Seyit Ali Dastan

The light went off as my relative’s words rang in my ears. I walked in the hall to trigger it. The elevator was on the ground floor. I pushed the button again. The reverse countdown started: 1, 2, 3, 4 … and 8, our floor. The elevator was waiting for us, me and my suitcase. From now on, the apartment on the 8th floor of this old Istanbul building would no longer belong to me and my wife, just to her. I did not move for a while. Just waited a moment close to our apartment. Then, the light switched off again. I kept standing. Light sneaking through the front door and the elevator’s cabin light were disrupting the darkness. Then the cabin light went off. I got closer to the apartment. I was so slow that the building’s sensor did not perceive me. I tried to hear Sıla. But nothing was heard. I could only make out the white noise of the city. I extended my arm and tightly shut the door.

Now I was immersed in darkness on the landing. It was cool just like the mosques I visited in İzmir years ago. I caught a whiff of the moisture typical of all closed areas in Istanbul. I could still see the digital number of the elevator, which was “8,” in red lights. But its light did not suffice to illuminate the area. I felt a thrilling sense of detachment from the atmosphere I physically belong to. While I was ensconced in this feeling, our apartment door opened. My wife stood in the doorway. As she pulled the door, the hall’s light turned on with that thud, and eventually our eyes met. She said sadly and also in a maternal tone:

“How can you go? You’re afraid of darkness more than I am!”

I stopped for a while and could not take my eyes off her as before. I no longer had the emotional strength and replied:

“I remember the day I promised not to leave you. We were traveling by subway. It was late at night. Maybe the last one. We took the subway from the Taksim Square station to Levent. We were coming from the cinema, tired, and holding the same metal bar. I was hugging you, and you put your head on my chest. Then you asked me to promise not to leave you. I promised. Then you looked me directly in the eyes and said, ‘Do not leave me, even if one day I do bad things to you, I try to leave you, I threaten to leave you, or I just leave you’. I smiled and said, ‘I promise not to leave you even you jump from the Bosporus bridge!’ You, then, put yourself into my arms with a great sense of peace, such that it was transfused into my body.”

I walked away from her to the elevator and held its door so that nobody could call it again. I continued as the door of the elevator was half-open:

“You know what? Each cloth in this suitcase and every other piece in it has relevance for you. Well before anything else, we bought the suitcase as a set together. You have the smaller one. So, they preserve the link between us. I have left it with you. Feel free to give anything belonging to me to charity.”

When I entered the elevator and left my wife, she called after me:

“Your passport!”

I had put it on the bureau after finding it in my pocket before. As I had already pushed “0,” the elevator would go down if I left it. I kept the door open with one foot, taking the passport and muttering: “The travel fuss…” I raised it and said “Thanks.”

I got in. The elevator descended. I was looking at the numbers from inside now and thinking that she was also doing the same: watching the countdown: 8, 7, 6, 5…

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: A Life Rekindled – 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: Istanbul, Turkey – At night – Kerem Gogus (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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