You’ll never guess who I saw on Istiklal.

March 16, 2014


I saw ‘him’.

Yeah, him, the one I wrote about for the last time on June 06 2013… I had written about one of the most awkward phone call I ever made in my life, I had written about finally being released from the madness, sadness that had been holding me in a steel grip. I spoke of chains and ropes sliding off of me, finally setting me free, finally understanding that there was nothing there to start with. Who is this? He was my love, my everything for a year… Yes, some of you know exactly who I’m talking about.

I saw him on Istiklal.

My heart still beats a bit squarely as I sit and write this.

I was on walking from Galata Saray, heading towards Chillout…

Oh, the timing of things. The vectoriality, the impossible coincidentality… How can things such as this be accidents? What is required to make this timing so perfect is just beyond me. I mean, what is required for these two vectors to connect is mind boggling. The precision of the course adjustments are astounding. From my standpoint, the first factor was about my waking up exactly when I did… then it was about realizing on my way out that I had forgotten to take the garbage bag out, my hesitation, then my climb back upstairs to pick it up and put it in the bin outside. This sequence added somewhere around 45 seconds to a minute to my journey out.

Then it was the decision I made on the fly to quickly stop at the Starbucks patio,in order to steal the WIFI and see if I had messages…. then I also decided to check my email, this way adding the precious extra 6 minutes or so. Once I left Starbucks, oh, about ten steps later, thinking of Meron I stopped to send him a text message, that adding another 2 minutes or so.

If I had just walked straight, I would have missed the whole thing. If I had just looked at a store window, I would have missed the connection. If I had written the text message 2 minutes later, I would have missed seeing him. This is very acrobatic timing in action.

That is when I saw him… No, actually, at first I didn’t really see him, I “knew” him to be there on an unconscious yet powerful level of knowingness. I don’t know how this works in terms of energy waves and ESP capabilities, but something, some energy inexorably called my eyes in his direction, about, 50 feet away. The walk, his gait, unmistakable. The build of the body. But truly, the visual clues were superfluous, I “knew” him before the eyes and the brain interpreted any of the information received.

I am stupefied. How can this be? Is it real??? Can it be??? As my eyes neared his face he started to look in my direction. His head slowly moving towards me as if guided by precise radar system. He sensed the eyes on him I guess.

“Oh shit.” I thought. I questioned… Should I go towards him and talk? Or should I hide? There is a woman holding his arm. Dressed up pretty, a bit thick in the waist, a “real” girl wearing girly clothes, she is nothing like me. She is fairly tall but that could be heels, Turkish girls love heels. She has long brown hair. Probably not a good idea to approach them… Remembering his deep coldness on our last phone contact, I really don’t see what I could possibly say to him. It seems that making contact would only cause certain malaise.

This computation all but takes a few micro-instants and while this takes place, when his gaze is about to lock up on mine, I thankfully slid behind the bodies of people walking close by, I cut off all energy emissions from going in his direction, my heart suddenly pounding.

Thank God for not letting me be exposed there in the open for him to see me with nothing to hide behind. I wait a few seconds, my stomach is in a knot. Then after what I calculate is enough time for them to walk passed my position, I turn around to greedily stare at his back as much as I can. Just to make sure I am really seeing what I am seeing. Yes, same long stride, legs, body, hair, head shape… And as I stare he slowly starts, too casually, to turn his head in my direction and look back. The carefulness I’m sure, is because he does not want to alert his companion to what is going on, hence the nonchalant way. That nonchalance gave me time to hurry off, to vanish in the crowd. But I know he saw me. I am certain.

Relief fills me as I get off of Istiklal onto Balyoz Sokak. I stopped for a second, my heart is pounding and sitting in a bath of acidic milk. “Holy shit.” I said out loud as I stop, shocked.

I had, for a time wondered what would happen if I was to ever run into him again. That last phone call was a definite termination. It was finished. Over. Since he could barely muster up 5 words on the phone back then, I imagined that meeting him would likely be a thoroughly awkward if not a painful and pointless exercise.

