My moments, My memories, My dreams, My colors 

     

 

 

In the last months of 2014, I was experiencing a peculiar unhappiness.

 

I hadn't been writing for almost three years. However, until recently, I would have finished a theater play in my own way every summer, and in the autumn, in the joy and peace of this, I would feel renewed and ready for the new season.

Afterwards, if I had a play in the theater, I would play, shoot if I had a shoot, I would run all winter long and get tired again. Then the new summer would come and I would start writing again. Then again the winter, again the hustle and bustle, it was like this for years.

But I was sitting idle for three summers. Wake up, go to the seashore, chat with friends, then the sun goes down, then go to sleep, then copy these actions and paste them to all the other summer days. It was like that for three summers. I was dealing with health problems as well, but at least I could blacken something in between. I could not.

 

Because nothing was happening in the outside world to motivate me to play. On the contrary, what happened was of the kind that discouraged me. There was a chaos going on, no scenes will be closed, no cultural centers will be transformed… Souls were confused. What would happen if I wrote a play from now on ... With whom, in which scenes I would share.

       

Insulting remarks and thoughts almost nullified my hope and enthusiasm for play writing.

 

If all the pages, sentences, my view of life, my propositions that I wrote would be frozen in an unnamed folder after all, the venues to stage plays, and worst of all, if those who were interested in such "trivia" activities would gradually decrease, then what was the need to write. What good would unshared production be? Writhing in this debatable mood, I whispered in my own ear;

“I can also set up the sentences I want to make with colors. I can create the worlds I want to create on the canvas as much as I can. "

 

This pessimism and tedium has pushed me into an area where I have been cautious and timid due to the possibility of being inadequate, although I have been respected and admired since my youth. More precisely, I was dragged. It was not my intention to prove anything. I don't think I tend to scratch a cheap scab just because “Look, I'm painting too”. My only wish was to give meaning to my life with what I did. If the aim was to feel this meaning as much as possible and then share it, I could handle it with my close circle. For this reason, I did not even feel the need to use my surname when signing. This habit still continues.

 

With these thoughts, I started painting in a serious and disciplined manner. H, the people I heard about ayran passed through my mind while mixing the colors.

For example, Can Yücel passed. Oscar Wilde passed, Shakespeare passed, Ruhi Su passed, Sea cruised, Bertold Brecht passed, John Lennon passed .. Then I thought of Van Gogh. I dreamed in what conditions and in what mood he was working, as far as I know, and adding my dreams to what I know… When I was washing my brushes, I thought that he also did this action in one of the past moments, but doing the same action with a superior person did not bring the person to that level. Then I thought that Van Gogh's living without knowing his universal level was a great misfortune in special relativity, and tragedy in general was an insignificant detail.

Then, his ears ring, Nur Subaşı came to my mind.

I asked Mr. Nur many years ago while sitting in the Park Cafe after a play, what would you do if Van Gogh entered the door now,

He replied, "If his ear is cut, I'll take him to first aid, my dear," with his very special tone of voice and his unique emphasis.

Then, with the effect of free association and of course alcohol, the conversation intensified and the subject was based on John Lennon. We were in the days when Lennon was killed.

"And what if they went in with John Lennon?"

"I would take both of them to my first aid and you to the spiritual and nervous hospital!"

 

While he was thinking about these and waving his brush with a smile; For example, if I had written a play, I was thinking if I would have brought together all these beautiful people as role players in the same world.

 

Then the shapes appeared on my canvas, my stories ...

 

I made these pictures one after another.

While I was telling my stories to myself, without a break ..

 

That summer, like every other summer, was spent in Gümüşlük.

     

This time, I did not stay in our family home, but on the beach, in the house of the deceased aunt Ahmet, by the sea. I rented one of the two apartments on the second floor. In the room next to me was our old friend Momti. When you look at it from the outside, when you recognize it without color, it is a colorful personality. A painting lover. He prepared an encyclopedia-worthy picture archive with years of effort. To reach him, you have to overcome his cats, the always-on television tuned to the racing channel, horse racing coupons, countless butts, and chronic silence. You can talk about anything afterwards. From painting, painters, music, life, memories, women ...

 

 Momti moved to the trailer one summer later.

We chatted all night in front of the caravan.

I painted pictures of thatched fence surrounding the caravan.

We talked about Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrex, John Lennon, we discussed Jockson Pollock ...

Then I went home and painted these pictures until morning.

 

The new year was approaching.

