This thing you call humanity is a mountain with its head in the clouds.
There we were again on our so-called Obligation Street, the one street in this city worth walking and the only place you can find what you’re looking for. Having paced up and down maybe ten, maybe twenty times, we were bored out of our minds. As with all bored people, there was nowhere we wanted to go, nowhere we wanted to return to and nowhere we wanted to stay. Kâmil’s lips were in motion once more. He’ll know exactly how many lengths we’ve walked; he counts them. Occasionally he even counts our steps. Sometimes he’ll say thirty-three and nine hundred twenty, sometimes thirty-two and nine hundred thirty-two. Usually though it’s thirty-six and nine hundred twenty-one. His lips amurmur once more — I’d best not interrupt or he’ll lose count. Then he’d get mad. “Great,” he’d say, “we’re starting over, I have to count from the beginning again.” I’d best leave him alone, let his lips keep moving. While I was busy contemplating --‘Okay, so we’re here in this world, but who or what can convince us we’re also alive?’ — Kâmil had obviously given up counting. His dry, weary lips animated with an altogether different sign of life:
“Come on ağbi, let’s do something,” he pleaded.
“Sure Kâmil, let’s. But what?”
Like all bored people, we started to tell each other jokes. Or rather, we reminded each other of jokes we’d numbered long ago. I’d say seven, for instance, and Kâmil would immediately know it was the one about the guerrillas lying in wait for the soldiers; then he’d say eighteen, and I’d burst out in laughter at the one about the old man accused of aiding and abetting. Afterwards we’d rein it in. Then came the post-laughter silence, the incessant internal chatter that would rekindle the flame of unease.
We went to the end and back. Pacing aimlessly. One more length.
“Sorry to interrupt, Kâmil, but how many times have we said hi to the same guys?”
“Too many,” he said, “I’m just ignoring them now.”
The snow, that old devil, showed no sign of letting up; it landed on us, scorching, as we melted away. One more length. One more.
We could walk this street with our eyes closed Kâmil, if even a pebble were out of place, we’d notice. This is the path we’re fated to tread. Don’t be seduced by distant lands Kâmil, don’t think everyone there’s happy. Don’t think everyone’s content over there, no one’s sitting around playing with his balls Kâmil. And besides, what you call contentment is nothing but a load of sparrow shit. What’s more, distance has nothing to do with how far away a thing is. Look what’s written on the back of that truck Kâmil: She’s unhappy too! A crisp, reassuring sentence shaped by the fire of revenge, inviting life to the world, a sentence for all humanity: She’s unhappy too!
Don’t sacrifice yourself to those distant lands like everyone else Kâmil; it only makes you suffer, you see, and that makes me sad. Look, spring passed in denial, summer brought destruction, autumn a detonation. Since we’re not dead yet, let’s continue to be here, to stay in this world. How beautifully the hours, the days, the years and the world have been embroidered stitch by stitch. These hands of mine, they’ve been a burden to me for so long. But look, when winter arrives you have so many pockets, so many places to forget about your hands. So that’s something to be pleased about, isn’t it, Kâmil?
Are we done or shall we go on? Shall we go on for all eternity Kâmil, what do you say?
The window of Razi’s barbershop had fogged up, and I had the urge to go pour out my words there, letter by letter. Why oh why do people write on windows, knowing full well their words will melt away? Knowing full well their words will melt away, people write on windows, my oh my! One of the two men leaving the Kaçakçay coffeehouse spoke heatedly to the other, “Man, I nailed those cards, really nailed ’em...” These hands of mine... The mangoes, avocados, pineapples of the grocer’s stall adorned with gas lamps… I knew that at that moment Kâmil would be asking himself, “Why are tangerines such an underrated fruit?” One question, two voices. I set out onto the streets to find an answer, taking Kâmil by the hand as he walked beside me.
You’d think it was a kebab-shop ritual, the heart-rending Arabesque music playing as the workers clean up shop after selling the last of their döner meat. The strains of a song foaming out onto the street: “Allah kills and takes from the world, you killed me but left me in this life.” There’s this thing called fate, it strikes you from time to time. It struck me at the final line of that song and I stopped in my tracks. Kâmil stopped too. Like those guys who hurry along the street discussing something really important, gesturing words and exclamations yet failing to understand each other and so stopping in their tracks, as though their walking is to be blamed for their lack of understanding, and so they’ll only be able to come to a decision once they’ve stopped, we too stopped suddenly, in the middle of the sidewalk.
