Istanbul, 1

The underground passage that does not

In Istanbul the other night, blurred with rakı and hours of talking, sitting on a balcony with a man who used to edit Turkish Men's Health Magazine, although he was never really in shape ("sure, you can look like that, but sure, you can also enjoy no part of your life") and had lost that job, just wanted to talk and write about movies but that doesn't really pay.  The night got colder and orange, finally. His baby was sleeping inside, hands bundled up hard, we were looking out from Tophane toward Galata and there was an unlit building, the windows slack jaw, square mouths.

He told me that the white and red banned tacked to it said


and that they weren't renting any of the spaces for people to live in them because no one was paying enough and they wanted a company to buy it whole, they wanted to keep it completely open.  Down below two cats were fighting, but without much energy or noise, just doing it because they're supposed to, just hissing out, like dead balloons.

And he said that yeah, that traffic clogs everything here, it's faster to sit on a ferry than to drive, and they are building a subway from Europe to Asia, but it is stuck halfway done, they are always saying

next year, next year
Un-anchored from Italy, after a month. I'm in Berlin now, Istanbul on Tuesday, London on the 31, then back toward the U.S. early September.  If any one is in these places at these times, let me know.

(Roman letters will continue, as Rome is now standing in as a set of thoughts and notes of things to be written, things that would have been written but were not because I have been busy looking and meeting and eating and talking and swimming and watching and being on boats and feeling like a boat, and writing is something that is none of these things.)