I thought of the old New Year's Eve as every year.

I chose 1982 among all of them.

A tavern in the flower passage.

They are ordinary but nice people who have barely coped with life.

Alcohol, emptiness, search for remedies, instant "fun" s, hope, hope, hope ..

 

Then I went back.

To the 60's ...

Two days before the New Year festivities were prepared.

Chestnut rice, stuffed cabbage, stuffed grape leaves ...

Nono would be Sevim Çağlayan. Grandmother and cicianne fasıl delegation.

We, the tuifs, are also musicians and casino comics ..

 

Especially when I entered the 80s, I could never get out.

In those years, in the middle of that bottomless well; theater backstage was an escape, a hope, the only color of our lives.

It was the first and only place I wanted to be. I think it still is.

 

The late Ertuğrul İlgin and my father were classmates from the conservatory. In 1989, in the "Game of the Game" backstage, Ertuğrul used to tell about his old theater days while he was getting ready. He used to tell about the games he prepared with my father. Ertuğrul İlgin and the seer Teresias, played by my father in his youth, were reflected on my canvas while wandering between dreams.

    

However, the 60s were warm.

That warm house, the stove, my grandmother waiting for me at the window ...

He got into a pretty dream during my first years in Istanbul;

Then that feeling was reflected in most paintings.

Granny and cicianne.

He makes his coffees, sits by the window,

They used to talk for hours.

 

 You and I are two loners

Add our ordeal to each other

We multiply loneliness

We, the two loners

 Knots old sorrows into one

Cups in hands,

On the stools our bottoms

Crying for the same old problems

 

Anneannem
Çocukluğum
Momti'nin Karavanı
Momti'nin Bahçesi
Nonom

 

Nono made hand puppets for me. She sewed her clothes and painted their faces. I used to move my puppets from the broken window of the room door. I used to prepare shows for my brother when he came from Istanbul. Nono used to watch us from his sick bed sometimes. My grandmother used to roast  pies, I still smell it, not that of cookies  but that house… my eyes are full. If anyone asked what kind of fragrance ..

 

I think it would smell of love.

Or if I explain it in a Haiku way; 

 

I finished painting

And the smell came suddenly

Of an old, old house

 

 

There was Mr. Kerim in the theater. He was interested in foundation affairs. Since he was paralyzed, he used to sleep in the small theater, the Evkaf Apartment. My father was a friend. His room was on the second floor. We used to stop by Kerim every time we went to the theater. They used to drink coffee with my father. They would chat. Then my father stayed backstage, we would go to the hall with my sister to watch the game. We would feel a special excitement while watching the plays my father put on stage. Then I would go over and over again and almost memorize the game. Being an actor, being in those backstage, going on the stage ... I dreamed of these things at night, before falling asleep. While I was making this picture, Kerim came to my mind. I looked and he also appeared in front of me, waving at us from the window of his room.

 

 March 10, 1974. My nono died. They were sitting on the ground floor, for the last few years, in the other side of the market place, with her husband. The stream to which the sewers were connected flowed in front of their house, and their rooms smelled like that stream. 

 

 

Nono died at our house. In my grandmother's house. Directly opposite the room where I was born nineteen years ago, in the hall whose window overlooks the market place.

     

He had been sick for a year already. He was breathing hard. My grandmother was looking after her too.  I used to study history loudly in the hall sometimes, when I was at the end of high school ..

Nono would also listen to me from where he slept. He listened so carefully that he would then test it. Sometimes, even after weeks passed, he did not forget the important dates he heard from me. Then I finished high school, I enrolled in university. She was still in bed.

 

I got home drunk the night she died. In the morning my sister said that Nono died in the morning. She didn't know herself lately. Blood was given constantly. When she saw me drunk that night, she looked and smiled. I remember vaguely ..

 

When I woke up in the morning and went to the living room, she was lying on the sofa. Her husband, with frozen mustaches, a tank top and a trench coat, came when I woke up. He was drunk as always. He was crying. He hastily made ablution in his house, with cold water.

The next day was my brother's tenth birthday in Istanbul. We buried Nono and telephoned Istanbul to celebrate.

I used to visit the ground floor where they lived for a long time, at night, when the alcohol was at its peak, after she died. I would listen behind the door in hopes that I would hear her voice and I always scolded by my grandmother for coming home with drunk and bloodshot eyes. 

