TE16 Turkish Delight

While Thomas is Falling (novel excerpt) by Altay Öktem Translated from Turkish by Eylül Deniz Doğanay My rendezvous with Maria was after her photo shoot, around 6pmat the hotel. Which meant that I had awhole day to discover Istanbul. Sure, maybe I had lost my job, but I had Maria now. All in all, it could potentially be the best thing to ever happen in a fifty-year-oldman’s life. I presumed theodds of meeting awoman like Maria in the rest of my life to be quite low. So, there was only one thing I could do; I had to avoid anything and everything that could upset me. I had a chance to feel the essence of city, and share it with Maria. I couldn’t risk ruining it. I rose my arms up to the bright sky and shouted: “Istanbul! You wait for me!” Then, I addressed the same order to Maria too, but didn’t shout as much. The sidewalk I’d been walking on in the meantime was, as it turned out, pretty crowded. People around me turned to look at me with big smiles, then went on their way. What a peculiar city… Had I shouted anywhere else like that, either no one would care less or I would be warned, or someone could even call the cops on me. Everyone here, however, saw everything, but didn’t intervene, ever, and they smiled! The road took a dive and I found myself walking towards the sea – I didn’t mind at all. When I came to a deck, I spent some time 67

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