“I was so envious,” said Kâmil as though he’d been waiting for this very moment. “The first time I went to Istanbul and saw İstiklal Street, I said to my brother, ‘Something must’ve happened here.’ He really took the piss out of me for that. ’Cos he’d already told me, ‘The minute you step out of the airport you’re going to see swarms of people running left and right, so don’t be surprised!’”
“What were you envious of Kâmil?”
“I’m getting to that. One day I was walking along İstiklal with my brother and a friend of his. You know how there’re millions of people there, and they’re all in such a hurry. It’s like they all have some really urgent job to do. And with all those people rushing about every which way, you can’t help but wonder where they’re all going.”
Don’t worry Kâmil, don’t you worry my friend, nobody’s going anywhere. We’ll all get stuck half way.
“Anyway, we were walking down that crazy street, me ahead, my brother and his friend behind. At one point I turned round and they’d stopped dead in the middle of the street, all those people swarming around them. They were talking to each other, telling each other something.”
“I dunno, I just kind of envied them right then. I was even thinking I’d say to you one day that we should stop in the middle of the street and tell each other something, just like they did.”
As we stood there people passed us by; people passed us by as we stood there. We were dazzled by the shop lights, the headlamps, startled by car horns not meant for us; and then suddenly the noise of warplanes heading off to snuff out the light of a mountain hideaway, the whirr of military helicopters hovering overhead. A tank, riddled with the holes of hurled stones rolled past, crushing the asphalt. Hot, viscous tar. People scattered like buckshot.
“Something must’ve happened Kâmil,” I said.
Kâmil didn’t hear, scraps of phrases brushed by my ear, the words of those passing by: Hard to explain. Okay. No, not like that. Shopkeepers know what to do. Sure, I’ll be careful. Me, I’m fine...
The sun lowered its head in descent.
I heard. Silence, it seems, is something that can be heard. I saw. Darkness is something that can be seen. We stopped. And when we stopped the world fell mute, lives passing us by from all sides. I understood. I still couldn’t explain it to Kâmil though. My thoughts went back to the song, to that final line: “Allah kills and takes from the world, you killed me but left me in this life.”
“Kâmil,” I said, “There’s something wrong. It should say you left me in the world, not in this life.”
He gave me a blank stare. The lottery guy passed us by, like our final chance, just missed. I pointed to the shop window.
“Look Kâmil, look,” I said. “We’re being fooled, kiddo. Don’t let’s be fooled. The herbalist’s shop, that’s where we can find out the real problems of our people. See:
“Lose seven kilos in a month.
“Put an end to acne, blackheads, blemishes and spots.
“Herbal solution for hair loss.
“Appetite-boosting weight-gain gum.
“Make haemorrhoids a thing of the past.”
No, none of these are Kâmil’s problem. Not this, or that, or that... Kâmil’s soul is made of unease, even the Soultaker wouldn’t want it. At some point our Kâmil got married: It’s good to have worries, he said, they keep you alive.
“So anyway,” I said, “How’s married life treating you, Kâmil?”
“Ağbi,” he said, “It’s good, it’s nice. But it never ends.” Message understood: he doesn’t want to go home either. Sometimes, once you’re outside, you can’t bring yourself go back. Okay, fine, but how will this evening end Kâmil?
We passed some girls who looked beautiful from behind but not so much from the front.
“Well bravo Allah,” said Kâmil, “You really know how to fool a guy!”
“Did you know, Kâmil, the Japanese have a special name for girls like that, they call them bakku-shan,” I said.
Some head-turningly beautiful girls with long, elegant necks and braids as broad as my arm walked by. Your neck’s about to snap Kâmil! But you’re right they look good from behind too. We should come up with a name for them Kâmil, we could call them “Dilba” for example. From now on, whenever I say “Dilba” you’ll know what I mean.
And come to think of it, why are tangerines such an underrated fruit?
Yet and but, the sidewalk echoed with heavy steps. Groups gathered in the side streets, age-old slogans fresh in their mouths, the anthems on their tongues turning to steam in the air, strong arms locked and loaded, merciless stones mixed with snow in fisted hands. We can’t shout slogans Kâmil, and our tongues don’t know how to sing anthems; we’d be embarrassed, we wouldn’t know where to hide our voices, would we Kâmil? Police stood at every corner, checking ID again. Fecri the poet showed his wound again, a list of worries longer than his beard. Who did you grow that moustache for Kâmil? For who, for what did you cut your hair?
