My father is dead.
I am staring at this sentence that I have just typed.
My father is dead.
This is my own father whom I am taking about. Not the father of a character from my novel.
“Come on,” says a voice in me. “There is NO way!”
The voice in me has been telling this since yesterday.
My brother, my mom, my friends, newspapers, they all claim the opposite but the voice in me does not stop.
“Come on, there is no way. There must be a mistake. My father, the Arab Kemal, who is always active, funny, social, who is always full of life… How can you think of him and death together in one sentence?”
No, the more I write the more I lose the connection with reality. These lines that I am typing must be from a story that I am writing. Soon I will send him the story and he will make one of his comments,
“Oh, you are so mean again Defnosh, you killed the poor father at the end of the story.”
My father is waiting for me at the airport right now. He is wearing a dark blue Lacoste t-shirt which is showing his belly a bit and underneath he has his loose jeans with side pockets. He is sweating and hating it. He is huffing and puffing as he dries his forehead with a tissue.
I am all alone on a plane and travelling across the north pole.
My father is waiting for me at Istanbul airport.
While he is a waiting he is chatting with a friend whom he ran into at the airport. When I come out of the sliding doors he will stop the conversation and will look at me with a smile on his face. I will worry about the smile. Is he laughing at my hair, my eyebrows or at something I’m wearing? He is going to wrap his arm around me and we will walk outside. As if I have been there the whole time, as if we have been chatting for the last couple of hours, he will say,
“I am building this new bike Defnosh. It is turning out something magnificent. Wait until you see it. You are going to lose your mind!”
Then all of a sudden he will stop and ask in a serious tone,
“You did bring my lemon peppers didn’t you?”
As if Lawry’s lemon peppers are the most original thing one can receive as a gift from America.
“So how is your Greek now? Are you able to translate the lyrics of my favorite songs? You know I have been waiting to sing with my dear Eleftheria in the car.”
How on earth will I land at an airport where my father is not waiting for me?
May this flight never end.
May it roam over the poles until the time I am ready to land into a world in which my father does not exist anymore.
-“Do you remember I once brought you a bicycle from Greece? Nobody else had bikes back then. Only you had one.”
-“Remember I was teaching you how to ride it in the garden. As you were riding it I was holding you from behind so that you don’t fall.”
-“Then one day I let you go. You did not notice, you just kept on pedalling. I watched you as you pedaled along. Do you remember? It is going to be just like that my dear daugther. You will keep on going without noticing. I will alway watch you from afar. Okay?”
-“Good girl. Now get out of that plane and carry on. You’ll see that you won’t fall. Trust your dear father.”
I landed and my dad were right, I did not fall.
I will carry on Baba. With your voice in my ears telling me that happiness is hidden in the funny, little, sweet moments of life, I will push the pedals forward.
This world will always be missing something without you but don’t worry about us.
In the path you took may you walk smoothly in peace and may you arrive to the heavens.
We are fine here.
May you travel well my dear Babish.