known before. The more I shrank within the more the pain grew. Iit got dark outside, then light, then dark again then light again

Still it was like I felt nothing like a lump of iron like a numb solid frozen rusted rock like a stone like hardened coal dust

it hurt it really hurt inside

I jept dreaming..seeing that girl with wavy chestnut hair with brown eyes she wouldn’t call me mother when i saw her  i asked her why don’t you call me mother my daughter she said who are you i’m not a mother i’m a girl i said but you are real but i don’t know you she said i said daughter when you were taken apart so was i she said your belly’s been carved out i said but daughter i said she said don’t call me daughter i wanted to say many things but i could see it was in vain i’m guilty daughter i couldn’t protect you i wasn’t ready for you i was so hopeless i was so alone daughter i loved you so when i ran away from home i hadn’t anticipated this daughter i wanted to be an actress i had thought this was a play a play…just a play…everyone was in the play…everyone recited what was handed to them…everyone had a garment cut to their size that they wore…there was a director… a play had been written for everyone to play their part in…and this was mine..i couldn’t do anything about it…there were lines written for me..i committed them to memory…i recited them on stage…this is my stage now my god what is this what is this blood trickling down my legs

The nightmare was over. İt was very quit. The storm had raged and flattened everything. The wine had spilt the trees had fallen over the leaves had rotted the branches were smashed. A deluge had swept in and flung everything up. I can’t remember anything. Do tou remember the opening night? You came backstage before the play, you wished me luck. You kissed me. I can barely remember. You had become very thin. Your face was pale. Your voice shook. I just said thanks. Then you left. At some point I saw you in the audience. I was playing the cat devoured her kitten. I was wearing my costume when you came backstage. You asked me what I was doing after the play. Not much, I had said, I’m going home. Can I see you for a bit you asked. I said all right. Then Sibel, you and I went home.

Sibel made coffee, sliced the cake you had brought, put it on plates. We sat on the floor. You were cross-legged. You were rolling Drum tobacco again. You rolled some for us too. İt was thick with smoke in there. Sibel withdrew to her room. You cried silently. My nose bled. You gave me a tissue. When you touched my hands I jerked them away. When you touched me it was a very cold thing. Something fell apart in you. You can’t possibly feel as lonely as I do. But see, you can’t bear this painyou withdrew. You clammed up like you do in such times. You deflated with shame.

Much time passed. Time sank in its nails and dragged them over our flesh making it bleed, rended our lungs as it passed. Sibel came. She huffed and puffed. She sank down beside me. She wrapped her arms around my head. She pulled it to her chest. She rocked from side to side. There wasn’t a sound inside. No sounds came in from outside. There was much humming inside us. Our inside was unaware of the outside. I was unaware of everything. You couldn’t get close to me. Walls were rising up between me and you. No sound could get  through the wall. Your voice couldn’t get through to me. There was such a humming in me such a humming so tired so tired there were reverberations I’m tired of these voices so soon tired of life so soon tired of you tired of myself…my self was so heavy. You were so heavy. You’re like lead.. ı can’t carry you. You can’t carry me. Don’t touch me. Can you ever touch me again? Do you hear me? Do you want to know how I live? I suddenly forgot about a time. I’m in grade school see I’m a child again. I’m that girl whose hair her mother braids in the morning prepares her bag dresses feeds and sends out the door…I’m that child…I don’t know you…who are you…is that you? I don’t know you..I can’t hear you …so much humming inside me so much humming humming humming hum-

İt was as though a lifetime went by. One day you showed up as I was walking around Sakarya with Serdar. When I saw I touched you as if you were a new face, the new face of an old acquaintance. You had changed a lot. You were quiter, shier, your gaze more tender more painful more lonely serdar hugged you then we sat in the garden of a secluded café had tea you smoked a lot we didn’t talk serdar left us you saw an open door in me you took me to the lake in eymir we walked for a time in the forest we sat underneath the wild almond  tree it looked like an old man lived on the mountain he didn’t even have a cabin he stayed in the hollow of the wide trunk of a tree you look like him now i changed a lot too you know you touched my healing wounds you looked at them as you spoke you heal me you said  you’re my burden you said how convenient your burden is your cure i said i was starting to talk you were touching my loneliness then i don’t know how long after everything thawed melted flowed you looked into my eyes you wrapped me up again you…

Rehaersals had begun for the new play. Plautus’ Pot of Gold was it I think it was i had left sibel and rented an attic in seyran you came every day sometimes you stayed my father still wasn’t talking to me i called my mother every week and poured out my heart you had sent away your wife and child for a visit you began staying at my place ı seemed to have entered a new dream those days were behind us it had taken some things with it but every minute verything was anew i was becoming passionately bound to you again how could i have any other care but you i would give my soul to no one but you my soul was yours i had given you all my treasures you were the first dream to appear in my eyes i loved you so i could remove myself and so the days streamed by again some part of me bled as they did but that was the living desease that weight on my soul was due to the void between you and me often there was a void in the place and many voids in time when you came it was joyful and the void was gone then there was a wide deep void no one could close it nothing could magnify it like you did you were my largest void you were my desert my sea i bathed in you i was dirtied in you i grew in you shrank in you you were my cave i hid in you i guarded my loneliness in you you taught me many kinds of pain we played many games it was so hard it was all so wonderful we made love for hours my body left me so far behind i viewed it always as something not mine something that didn’t belong to me my body would become so light sometimes so heavy expanded and devoured my soul do you remember the night we slept until noon it was a long night we didn’t leave the house for three days the two of us were in a cave these two seperate aloneness had exhausted us both then you left you didn’t come back that night your wife and child had returned after the play i told you not to leave you said what is it what now i said i feel awful what is it you said i said i’m afraid you looked at the pain in my eyes you sensed it you always sensed everything you sensed right we found out the next day there was a darkness i went into it and there was no light at all leave me alone i said i went home took the test again it was positive.

I remember nothing of those two days this time you took me to the clinic in one of the outer neighborhoods of the city they scraped that life out of me as well you brought me home and left me on the bed we hadn’t said a word for hours there was nothing to say everything had gone out there were no words the days when you said i’m a speech were behind us it was as if my memory not my uterus had been scraped i couldn’t remember anything the play ended rehearsals began for a new play the instructor gave me a part with fewer lines this time i never saw you again until we met up on this bench in kurtuluş park we didn’t speak at all you said you were so sorry then you said there is no greater than grief you left me i thought it was a play i still think it’s a play it’s a play i ran away from home and came to the city for this i wanted to be an actress.

Translated by Zeynep Beler


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