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Globules of Begendi


Globules of Beğendi

Eda found her attention unwillingly dragged like a petulant child having a tantrum at a supermarket floor being pulled by an embarrassed mother to the spot of begendi roasted eggplant with cream stuck to Mehmet’s opaquely dark five o clock shadow just when it was five to five and willed herself to focus on what he was saying but all she could do was look at the glinting glob stuck to the bottom right hand side or is it his left while the words from his slightly crooked mouth poured out like molten charred silver slimy soft rhythmic but would harden into crooked pieces later in the evening when his patience for her ran out and the football started and his belly would fold over the top of his striped pajama bottoms while demanding her to bring a medium-sweet türk kahvesi like the good Turkish girl he and her family and his friends demanded her to be while she would breathe heavily in the kitchen trying not to punch her chest willing to give herself a heart attack

#

but then what would happen to the screaming crying mound of her flesh would she be stuck with his mother who thought she was too quote too feminist unquote or her mother who would teach her to grow up to be polite to everybody because god forbid she should not want to go over to the family friends house for Saturday night dinner and put her feet under her on the couch or wear shorts at the town where her grandmother had the summer house until she got to the beach lest the men stare and gossip spread like swine flu oh forgot there’s no pork in Turkey across the townsfolk who would hypothetically glare at her and come and knock on the door and demand DEMAND that she wear shorts three inches longer to cover those seductive thirteen year old knees as they were driving the menfolk crazy so crazy that they could not go to their jobs run the tills sew the shirts mend the leather shoes drive the taxis for they would all be shriveled up rocking side to side back and forth in a corner dreaming about those seductive knees would the too short shorts

#

Eda paused attempting to bring herself back to the present this time trying to make sure her eyes were not glazed over like gelatin on a raspberry cheesecake at the pastane around the corner from her parents apartment in Ankara where she would order via phone when she was stressed studying for high school exams and her mother wanted to feed away her problems but yes back to the present as the key to success in life is staying in the present and not focusing on the past or future or any other forsaken tense it’s the present that gives peace or what exactly was the generic quote juxtaposed on a gleaming sunset on social media with cursive handwriting that she would read from her friends who were single and whining about it thinking about how pretty Eda looked in her wedding dress envy mixed with defiance at focusing on their careers having no idea how she had eaten nothing but green tea cucumbers and diet crackers and hired an expensive personal trainer who would force her to do more burpees than she could count in the basement of a dilapidated old building in the heart of Taksim after which she would go home and eat a sprig of spinach she had with lemon and olive oil with a cube of feta cheese it felt like while suppressing any sort of anxiety about whether or not marrying Mehmet was the right decision speaking of which he was still talking about

#

Whatever the fuck he was talking about oh they said marry a man with a good job they said they said marry a man who will stick around and be a good father they said as if all men are diseased with a genetic disorder that makes them stray so finding a man with slightly less of that definitely scientifically proven DNA would be a good choice they said his family is a good family her parents said he is good to you he is stable he may be a bit boring but boring men make the best husbands as they are house trained and committed but in reality too lazy to explore anything including other women including Eda’s clit so that after four and a half years of marriage she would finish herself off after he had rolled over and gone to sleep feeling empowered and knowing she was doing a much better job than he ever could and would fall asleep for a short while until at least the baby woke up asking for a boob that had nipples as long as half her right hand pinkie that she was simultaneously grossed out yet curious about on a daily basis

#

Eda walked over to her car in the salty-wet heavy heat of the late August Istanbul summer morning — a black SUV bought by Mehmet, exchanged just last summer for the eight round of new car buying — electronically unlocked the door, slid into the red-hot leather seats that seared the back of her thighs like entrecôte in a pan, burnt and stuck to the sides (she would methodically scrub the pans clean after she had guests over for another soiree, putting on a show and enjoy how the lukewarm soapy foam felt over her red-manicured hands, enjoying the meditative repetitive motions); she turned on the engine, revving up the cool air conditioning watching the minuscule sweat drops dry from the tiny hairs on her forearms while Turkish pop hits sputtered on the radio —

#

She slammed on the gas— swerved round the low concrete wall — then scraped the side of the SUV — that pretentious piece of junk — narrowly avoided the neighborhood stray — sped onto the miraculously empty TEM highway and put the SUV on cruise control at record speed, breathlessly gasping for the life that she wanted to live, believing it to be in the shaded, cool evergreen trees that greeted anyone brave enough to leave the pulsating, concrete, swelling, monstrosity of a city that was Istanbul with its high-rises and glossy ads promising nature and swimming pools inside the walls of the compound, for anyone sick and tired of breathing exhaust fumes and sitting in traffic day in day out trying to cross the bridge to the other side where the proverbial grass wasn’t greener but dusty and sandy and dirty; she sat back, sucked in the cool AC air, watching block after block of grey and pasty pink phallic, triumphant, soulless rectangular cubes of false dreams pass by in repetition, thinking only about walking under the green, lush shadows of the forest; feeling the pine-needles under her feet, the wetness of the mud, the deep quiet with only the constant chirping of the crickets and the rustling of the leaves; she would sit there under the trees, quiet, and stay there, indefinitely.

#

The car door opened and Mehmet got in, thanking her blithely for cooling the car down in advance, stroking her dry arm, removing a piece of hair that was stuck to her lip gloss, grazing her tanned legs golden in the sunlight — "Where to, sir?"

"The mall. I heard there’s a good restaurant there that makes my favorite begendi."