 

Nono, sometimes wrote letters to me  from the ground floor, while sitting behind the raki table, when I was finking on the beach on summer vacation. Once, she wrote me to look at the moon on such and such a date. She were going to take care of it too. Thus, our gaze would first intersect on the moon, then converge in our hearts. And we would glance, taking the moon among us on the date she said.

I was at the pier, he is on the shitty creek shore of the steppe 

On the days of her death, I scribbled the following behind a photo of her;

 

Your voice ripples across the universe

Your laughter in the universe

Drops you accumulate in your cataracts

Turned into a raindrop

Poured into the sea

Was it the sorrows that you paid 

Fell from a cascade

 

Nono's Christmas Tree

 

"What is this?"

She takes a sip of the raki that she has filled in her tea glass and looks at me with a sad smile, behind her cataract eyeballs;  

"Our Christmas tree."

It's been a long time since the dinner table has been gathered. The curtains are closed. It's cold outside.

My sister was upset that it was not going to snow this Christmas. He went mad when he started sprinkling it sporadically in the evening. Hoping to keep it up until tomorrow morning, my grandmother and I went out to the door to watch the snowflakes.

Nono is sitting on the sofa next to the dining table.

I am standing, with my elbows on the table, watching him.

Nono's bottle just half-finished. This means that we will spend at least an hour together. I wish we could drink another bottle and sit until morning. I like to sit and chat with her.

I look at our Christmas tree and smile.

" Did you like it?" she asks.

"Very good."

“These are also decorations. Look..."

"Shiny ornaments, aren't they?"

“Shiny ornaments. Multicolored. Blue, yellow, green, magenta ... "

The heat of the stove hits my legs. Every now and then I rub my burning thighs with my hand.

Nono pulls a cigarette from the Bafra pack, replacing it with the crumbled one on the side of his lip, suddenly falling into that known coughing attack. He has been coughing for a while. She's out of breath. The eyes are tearing. Her cheeks, lips and neck are turning purple. Since I have been familiar with this image for a long time and my mind is stuck in our Christmas tree, I don't really care about it.

"And isn't there a lamp on our tree?" I ask.

"How about the lamp?" she asks, wheezing.

"Well, you know ... Small light bulbs ... They blink without stopping."

"Wouldn't it be?"

“Let's put it then. Let them start flashing now. "

" Do not rush. Let's put these ornaments first. "

She drinks some water. While his color slowly improved, she bites one of the onion slices on the table with his intact front teeth, grimaced and chewed his face, took another sweep of raki and gets to work with great solemnity.

“It was beautiful. Bless your hands." I say.

He is delighted to see that he likes it.

"So what is this, Nono?"

"Which one?"

"Standing next to the tree?"

"Is that?" She asks, pointing with his finger. "Gift basket."

"Gift basket?"

" Of course. There are a lot of boxes inside. "

" What box?"

"Gift boxes."

" For whom?"

"For all of us. Our names are written on it. "

"What's in my box?"

"If I tell you, my luck will be missed."

“So what's in your box?”.

“That is also a surprise”.

"Don't worry, I don't tell anyone."

"Promise?."

"The word of man."

"Money." she whispers, secretly.

" My money?"

" Yes. I have lots of money in my box. "

"Who could have sent it?" I ask, in the same tone.

" What do you think?"

I look at his face curiously.

"What will you do with that money?"

"First I will pay the accumulated rent."

"Then?"

"I'll buy coal later."

For a while, I look at her calloused, neglected hands and cracked nails with my heart twisted. I look at her front teeth, which she consoles himself, thinking that it remains intact. It must be whining. She always grimaces when she is chewing something. The more she grimaces, the more he aches for me. 

My grandmother tells her to sleep with us at night. But he does not accept.

"My own bed is more comfortable".

If her husband returned, she should have been home.

"Wherever he disappeared!"

 My grandmother doesn't give money to her brother-in-law anymore. He used to invest the money he took in either alcohol or horse racing bets.

Nono is waiting for her husband to come all day, in front of the window. My grandmother is also getting settled, whether or not she wants it.

"I hope he hasn't gotten into any trouble."

"No, sister, don't worry. He sold his new coat to the old goods dealer. Probably he's spending that money now."

Last month, he sold his brand new coat which he bought in installments, to the old goods dealer, then he spend the money for horse racing bets. Fortunately, my grandmother saw the dealer coming out of the apartment and called him and took the coat back, twice the price.

"What else will you get?" I ask.

“I'll buy myself a new coat. Brand new. Stubbornly. "

“Why are you buying it with money? Do it yourself. "

"No fabric at home."

