He peeled them in three strokes with his little knife, and threw them into the basin. The rattling sound was like new singles dropping into a bag of money. 3,000 of those little black shells weren’t worth 100 lira. His arched back straightened slightly as his veined hands worked, and he asked for another cup of tea. Rabbit blood…
Looking at my brother from afar that day, my father had a cup of tea in his hand. It was cold, his boots were always muddy.
I said, “I’m going too, dad.”
“Brother, brother, brother! Wait for me too! Wait! Father, let me in… Let me in, let me in”
“Wait, hey, look, the tea is gone too…”
They put something like a net in the boat, which they call ‘alkama’. They’ll dive right in front of the pier, obviously. It’s a field of mussels… I ran to the end of the pier. People need excitement. Without going too far, my brother grabbed the boat and ripped the iron molds off the foot of the pier. The boat pulled him towards the field. “Further,” said my father. According to him, there was a deeper mine beyond the field. My brother listened to it. After digging the field with the shovel, he headed for the source of the mussels. He caught the mussels crawling through the grass. The water got deep. Bahriye Hasan said, “You are going out.” My brother didn’t listen. My father watched proudly. What a brave boy he had raised! My brother dived, dived, dived, dived with his mesh bags… A Kutlubeyli who couldn’t swim… What our people call Tınat Village. You know, the country with houses that take on the color of the sun every morning…
He peeled them in three strokes with his little knife, and threw them into the basin. The rattling sound was like new singles dropping into a bag of money. 3,000 of those little black shells weren’t worth 100 lira. He straightened his arched back slightly as his veined hands worked, taking a sip of the tea I had given him. He put the glass near the basin, took the knife, opened another mold.
When they didn’t give it to the girl, he left the teacup on the coffee table and said, “Of course, I wouldn’t want my son to do this job either.” “Hard work, whatever you do, breadwinner.” When my future father-in-law lifted his foot, I was caught in his six melted socks. He hid his socks, opened his gold-toothed mouth, said the man, “After all, the crops don’t go.” Where was Mardin, where was he, of course. Tears welled up in my eyes, my father watched shyly. The watery-eyed boy hadn’t grown either. I met fisherman İhsan one day, he ate some platter. I counted 23 shells, he said “you counted a lot”. I said, “I’m going to put that lemon to one side,” and he didn’t listen. The man needs revenge. My mom, dad and I both have small knives. How do we break the shells? I grabbed his head, I spread his mouth, in three movements I pulled out his gold tooth. The guy’s mouth fell to the ground in blood. I fled, I ran towards the seaside. “What are they doing with all this water, Halil?” ‘ my brother asked when he first saw it. I threw gold into this water.
I was 22 when I left. I thought about kissing my mother’s hand first. Open door. Every house has a different scent. Our house smells of rotten fish in the summer. People need people, not smells. It was my father who opened the door. He dropped the cup of tea into his hand. He hugged and kissed. He wouldn’t do such things, but he did. He looked me up and down laughing as I even took my shoes off. My mother was gone! We sat in front of the pool. It was as if he was at peace amidst the noise. For the first time, I noticed his dimple through his beard. I said, “I’m not going to do this job yet, I decided inside.” ” You’ll go ? he said. I said: “I will come, I will help you”. It was as if he believed… You have to believe.
“So where are you going?”
“Actually, I wanted to go back to Mardin.”
“Is everyone coming?”
“For everyone to come back.”
“They’ve got you mixed up inside, don’t get involved in these things, don’t get involved,” he said, his voice shaking. He took the knife in his other hand and took another sip of his tea. I looked at my father’s mud-covered legs.
He peeled them in three strokes with his little knife, and threw them into the basin. The rattling sound was like new singles dropping into a bag of money. 3,000 of those little black shells weren’t worth 100 lira. He slightly straightened his arched back as his veined hands worked and watched. Dark red splatter drops from his wrist onto the shells… Rabbit blood.
(A story written with the feelings I had while preparing the documentary Breaking the Shell. It was published in Weed magazine and in the book Urban Stories.)
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