I stopped responding to her. She also stopped squabbling. Silence spread over the apartment. I can hear her occasionally sniffling. Then, for the first time, I thought about what would happen alone in Canada. I might miss her for a few months. I might imagine her with me at my new home. These imagined images of her may accompany me during this period: She may have dinner with me. We may go to McDonald’s and order the filet-fish menu together. She may wipe the table in the restaurant with a wet towel before we sit down. Then we may talk about our day and the people around us loudly in Turkish, confident that the other patrons do not know our language. But after a few months, her image would fade. She would occasionally come to my table, sleep with me, and have a chat with me. As the days go by, I would meet new people and no longer feel the pain of loneliness. Then she emails the cold divorce documents, asking me to sign and send them back. Would we really break up after all?
While I was thinking all these things, I heard her crying again. Then she suddenly yelled:
“You will find a French chick there! Who knows, you may have already arranged one?”
“I am not going to the French part,” I replied in the stupidest manner.
“Really, oh great. I’m fine now. Then you’ll find a chubby British slut! Go ahead!”
“I didn’t mean…”
“You didn’t …, what?” she shouted again. I could hear her murmuring, “Go to hell! I hope you freeze to death on a mountain over there, and nobody finds your poor body!”
She was always harsh and relentless when she got truly angry. I intervened to appease her again:
“Listen!” But it was a futile attempt as a bottle crashed on the wall just next to me and exploded. She had thrown the perfume bottle but missed. I could see her in the black nightgown, standing at the edge of the door to the bedroom. It was now like a horror movie scene as we are at the opposite ends of the corridor, and the mascara turned her cheeks black as well. I suddenly realized that it was the perfume I bought her last year from a duty-free shop at a discount price of €49. She had rarely used it. The almost full bottle of liquid had spilled over the corridor and onto my suitcase. An intense scent of flowers spread through the corridor in this horror-movie scene.
“You will injure your foot,” I said and started to pick up the broken pieces of the bottle.
“Stop pretending that you care about me. I am sure you are now calculating how much you spent on it and how much has been wasted.”
I did not reply and went to the kitchen to put the pieces in the bin. I got back to the door and held the handle of my suitcase again. It was now smelling like my wife who was still standing at the other end of the corridor.
Taking advantage of her excessive behavior, I opened the apartment door. As I opened the door, the automatic light in the building hallway went on abruptly. I pulled the suitcase outside the apartment and tried to find my shoes. When I found them and put them outside, she called to me in a trembling voice again:
“Will you really leave your country? Your beloved country? I know you love Turkey. I know you no longer love me, but you still love the motherland.” She stopped and then stressed: “Your homeland.” Her voice trembled even more: “Your nation…”
I sighed and waited for a moment, deliberately shifted my gaze away from her.
“Sila,” I said her name directly in a cool manner. “I no longer have a nation. I feel like I belong to the entire world, all of humanity.”
She laughed sarcastically:
“If only the world knew it. Wherever you go, you are a ‘Turk’. You can’t escape it. Everybody will call you the Turkish guy. What do you think you can do? change your race?”
“No. I’m fine being a Turk. This is not about that. I am just saying that I don’t have particular concern for Turkey and its people. Yes, I want the best for the Turkish people but just like I do for others as well.”
“Believe me, you will be at best a ‘foreigner’, if not humiliated for being a Barbarian.”
“That is why I’m going to Canada. It is not Europe divided by arrogant nations. And if we have a baby…”. I stopped and restarted my sentence: “If we were to have a baby – which we have not done for five years because the spirit has not moved you – then, she would have chance to grow up in a country whose flag is made of a leaf.”
That was the first time I had incited her in this dispute. I realized that she was finally managing to make me angry. But I did not want that. If it was really the last meeting between us, it should be less painful. So I pulled on my shoes and walked outside the apartment. Now I was in the building hallway. I pushed the elevator button, but I did not close the door to the apartment. She did not come to the door to say goodbye, to keep fighting with me, or to see me for the last time.
(…to be continued…)
Series – Evanescent
January: If Something Can Go Wrong…It Will – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)
February: The Planet of Pleasure – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)
March: Evening with Jackie Chan – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
April: Vuvuzelas, Walkie-Talkies and Madiba Magic – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)
May: Remembering – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
June: 5-4-3-2-1 – Talia Stotts (America)
July: Getting Ready for Newborns – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
August: Regrets – Kate Korneeva (Russia)
September: A Hollow Pursuit – Diana Haidar (Syria)
October: The Test – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
November: The Writer’s Daughter – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)
December: Translation Perfect – Zhang Lu (China)
Special: Catching Water III – Javier Gomez (Argentina)
Background – Context
Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)
Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)
L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)
From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Cover photo: Yalova, Turkey – Apartment bedroom – Kerem Gogus (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed