Some of the best years of my life... I spent in the company of one dog and one cat in a big rambling country house... and then later when I moved to Istanbul.... two pillows and one small apartment.
Fast forward to June 2013... I am getting ready to go to the US for the summer. I have a little more than a week to go before I fly away. And I meet "him" at the demonstrations in Taksim. I will call him "Wild, Sexy, Male" or WSM for now, because that is a tag someone hung on him on a fb post of himself. And it suits him for many reasons. Turkish men are extremely charming but I put up my defenses. I said my prayers. I told him about my faith. He was interested in Christianity. He liked the church. He liked me. He wined me and dined me and wouldn't even let me use my teacher bus card to pay for transportation. There was an elevator ride that made me feel like I was about 15 years old... and still I remained staunch in my resolve NOT to fall for some smooth talking, false hearted man. When he gave me an e-mail address that had the numbers 1979 in it... I laughed and responded "Please, please tell me that isn't the year you were born. (My oldest child was born in 1975). It wasn't. But it was close. I scoured the internet for information about Turkish men who date older women. There is a well known cadre of males here who prey on older lonely women for various reasons... sex, money, a ticket to life in another land. I was aware. But I was also different. I would never allow myself to be taken by a man without loving intentions. Never.
Even as I write this second installment... the WSM is texting me like crazy. He wants me back... and we haven't even broken up yet as far as you know. Believe me, by the time I have finished this tale of love gone wrong... the story will have an ending.
I left for the US.... anxious to see my family again... to connect with old friends and to get away from the hustle and bustle and melancholy of Istanbul. I also need to put some miles between my guilt for being with this man and my faith... which frowns on such dalliances. My summer couldn't have been more delightful. I traveled throughout the Northwest, staying with my sons Jonnie and David and their respective loves. I also tended my ex husband who was in need of some physical repair. That was difficult and heart rending. But I recovered in a sweet little rustic cabin with my youngest granddaughter Ivy. I spent those days sitting in the sun, watching clouds go by... praying and reading and wondering what would await me in Istanbul. I picnicked and swam and and dreamed.
I also kept in touch with the WSM. Daily.
The last leg of my journey found me in Pueblo Colorado, the place of my childhood, visiting my sister and mother. We had a wonderful sweet time together, managing to drive to New Mexico to hunt for the famed Forrest Fenn treasure. We didn't find the millions, but we found each other and the beauty and mystery of an enchanted land that I had long ago forgotten.
Still, I managed to wake early in the morning to talk to my love.
The funny thing about electronic communication... and even as I write this now, I think of the old days when letters had to take time transporting between lovers... It is easier in some ways to build a rapport. One can take her time about what she is going to say and how she will phrase it... an the thing about electronic communication, (particularly between two people who might have language issues) is that one can decipher quickly and question and clarify. We did a lot of that. I cannot go back and look at it because in a pique of sorrow.... I erased the entire thread. More about that later.
The journey home was exhausting. Lots of things went wrong with the flights and when I finally arrived at Ataturk Airport, I was just ready to be home. WSM was supposed to meet me at the airport but my flight had been delayed about five hours and I had no way to get in touch with him because my phone had been turned off and I was shut out of the Turkish communication avenue. By the time I found my luggage and took care of my phone business, I was pretty sure that he had probably left the airport. As I stood by the information desk trying to make a call... he scooped me up and hugged me tightly. Thus began the rekindling of our romance in person. And a lovely few weeks it was to be.
|Almost ready for what would be our last date|
I began to want more. Of course. More of his time. More of his life. And he was unable to give it. Things got strained. Mis-communications escalated. He drank too much one night... and my old triggers went off like a post traumatic shotgun. He got wounded and I got miffed... he said he wished he had never met me, so I obliged and erased all of our electronic communications, "as if we had never existed" I told him. He cut off all communication and I never saw him again.
Now THAT should be the end of the story. But it is not. I want into a tailspin. I also happened to contract a very nasty intestinal parasite at the exact same time. From the moment he left... I was physically and mentally ill. I couldn't keep anything in my body. Tears were copious and would erupt at the most embarrassing points in time. I ended up in the hospital, was treated, and sent home. Eventually I recovered, but my heart was extremely tender and WSM would NOT allow me closure. I canceled our holiday reservation to the island of Bozcaada, and tried to book a holiday in Greece instead. I would go heal by myself near the sea far far away from anything Turkish. But this was not to be... every single bus to the Greek seacoast was booked. What to do?
I am going to segue for a bit, back into travel, because the next leg of my journey will take me to Bulgaria of all places... and back again. Much will transpire and the end will not be the end.... yet.
Stay tuned if you're interested......... and say a prayer for me.