"Buy it from the market."

"No money."

“Open the box then. Buy cloth with the money inside. Sew yourself a nice coat. ”

"It can't be." she says, opening her eyes.

"Why?"

“Now I can't open the box. If we open it before New Year's Eve, it will be missed. And then it gets angry. "

"Who gets angry?"

“Sender. If I open it ahead of time, maybe he will get his gifts back. Then he ignores our wishes for the next year. "

I shrug off those like you know.

“Your bike is standing in that left corner. Your father got it. New Year gift."

I look carefully at the point he points to.

"I can't see but ..."

“You can't see of course. Because behind the door. If you look more carefully, you can see the tip of the wheel. "

I look at the point she points to for a while.

"OK. I saw."

" Is it beautiful?"

"I do not know. I have to look closely. "

"You will see soon."

I am laughing.

"What color is my bike?"

"Yellow."

"Let it not be yellow."

"What color do you want?"

"Green."

“I think it's already green. So between green and yellow. "

I'm laughing again.

She takes another bite of the onion, draws a storm, and quietly begins to hum the song he did not drop out of her tongue;

"I'm angry with my fate ..."

"Is there a lot of money in that box?

"I fell into an endless ordeal ..."

"Ha, Nono? .. Can you buy yourself a house?"

"I even liked a house."

" Where?"

"On the other side of the park."

"What kind of house?" I ask curiously. "Tell me."

"In the garden ... It has two floors ... It also has a roof. I'll make a study room on the roof for you. You will study your lessons there. There will also be a place in the corner where you can play your puppets. It's a tiny scene. Then chairs ... We'll come and watch you in the evenings. I'll make a variety of puppets for you. I will sew colorful dresses for them. "

“We sew together. I mean ... I make your faces, you sew your clothes. "

"Let's have a New Year's Eve ..."

"Let's have a New Year's Eve ..."

"When the clock strikes twelve, we open our gift boxes."

I say, "We'll open."

We meet eye to eye. We are smiling.

I'm watching my Nono, for a moment, 

Pensive, gnawing at her lips. I jump to his neck and kiss his cheek suddenly.

"You cunning kid." she says, "How delighted you were when you heard about the gifts."

"So when you open the box, will you pay the debt to us?" I ask, and suddenly I regret that I asked this.

He remains silent for a while.

"I'll give it on Monday." she says, looking at the pen in her hand.

"When I got his salary from my husband. I know. It was two and a half liras to you. Fifteen to your sister. On my mind. Do not worry."

" It was a joke. It's okay if you don't. "

Two droplets float over her cheeks from the edge of her pupils.

"Come on, let's continue." I say, throwing my arm around his neck.

She smiles sadly.

“Come on, Nono. Let's decorate our Christmas tree a little more. "

Gnawing her lips, he begins to draw meaningless shapes on the paper in front of her, with a pencil in hand.

"What are you doing, Nono?"

She does not answer ..

“You've scribbled our Christmas tree, ornaments, basket, everything. All the gifts flew away. What will happen now? “

Pensive, tearful, continuing to scribble.

"What are you trying to draw?" I ask.

She mumbles to himself as if to speak.

"My destiny."

The paper is getting darker and darker.

The pine tree, the lights, our gifts are disappearing.

............................

The curtains are half open.

It's dark inside.

The stove will pass. It just warms itself now. The sound of coals sinking to the bottom is heard, in the dark room about to cool. With the quilt pulled up to my head, from where I lay, I watch the snowflakes flying under the light of the street lamp in the distance.

It's new year tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the day when my Nono will postpone all its hopes, expectations, little happiness to next New Year.

Nono is currently in her own apartment.

His bedroom is just below us.

No street lamp is visible from her bed.

Flying snowflakes are also not visible.

Her view is the apartment burners right across from her room. I'm sure she's not sleeping right now.

In a room where the stove does not burn, she is watching the burners of the other apartments.

Nono wants a miracle that will change his destiny. Nothing much. A warm, peaceful home. And a coat. Inside an imaginary gift box.

Snow flakes fly under the light of the street lamp.

I think of the Christmas tree on paper, the gifts, the new home of Nono.

And our puppets.

Among the scraps of fabric in the bundle of pieces, I think of our puppets patiently waiting to be sewn, looking at the snowflakes.

With an unconscious motion, I throw the thick, warm duvet on me.

I let myself feel cold as if I was on the ground floor.