TE16 Turkish Delight

Labyrinth in the ashtray. I don’t touch the rice pudding the waiter brings. I pay the bill and leave. I stridequickly through thestreets. At eachcorner, beforecrossing to the other side, I gaze up at the sky. Fifteen minutes later I arrive home. I pack my rucksack. A few changes of clothing, a couple of records, that’s all. The records are for my nephew. I now switch off the lights that I always leave on. I run down the stairs. I put the rucksack down on the edge of the pavement. I raise my hand to hail a cab. Our grocer is nowhere to be seen. He must have a customer. Before long a taxi draws up. I say I’m going to Haydarpaşa Train Station. Right away young man, says the driver. He has grey hair and thick glasses. He’s wearing a suit and tie. He’s very likely a retired civil servant. As he drives into the heavy traffic he says, this is because of the gas tanker. What gas tanker, I say. There’s been an accident in the Bosphorus with a gas tanker, all the ferries have been suspended, they’ve been talking about it on the radio allafternoon. Now everyone’s trying to cross over to the other side by car. I hope you’re not in ahurry. I still have some time, I say, it’s not evening yet. In the back seat, by the window, I lookup. I listen to what they’re saying on the radio. They’re talking about soccer matches. They switch from praise to criticism of the teams, the coaches, the players. I remember every name they mention. That side of my memory is still fresh. I only confuse the time of one player. I assumed he was still alive, but it turns out he’s been dead for many years. After that there’s a music program. One arabesque song plays after another. Our car inches its way to the Bosphorus Bridge, amid the deafening


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