Things would ease up soon, along with the snow; a woman was crumbling bread on the window sills for the birds.
Some people are meant for looking at.
The branch of a tree drooped, heavy from the snow that had stubbornly waited for today to fall, when it should have been falling all season long. A kindly man shook the branch, trying to lighten its load.
Pleadingly Kâmil said once more, “Come on ağbi, let’s do something.”
Unease has an energy that builds up in you and then explodes. Maybe we should go to Kaçakçay for a game of chess. But no, I won’t be able to persuade Kâmil: We can’t fuse ourselves to life like that, not tonight, he’d say, and anyway, we’ve become a game ourselves. I set my sights on the soup joint down the alley. Right, I said, I’ll give Kâmil a treat. It fell from my mouth like my final trump card; I know Kâmil can’t refuse such an offer. An irresistible pleasure — two glasses of cold water after a steaming bowl of lentil soup. Even on the snowiest of days I know how he looks longingly at that misty-cold jug of water, fresh from the fridge. It’s only to savour the taste of that water that Kâmil has his soup. Then a tea for every cigarette, or a cigarette for every tea. That is, so long as Kâmil didn’t go screwing up the whole routine, lighting up a second time before the next tea arrived.
At the table next to us sat a labourer with an appetite of such proportions I would no longer doubt the power of hunger and food.
Suddenly the waiters hastily gathered up the plates, the bowls, the spoons. They flicked through the news channels and then turned off the television, not with the remote but with curses. They put out the stove and put on their civvies. Kâmil’s second glass was left half drunk. With a splash of tobacco-scented cologne we were hurriedly ushered out.
“Wonderful soup, much obliged,” I said with a deferential nod. They looked surprised.
“Don’t make a fool of yourself,” said Kâmil.
“You know what Kâmil,” I said, “I love the smell of tobacco, alcohol and cologne in a moustache.”
“Because it reminds you of your dad?”
“Of my dad, my uncles, of every single evening of my childhood, of losing my dad...”
“Ağbi, forget all that... A steaming bowl of soup? Check. A glass and a half of cold water? Check. Now how about we top it off with a smoke? Maybe we could knock back a couple of singles too — straight, clear rakı with the water on the side, right? And then I’ll run my fingers through your hair, while you take a whiff of my moustache. What d’you say? You up for that?”
“Ah yes, I’m up for that Kâmil, I’m definitely up for that.”
Outside chaos had set in, everywhere reeked of upturned dumpsters and tear gas. The street was empty bar a few people; spluttering, we passed them without greeting. Our usual evening haunt, the Ben û Sen, had closed early, and so had the liquor store.
We shrugged it off, What can we do about it?, and wound up going to the end and back again. The evening was drawing to a close. Day gave way to night. One more length. One more. We found ourselves back at the start of the street. Kâmil’s lips amurmur once again.
I was about to say, “What’s the count Kâmil?” when a knee-high boy appeared at our side holding a box of cigarette lighters.
“Packet of tissues mister?” he said.
We looked at him, puzzled.
“But you’re not selling tissues, you’re selling lighters,” said Kâmil.
Blinking, he seemed to come to his senses. Making a fist with his right hand he rubbed his eyes.
“Sorry mister, I’m a little out of it, that was yesterday,” he said. And then, “Buy a lighter then?”
“Go on then, give us two,” I said.
He put the money in his pocket, blew onto his hands. I wanted to bend down and offer him my breath, only the smell of
alcohol was missing. How absent-mindedly he wanders the world, this snow-capped mountain with its head in the clouds.
“What you selling tomorrow?” I asked, reaching out to ruffle his hair.
“Tomorrow? Tomorrow’s a shutter-down strike,” he said.
“Right then, we should shut up shop too,” said Kâmil, “Come on.”
Hands raised in a pose of surrender, we lowered the shutters and locked down our tongues.
