The problem is that my games and tricks fly out the window where you’re concerned. With other men I can play these pretences, pretend to be in control. One might argue that stripped of this armor is the real me, but I’ve carried this form of protection with me for so long, like all women do I imagine, that I feel like the vulnerable state you leave me in is an alter ego. I can’t pretend, I can’t play games, I can’t control myself around you. You have all the power. But I know you well enough to know that the woman you want can hold her own around you. I simply can’t.
I return to my bedroom to put on the same clothes shirt, bra, and jeans as yesterday. As long as my underwear and socks are clean, I’m clean. This is what I remind myself each day I have to cycle through the same clothes, along with the mental reminder that we can’t afford the water to wash clothing more than once every month or so. This is our new reality.
I make my way downstairs to find my mother at the dinner table, reading a newspaper.
“I suppose it’s a good thing we never remembered to take out the recycling. How old is that one?”
“Oh, eight months or so” she sighs, “apparently there was a beautiful production of ‘The Firebird’ in New York, rave review. The bread I made last night is on the counter”
I’m about to ask if my brother has woken up when he unlocks the front door. Brian is two years older than me, and annoyingly always looks younger, happier, cleaner, and more carefree than I do. Especially this morning.
“Hey kid” he saunters in. I mean, who the hell saunters into their own family kitchen at eight o’clock in the morning, especially these days?
“Where were you?” I ask while tearing off a chunk of bread.
“Fixing the back door for the Sorensens. They wanted it reinforced. Still freaked about break-ins. But look what they gave me as payment” he wags his eyebrows before producing his hands from behind his back, two eggs in each.
“Well done you” I exclaim, as I glance over at mom, who has the same furrowed brow I caught earlier in the mirror.
“Did they offer those to you..”
“I swear, they had enough to spare mom” Brian sighs “charging them would have been terribly bourgeois.”
My mother sets down the New York Times-is it already yellowing?- and walks over to Brian, kissing him on the cheek and squeezing his forearm. “I just want us to remember who we are. We help those we can, when we can.” She takes the eggs on the counter carefully. It would be a shame to break them now. I grab a pan and hand it too her as she grabs some cooking oil from the cabinets
“So what do you kids want? Over easy or scrambled?”
Things I miss about living in Istanbul
1) Going out at night to Taksim and randomly hanging out with people from Germany, Kazakhstan, Indonesia…
2) Crossing over to Asia for lunch.
3) Everything in Ortokoy, my neighborhood for too brief a time.
4) The kindness of individuals in a city of fifteen million
5) How damn handsome the men were
6) The stunningly beautiful women
7) Again, how friendly and hospitable Turkish people are
9) How my skin looked after the baths
10) How some of the neighborhoods in the city felt lost in time
11) The fireworks shows almost every night over the Bosphorus bridge
12) The nightly lights show over the Bosphorus bridge
13) Efes beer, though Christ alone knows why
14) Lentil soup
15) The five daily calls to prayer from the nearby Mosques
16) Everything else
“There’s been a lot of talk these last couple of weeks about “hipster racism” or “ironic racism”—or, as I like to call it, racism. It’s, you know, introducing your black friend as “my black friend”—as a joke!!!—to show everybody how totally not preoccupied you are with your black friend’s blackness. It’s the gentler, more clueless, and more insidious cousin of a hick in a hood; the domain of educated, middle-class white people (like me—to be clear, I am one of those) who believe that not wanting to be racist makes it okay for them to be totally racist. “But I went to college — I can’t be racist!” Turns out, you can.”
-Lindy West, Jezebel.com