I crossed Istiklal street on my way to go home. I was thinking about a movie which I don’t remember when I found myself in front of a clothing shop. It was actually a stand at the beginning of a passage. The person who was looking after the merchandise was a brown guy, in his 20s and bald. Very skinny; pretty much my build.
- Hi! How much is that hat?
- 20 Liras. Where are you from?
- I come from Iran. How about that one.
- All on this row cost 20 Liras. Are you married? Do you have kids?
- I am married but I don’t have kids. Are you from Diyarbakir?
- I come from Mardin. This looks perfect on you. You should definitely take it.
- Haha, umm… I am actually looking for a girl hat.
- A girls’ hat? But the one you took is perfect for girls. Is she beautiful?
- I don’t know. I mean yes. Are you open tomorrow?
- Yes, but you should take that hat. Give it to me.
I gave him the hat. The asked me my name while he was trying to show me different sides of the hat. He even put it on his head to prove it looks good on all heads.
- Can I wash it?
- Absolutely. You see here? You can even throw it in the washing machine.
- But it doesn’t seem the kind… How about that one?
- Oh, that’s our best hat. It works perfectly in cold weather. Is she your daughter?
- Do I look like someone who has a daughter?
- You look more like a student. Which university do you go to?
- Can I come back tomorrow?
He didn’t hesitate to not answer my question. Instead, he took out three more similar hats in blue, orange and gray and a Bulls cap.
- I can give you any of these for 15 Liras. Girls like them. I’m sure your wife will appreciate it. Is she also a student?
- Then this is the perfect match. (He pointed to the blue hat) In south-east everyone wears one of these. You know it is still Winter in South-East, right? I also have a girlfriend and I buy her hats all the time. I want to marry her but her father is a religious person and I am… you know… Do you know PKK?
I had told him that I have never thought this place would get this cold in February and that I should have brought those socks that Nacho had bought for me last January. I knew pretty well that I was trying to reduce my thoughts to simple situations. I thought there should be better things to talk about but looking at his face, one could actually experience the kind of harm he had been into. He smelled and I didn’t want to stop talking about everything that has nothing to do with him.
“I will move to Algeria next year. My brother says he has work for me to do in his shop but I can’t do it. My life is a shitty mess.”
He invented a pack of Pueblo tobacco from his pocket. I knew he was about to change the subject.