Sentences have no meanings, meanings have sentences. And since there is not a sentence for every meaning, there are stories:
The state subdued the city like the deepest winter, the snow came down like toppled trees blocking the roads. It fell for days on end: lead and snow, lead and snow. And as though everything that had happened were not enough, I was also gripped by the feeling I had to believe in it all. Yet if there’s one thing I do believe in, it’s that some place other than here the world turns joyfully, and this reminded me that there were homes that open their arms in welcome. Only they’re elsewhere, somewhere far away, but why? Everything looked like a sacrifice, everyone a martyr, but for what mysterious cause? Kâmil explained it the other day, “Think of the failed martyr,” he said. This stuck with me. The entire city, as though united in voice, uttered the same prayer, calling out to a world with a missing cog, stumbling as it turns: “We may be poor but we’re proud. But we’re poor.” Then they balled their hands into fists and piled their voices on top of each other to swear at the fates, saying over and over, “We’re here, right here.”
In the villages round here in days gone by, whenever things weren’t going as they should—when the rains didn’t fall on time for instance, or when the government attacked with bombs and guns; when rivers took on the colour of blood, or when bones once buried in wells to keep them hidden away for centuries were uncovered—the villagers would pick up their guns and head to the highest point of the village or the steepest slope of the mountain and spray bullets at the heavens, at Allah. And now, those bullets that had collected in the sky had been raining down on the city for three days, a sleet of lead and snow. As for me, not knowing who or what to believe in, all I could think of was the failed martyr.
After all that had happened, the city’s shutter-down strike lasted a full three days. But today, thank God, people were back in the streets. I’ll call Kâmil, I said, we should be in the streets too. We’d soon be cut down to size again, that’s for sure. There are parts of this world that were drawn with such ease. So who was it that drew this place, so twisted and tense, who? If Kâmil were here he’d ask, “God, were you really in such a foul mood?”
I couldn’t wait any longer.
“Well, well, well,” he said answering the phone, in a teasing mood as usual, “Your tongue’s not on strike then?”
“Oh shut up,” I said, “I’ve missed you. Come on, come out.”
I went out.
What I saw was a fugitive world forcibly seized, a city that stole everyone from their homes. Let salt deal with the toppled snow, let repairs begin on the shattered state. Let cottony snow nurse the bullet holes scattered across the walls. What more could you ask for? I passed: eyes awaiting consolation, faces twisted from stomach cramps, locked jaws stiff, bodies with tense smiles.
The snow had let up, the sun had come out. The icicles hanging from window sills were melting quickly, the trees hungrily lapped up the sun.
I passed: the arms of now-relaxed bodies hung loose, steps removed of nerves, swaying from side to side, calm, from here to there. At the end of the street stood a young guy ranting and raving. Razor blade in hand, he was slicing the nape of his neck, spouting words with the force of bullets, who knows who he got them from:
“My fifth step I took for my future, damngod the force that came with the sixth!”
“Took the words right out of my mouth,” I said.
“Tha’s my man, a real gem!” came his gracious response.
“And you be the crown gem,” I said in that dark-complexioned accent from which I drew strength.
As his parting shot he cried, “I’ll take you all on, you and your whole fucking army. Death? Screw that, hahaha!”
With a nod and an eyvallah, I headed to the Kaçakçay coffeehouse to sit and wait for Kâmil. Let’s see who comes out on top today. I mean, if this is a rehearsal of life, we might as well see who’s doing the skinning and who’s getting skinned. I set up the chessboard so we could start as soon as he got there. While I was lining up the pieces, my eyes met with those of another man—a fool, a fakir, or a foolfakir, who’s to say? All alone. In his hand, a cigarette case full to the brim with tobacco.
Three whole days! If caught unprepared it’s the lack of cigarettes that really gets you. And then finally comes that breath of relief. He was rolling his cigarettes patiently, pausingly, as though taking revenge, fingers gently weighing up paper and tobacco. My grandfather’s words rang in my ears, his fingers pinching my earlobe in warning: “After waiting forty years, a man killed his enemy, only to curse himself for being in such a hurry.”
On the wall hangs a sign that reads, NO SMOKING FINE 72 LIRA. It’s yellow with smoke. Cigarettes are lit as if to set the ban ablaze. The words on my tongue echoing that voice of defiance: “Screw that! Who’s gonna stop me, you and whose army? Hahaha!” Take that! What the sign should actually say is, NO SMOKING, FINE 72 LIRA. Otherwise, resting on the strength of a comma, you could easily make a case in court. Wait! What the hell am I doing, when there are kids out there who laugh at death? Besides, like rebellion, hope too is contagious.
I lit up as my tea arrived.
