Today is Saturday. Weather sun visor. Sometimes the clouds joke with the sun, they surround it. The sky is getting dark. You think it’s evening. There are cars trying to reach somewhere on the highway and occasional sirens. When the neighborhood we used to live in was very quiet and color televisions were in our neighbors, there were movies on screens until eight on Saturday evenings. Foreign movies. While watching, there was always a siren sound in the background. I remembered how many events were going on. Later, our cities and districts grew, one after the other, we became obsessed with the voices in movies. An ambulance sound makes me nervous. Especially if he came to the neighborhood. I feel sadness. I wonder who is the acep who is trying to be raised.
I heard the name Maradona at the age of nine or ten. Of course, watching the world cup match at your neighbor’s house again. Everyone was talking to him. I also heard from Erol brother. Brother Erol was a sailor, always traveling. It would come in the summers. When he came, he would make us do a double rook match. We would be very excited. That was when I played the ball for the first soda. You know, they say “we used to play ball for soda. Where is he now?” In fact, soda was luxurious in our neighborhood. But we had a lot of soda caps. Even if we didn’t drink, we would wait in front of Imam Uncle’s grocer and collect soda caps. Some of us took it outside of the neighborhood to find a soda cap. We would be very, very happy when Maradona scored, playing ball in our rubber shoes.
We loved Uğur very much in the neighborhood. We were looking forward to his arrival. He would sit on the hook. He would come on Saturdays. He was a thin skinny boy. His father bought him a leather ball. Though everything was getting him. All the kids would love to be friends with him. He even had a counter bike. We always had a plastic ball and it would explode quickly. When I hit the mesh ball for the first time, it felt very heavy to me. We even said what this is. Let it be. We used to run to hit that ball rather than a game on the days when the current mosque was there, where his mother was waiting to feed Uğur with a plate behind the castle. Then it would be dark. Half at five ends at ten. That match would never end. Darkness was obstacles. The headlights of the cars passing every now and then indicated the castle stones. There were no poles in our neighborhood. Sometimes we objected to the goal, because it was over. How would we arrive at that decision without any indication?
When I first saw the painter’s chest, there was a sadness in me. It was time to leave my childhood. I could not object either. However, when not much could happen to our neighborhood, how could we not be happy about this painter’s chest, as we accepted everything wholeheartedly. I am ten years old and my childhood remained in my present memories.
Schools were a festive place for me. We used to love school as the children of the neighborhood. There was no job because there was play. We were just a little embarrassed about the paint stains on our nails that we couldn’t remove. That’s why our hands were always in our pockets.
I don’t like ceremonies, for example. And gifts given by the government. Is that so, to give a big dark blue coat in front of everyone. Especially when an association that made charity on Friday announced our name and gave food aid, I would not want to go to that podium. Man’s excitement runs away. Wouldn’t a little boy have pride, friend. Are we insensitive that we are poor? They broke my pride there. They stuck my embarrassment on me there. When he was a painter, nobody would see it, but this is obvious. It would not be running away. They say unforgettable as a child. Even if I forget, those children will not. Good thing I did not forget this memory.
I do not like a sick person at home. When someone is sick at home, I always think of November and a dark cold day. I saw my father in November of the year we were painting. He was sluggish. He would look at you like that. Sometimes I think of his voice. I don’t remember much the rest. Every father is good, but he was a really good person. He always looked with smiles in his eyes. He missed it.With longing… He would not talk recently, the teacher in charge of him was reading a book. They read it at five in the morning. We looked with Erdal in the mud while everyone opened their hands and cried. For example, we didn’t cry that day. Erdal was hungry. I held his hand tightly. We did not enter the house that day, we sat in the mulberry until it was dark.
The neighborhood had a scientific sunnah. He used to walk around with his black bag. When we got out of bed at seven in the morning, they said “pee”. Then we saw the needle and walked around with my sister’s skirt for a week. Why were we so early and unaware. Because fathers always want to do something for their children while living. And they want to do what they read as fast as they can see their marriages and children, even if they don’t see it. Now I understand very well the rush and excitement of my father in the early morning.
Fenni did not say to apply circumcision ointment. He knew the poorness. Well, we did not have any butter except margarine. Thank God there was a neighbor. We wanted a tea glass. Thanks, he gave it too.
I had lunch when I was my first trainee. Before that, we do not remember that you had lunch. I said it is not very important, let me explain.
There was a mastic tree at the entrance to the neighborhood. It now stands with its roots under the wall of a site. I missed that tree once. Is the tree ever missed? Cat, dog, friend, riding toy… Something like this is missed. But I missed that gum tree. In my years abroad, that tree always came to my mind. Because when you passed that tree, you would enter the neighborhood.The wind used to hit your face, summer and winter. Children’s voices would come as they approached. When a gentle wind blew, dust would rise on the dirt road. Especially if it has rained, a smell will fill your nose and take you away. Let’s get back to our topic, yes, gum tree. We always played with Erdal there. One day he was stuck inside. Yes, yes into it. It was hollow. They had burned. We used to get into it, play and dream. Erdal couldn’t get out of it every time. At first I was anxious, then we used to laugh when we were trying to get out of that tree.
I do not tell many memories to my children. They are both very small and I don’t want to impress them. There is no life with a threat like “Know the fate of your life”. We were the “big” kids in the back quarter, with stoves, without everything. It was not our destiny, our conditions were. But we were so happy. And how happy. Even if I don’t want to enjoy those days while watching Istanbul on the top floor of a plaza, it reveals everything.
My greatest happiness was to dream as if I was scoring Maradona’s goals one by one.
Today is Saturday, the weather is no longer a playground of clouds and sun, it is in a bright light. Car sounds away again …