{Mojito}

breakfast mojito
i had never had
a mojito
before but: why not?
i was on my last twenty pounds of which i’d just spent fourteen on breakfast, so
a cocktail at noon
seemed
apt…

i got to istanbul on my own after christoph and i parted ways back in budapest: he’d had enough and wanted to go home, i
wanted to see
amsterdam.
how i ended up in istanbul i’m not sure, i
suppose
i must have got on the wrong train –
different train: what can be
wrong
about a train that takes you
where you’ve not been before

he’d sent over the waiter. that
in itself
was
brazen
i thought. he looked maybe forty, thirty-eight? forty?
(i later find out he was pushing fifty; i wasn’t meaning to flatter him though)

i went across to his table, and all the while he was looking at me the way your uncle who hasn’t seen you in years looks at you, or a friend of your mum’s who remembers you as a baby: a familiarity that says, you don’t know who i am, but i changed your nappies when you were little.

maybe that’s why i accepted his invitation to
mojito
in the first place: he felt harmless. forlorn, perhaps, and a bit quizzical maybe, but benign

i sat down and he said, ‘don’t tell me: it’s george.’ and that made me wonder.
‘isn’t it?’
‘yes.’
‘good to meet you george, my name is sebastian.’
i’d always liked
sebastian
as a name

he looked at me with his nearly-a-stare that spoke of
curiosity, even
wonder –
i asked him: ‘what are you doing in
istanbul?’
‘if only i knew,’ he laughed, and there was a silence.
‘how about you?’

soon
the waiter
ahmed
arrived
with mojitos


(<) THE TAPE – London

No Compromise >


Istanbul-Front-Cover-1.1-tn-OPT

Read Istanbul in Paperback or as eBook

 

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