We’d always liked this place: tables waiting for a fourth player, freeloaders enjoying the complimentary tea, hands raised in rebuff at the television news, the kettle on the stove, the steam from the kettle...
Everyone who comes in goes over and stands, hands behind them, with their backs to the stove. First they warm their arses, and then once they’re good and relaxed, their hands slide round to their crotch and start to scratch, as though fumbling for a bingo ball. Then the same question on everyone’s lips: “Any tea?”
Wearing what looks like a brand new apron, the coffeehouse owner was in a festive mood, grinning like a Cheshire cat while he exchanged blue and red tokens with the tea seller, bowing low in respect as he served the tea. He bid everyone farewell with learned reverence: “A real pleasure to have you!” or “Pleasure’s all mine!” For God’s sake! Written on the wall is a motto, still pristine despite its age: It doesn’t matter if the branch forgives the wind, it’s already broken after all. And right next to it, lest we forget, hangs a tapestry of Shahmaran: Humankind is a traitor.
The man whose gaze I’d caught moments earlier was rolling thin cigarettes. My eye was on him, his on the chess set: on the knights poised for attack, on the rook standing tall and proud, on the bishop in all his majesty, on the pawns that saw in themselves the power to overthrow everything. I dropped my uninviting gaze.
Kerim, one of the reasons we liked this place, got up to pay. He’d pulled up his collar and buried himself in his jacket. “One tea, one tea, one tea,” he said carefully, emphasizing every word. As always, he paid one by one for each of the three teas he had drunk. I stared after him as he left. When they go to pay, everyone else just says the total of what they’ve drunk: seven teas, four Turkish and three melengiç coffees... When did we learn to say it like this? Who was the first to form this wholesale sentence? Kerim’s mind works differently; a mind of old, not yet corrupted. It’s as though he was sent from the earliest days of the world. Who was it that led you to this place, to these strange frenetic times, who? Of course they’ll say you’re crazy. I asked for a glass of water. That way, the torment of coming into the world too late—of coming into the world at all in fact—would sprout inside me. I had to tell Kâmil. Well, what can you do, we’d say, and together take pity on tomorrow’s child.
Just as I was wondering where he’d got to, Kâmil arrived.
He’s not like everyone else. He didn’t stand, hands behind him, with his back to the stove. We hugged long and hard so our hearts touched. The man who knows how to hug is a good man. He lit up twice in the time it took to down his tea. With him, life is good.
“How’s it going?” I asked.
“Oh you know,” he said, “same old.”
Looking at the pieces set up on the board he said, “Loser buys soup.” I didn’t even have to say okay. My silent assent, the teas we sipped with pleasure, the steam from our teas, the smoke from our cigarettes mingling with the steam, our laughter... All this had long convinced me that we were not only alive but also living. I decided not to tell Kâmil about Kerim.
Well well, he’s trying out interesting moves today! But that’s fine, competing with him is good too. Life’s better with him.
“Your turn,” he said.
I played my bishop.
The foolfakir whose eyes I had met just moments before sidled even closer, sitting next to us, his arm almost touching mine. I was unable to say, ‘So how’d you end up here.’ He was watching not us but the moves we made. Kâmil made a move so clever I was knocked sideways. I had no idea what to do. He really had me this time. Again my eyes met those of the guy next to me.
“How the hell did I miss that?” I said.
“Your turn,” said Kâmil, his voice filled with victory. What hurt wasn’t the move he made, nor his tone of voice, nor even the fact that he’d hurt me, but the fact that he wanted to hurt me. This rehearsal of life was harsh, it felt like winter and the state.
I couldn’t help myself, I cast my eyes to the side again. Was it a cry for help or what? He gave a smirk. In place of a hello, he passed each of us one of the cigarettes he’d rolled. As a hello in return I lit his cigarette with my lighter. One more smirk and I’ll set that moustache alight. After taking his first drag he said, “Cheers.” His voice the voice of a man who’d spoken to no one but himself for a thousand years.
“Your turn,” Kâmil said again.
Like anyone who’s confused, my hands were on my forehead, my fingers in my hair, my legs bounced up and down. I finished my cigarette in just three drags. I hoped no one noticed. Beggars offering prayers, opening their twisted hands in three languages, came in and left again. Children selling gum, not to roam the city but to bring home money, came and went. And what does that map that hangs on the crumbling wall even mean? The sawdust spread over the floor for wet shoes, the smell of burnt oil from the stove, and, finally, a window of mud looking out at the snow. Tell me Kâmil, what was it we liked about this place?