I hurried to Chillout, I was initially heading there to use the internet connection… but Pelin, Selin, Roman and Husseyin are there and so we talk. I tell them about this unexpected sight. Suddenly I realize how rubbery my legs are. Oh these emotions how they can run you. I don’t really understand why it is so intense. But it is. When the door opens I look up nervously half way expecting him to show up. That is not rational…

“Drink this.” Pelin says as she pushes towards me a brown half full bottle of Tuborg. I never drink beer, but this one I drank . It was cold, smooth and dulled everything nicely and quickly.

There are anywhere between 18 and 20 million people at any time in Istanbul. Istiklal hosts a wall to wall assortment of thousands of pedestrians per hour. How can this possibly happen? It makes Turkey seem very small all in a sudden. How could we possibly run into each other on a busy Saturday night in Beyoglu?

“I feel this was fate.” Says Roman. Fate? I guess we do not know the purposes of the Gods, they are beyond our understanding. For myself I cannot see the purpose in this encounter. It is just awkward, it cannot mean anything. Does it mean anything to him? Well, that, I really cannot answer and really cannot care about.



The last 36 hours have been almost too much. From the undeserved harshness of Friday night to the crazy happenings that followed it into the mad early morning streets among the transsexuals, the drunk, the horny and the hopeless, walking through filth and broken glass, all of us fakirs of the broken soul. When I finally make it home the call to prayer rises on what has now become Sunday morning, I cannot sleep. I float disconnected driven by the lack of sleep, the nerves, the fatigue, feeling broken and empty. I wish for some sort of peaceful womb right now, somewhere I could lay trustfully, somewhere where I could let it all go for a moment. Where all the emotions, all the hurts, all the deceptions, all the questions, where the tiredness, the aches, the stupidity and non-nonsensicality of our human emotions and reactions could recede back behind the veils.

I will meditate in the morning. I will give up. Give up this fight with ghosts. Look towards the light, towards the Placelessness. Away from the desires, the fears and the self-deceptions. Only God’s love can really fill my heart.


4 Responses to “You’ll never guess who I saw on Istiklal.”

  1. Danielle Liard Says:

    There’s a lady I know through a group on the internet that I am a part of. She’s in Australia. We’re both doing family genealogies, and at one point I asked her for a bit of help, as she uses different resources than I do. She did, and we discovered we are distant (very) cousins. The group is only a bit over 900 people. Out of millions of folks, isn’t it high odds that I should connect to someone who is kin to me?

    It’s a very small world when you get down to it, and since your interest in Istanbul and the whole country stems from this man and your connection to him, I’m not surprised. Coincidences happen all the time. And our awareness of people we have some connection with is probably higher than we or the scientists suspect.

    Love to you my friend.


  2. Francoise Says:

    My beautiful friend. I know how you feel. I understand every about your feelings. I went through the situation like you. Feel you so much. Love you. Tu dois passé a travers et oui, comme ca fait mal et quelle confusion. Mai’s dis-toi que tu as ete tres forte jusqu’a aujourd’hui. Super forte et ce n’est pas facile. Tu es incroyable !!!!

    • Francoise Says:

      Aussi, il est venu. Tu Es desorientee. Et c’est normal. Returned au centre du project de ton coeur. Pourquoi tu Es la. Aussi. Regarde combine tu as evoluee. Incredible for me your evolution!!! Il eat la pour te Montrer combine tu as change et evolution? Sans jugement , Es-ce-que Lui a change? Tu decries sa compagne telle au ‘Elle est. est ce Lui ?ce que je veux dire est que tout est tellement relatif .sois toi comme tu Es. Je suis la pour toi. Je pense a toi . Je t’embrasse.

  3. Charlotte Says:

    Wow. I must say… you handled that pretty well. To put it bluntly, I probably would have barfed on the spot. At least I hope I made you laugh. Love to you… Charlotte

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