Istanbul: My whole body is sore. I move slowly down snow-packed cobble stone streets, walking with the caution of an old lady. This is partly because I hurt, I'm dizzy from endorphin overload and lack of sleep, and partly because I've already fallen twice on slippery hard ice. Still, those slips can't account for all the bruises decorating my knees, thighs, and ass. People on the street look at me like I'm insane for walking around in an area like this by myself -- I'm living in Istanbul's equivalent of the Tenderloin.
I get to my place and thankfully the keys work smoothly this time, before the gypsy teenagers who are always hanging out on the corner can saunter over to my doorstep to intimidate. Even the starving street cats keep their distance. I melt into the heat of my foyer and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror -- limping, battered, wild mane of piled knotted hair, a dull stare, and a stupid grin from ear to ear: "ohhh..." it sets in. I look totally fucking insane.
I spent the night with Sweetie again. We've made love eight times in two consecutive days, sometimes for hours each time, and yet it doesn't seem to be enough. I'm not surprised I look like a nut case. After several attempts of getting up, getting dressed, and greeting the daylight (all of which ended in ever fervent fucking turned loud consensual rape on various furniture pieces in various rooms) we finally made it outdoors. By the time we finished breakfast, it was 7:30PM and he was late to work by several hours. But he didn't seem too concerned. I was more than happy to gaze at him over our Turkish style scrambled eggs (menemen) as he spoke passionately about social activism for disabled children in the tea-growing region near the Black Sea. Dreamy.
I make it up the stairs to my bathroom and spend the next half hour liberating my hair from it's dreadlocked state. I'm thinking of Sweetie, our conversations...
"You look so unsuspecting but you're so kinky..."
"What is 'kinky? What is it meaning?"
"Well, it's just... everything that you do in bed."
"Tell me what you want -- teach me!"
His pleas were met only with whimpering moans of pleasure. I was enjoying myself thoroughly, he wasn't in need of instruction. Besides this, I had decided that I didn't like to speak to him in bed. Next to his accent, thick and sweet like grape molasses, my own voice sounded clumsy and boorish, inseparable from it's Americanness, and it turned me off to hear it.
He responded desperately and energetically.
"I want to learn, I want to know how to please you! Don't you understand? I want to be with you... Can't you understand that?! I want to be with you."
He stopped making love to me and put his head between his hands. He breathed hard, reached for a glass of water, spilled it, and jumped up to protect my notes and papers from the liquid. He forfeited to the mess that he had become and sunk to the ground, placing his hands back on his head again, a position that seemed to quiet the voices of doubt and anxiety.
He is naked, hard, muscular, and thin, with coffee-and-cream colored skin and wild black hair that stands straight up from his scalp. Even while prostrated, reaching out only with a shaking velvet voice, he is powerful and masculine. I'm a little terrified of this man, notably because he is insane, and that is exactly why in this moment I felt love for him although I still do not pretend to understand him. I reflected on my thoughts: that he does not know me, and that of what he does know, I could not possibly be impressive to him. And yet I don't judge him loving what he have, regardless of our not understanding each other. In fact, I admire him for it, though I'm aware that I probably shouldn't.
"Why you were so cold to me last year?"
A year ago we met at the alternative workshop and performance space he runs in an underground cave in the city. I didn't even know if he liked women, but I just thought he was the cutest and I had a big fat crush on him. Naturally, as my selective anxiety would dictate, I didn't give him the time of day.
"Why you didn't hug and kiss me to say hello?"
He recounted to me in detail everything about our few interactions, even down to what I had been wearing. He told me that we had exchanged some long eye contact -- I remembered it too, but had dismissed it as a mirage in the hot desolation of my loneliness at the time. He had been waiting for me for talk to him, but when I did, I had said:
"Hey man, where's the bathroom?"
I wasn't quite the seductress then. I had fled to Turkey for the months following an escape from the burning broken shambles of a serious monogamous relationship I had left behind in a small country in Eastern Europe. First thing I had done in Turkey was rebound with the exact wrong person and I fell on my own sword again. I didn't feel good. Even though I liked and was fascinated by him at the time, my heart, trying to heal itself, wasn't open. And I didn't know how to reach him in that state, or how to want to.
I explained to him that I was shy. His only response was to kiss my face, hug me, and we fell asleep like that.
"I like holding you this way... it make me feel you belong to me. That you're my women."
Meet Sweetie HERE, and read more about my experience in Turkey HERE.
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