Impatient, Kâmil said, “Hey, come on.” Seeing no move from me he again said, “Hey, come on!” But no, there was nothing I could do. Next to me, still that smirk. I’ll turn that moustache to smoke. The silence was torturous.
In the end it was Kâmil who broke the you-have-to-do-something hush.
He said: “One day, a craftsman sent his new apprentice to get some embers from Mehmed the blacksmith across the road.
“Of course the apprentice rushed straight over. ‘My master,’ he said, ‘said for you to give me some embers.’
“The blacksmith looked at the boy and said, ‘But son, how can I give you embers, you didn’t bring anything to carry ’em in. Go get a pan and I’ll put the embers in that. Embers’ll burn your hands, don’t you know?’ he said.
“In the end the boy said, ‘It’s okay, put some ash in my hands and put the embers on top, then they won’t burn.’
“The blacksmith was dumbstruck.”
“And why’d you decide to tell us that right now?” I asked. The moment I’d said it, I realized it was to prolong my suffering. I was mortified.
“You’re as dumbstruck as that blacksmith,” said Kâmil shamelessly, “You’re the one who taught me this game.”
This put me even more on edge. I was unable to say, I’ve already been reduced to ashes, what would it matter if you did burn. I was afraid of looking at the guy next to me. I just knew he’d have a smirk on his face. Go crawl back to your lair, pull a story from the hat and tell it so you can turn this defeat into a win. Guerrilla tactics: hit, run! Then have the gall to look a man in the eye. Hit and run!
Angrily I said, “Don’t be so childish.” I was immediately ashamed of what I’d said, of the fact that what I’d said had been heard, and of the pointlessness of the sentence I’d uttered. It was like I’d shot myself in the foot. C’mon already, run for it! It felt like the entire coffeehouse was looking at me, but my eye was on the Shahmaran tapestry; a cigarette came to my rescue. I handed one to the guy next to me:
“A poor, dirt-poor man and his son are talking,” he said, hand gestures punctuating his words.
“The son turns to his father and says, ‘How long will we be poor for, dad?’
“The father says, ‘Forty days son.’
“So then the son says, ‘And after forty days will we be rich, dad?’
“The father says, ‘No son, we’ll get used to it.’”
I was unable to say, And why’d you decide to tell us that right now. My eyebrows rose, my eyes narrowed, my lips pursed, I was unable to say a word. And just as I was unable to say a word, I was unable to make a move. Everyone’s a bloody storyteller. The words, Don’t tell me stories dammit, stuck in my throat. He was still smirking, in his hand was the cigarette I’d passed him, waiting to be lit. As I reached for the lighter he snatched it from my hand. He lit the cigarette himself; not a single hair of his moustache came to any harm. What illuminated the entire coffeehouse then wasn’t the flame from the lighter but those three words from his mouth:
“Play your knight.”
My legs shook more violently, my hands, unable to find their place on my body, reached hesitantly for the chessboard. I was overwhelmed by the possibility of winning. Checkmate? But who’d be the winner in this game? Would it be my turn to be the storyteller? Check and mate! But I have to tell them the tale of the loser, not of the winner. Not the tale of Simurgh, but of those who returned, who stayed, who collapsed from exhaustion, who never reached Mount Qaf. No one will understand this better than Kâmil, a kind of tale of the failed martyr.
I prepared myself for the story inside me, a glass of water to clear my throat and to buoy my knight to its destination.
“Play your knight.”
Somehow it worked. We just had to ask, the question came from us both at once:
“How the hell did you see that move?”
His hand in mine, as though telling me an entire story in a single sentence, he said:
“I spent ten years fighting in the mountains, and twenty in prison.”
“Kâmil, you sure don’t have much to worry about, do you?”
“What makes you say that?”
“I called you on your mobile last night.”
“Your mum answered, she said you’d gone to bed.”
“So? What of it?”
“If you ask me, anyone who goes to bed before their mother can’t have much to worry about.”
Pages 12-32 of Sarı Kahkaha by Murat Özyaşar. Doğan Kitap, 2015.
Translated from the Turkish by Kate Ferguson.
© AnatoliaLit Agency, 2016
Used by permission.
Translated from the Turkish by Kate Ferguson.
© AnatoliaLit Agency, 2016
Used by permission.