Last week we had a few beautiful sunny days. They’re beautiful because there are so few and it makes me roam around the office like a lost koala, daydreaming and being completely useless. We’re all just walking around, going outside for a meal, a cigarette then a chat. the sun is out in Dublin. We take long breaks and then we leave work early for a picnic in the park, so happy to sit outside basking in all this light that we have missed so much. Our bodies remember that we are more than just productivity machines with our asses stuck to chairs that have wheels at their feet. the sun is out in Dublin. It takes me back to lighter places, my notebooks are filled with the hardship of people, stress, loss, but today light is there. I want to force my thought towards a selfish kind of happy, the soft nothingness of last summer ending, and a september day in Istanbul.
He brought sweet wine, the kind teenagers like, but it’ll do. The cheese is good and the olives are fabulous. We eat them with our hands as we pretend to flirt and make sure we achieve a decent volume of conversation before we move on to what we’re meant to do. I’m already in his room but this is the Middle East and we don’t do straight lines. There’s always some complication, some twisted plot before we can get to what we’re meant to do.
In the beautifully sunlit hotel room, large gulps of insignificant Turkish wine mark the intervals of our insignificant conversation. Because I’m a lady and these are silly times, it makes sense for me to drink enough to pretend I wouldn’t act like this sober. Is it so wrong to not want conversation? Like…seriously, I don’t wanna talk at all. We navigate the twists and social knots, we jump through cultural loophole and thankfully the charade doesn’t last too long. At least he brought condoms, saving me the trouble to take mine out of my purse.
The sex is quiet and long and soft. Particularly lazy and lustful Mediterranean sex…the kind that people have had for centuries when they take a day off and have the city to themselves. He says corny words I never asked for but it’s ok because it’s such a corny day anyway. It smells like jasmin, how perfectly corny is that…
Somewhere in the back alleys behind Sultanahmet, our thoughts drifts to the random confines of everything and anything and all these thoughts join us here in the room and it’s shocking, sad really, to see how bad they are.
10 times the anger for every happy smile, Sixfold the frustration for every achievement, It feels bad and wrong to enjoy a sweet summer day in the midst of our ugly mess, Jasmin smells so stupid when the Middle East is such a mess.
It’s not fatality when our demons have faces and names so we say them out loud as we reclaim the day.
We’re silly people you and I, but it’s fun, and necessary and such a gratifying exercise. You nibble my ear, I place a curse on Erdogan, I bite your lip as I wish the plague on Bachar al Assad, Somewhere under the sheet, your tongue in my wetness makes me scream and I summon the Goddess Maat to bring justice to Egypt, Saudi and Sudan. Then hours later, a million hours later, when I have landed back on the bed, back in your room, smoking a cigarette, I am still cursing the monster Baghdadi.
We’re all giggly and exhausted, I have my head out the window so I can smoke and you’re still enumerating corruption cases in Iran. With each puff of my cigarette I cast a spell on every name your say. While I’m at it, I hiss some hate at the stupid loophole knotted culture when it’s so much better to live naked and honest. It’s all so corrupted, that’s why innocent people die.
We reinvent the world, banish famine and religion, we imagine the Middle East that could have been; where everyone would have soft cotton sheets and a beautiful sunlit room to enjoy the magic that human bodies can do. A place where every day could be a sunny, sweet, easy, lazy, silly, happy summer day for everyone, the kind of day everyone deserves to have.