62 RABBITS – A Dramatic Story

❝In primary, middle and high school, it was very rare for her to go out for recess. She used to bend over to her desk, open an unused page of her notebook, and quickly draw the only figure she could: Sixes, twos, bunny, bunny, bunny…❞

Thanks to Enes Talha Coşgun for the translation.

Longing for the comfort of the womb, a thirty-two-year-old fetus shrank a little more in her bed and wrapped herself in the brown duvet that covered her body completely. Her gender and name were uncertain at this hour, when the hour and minute hand lay on top of each other like pairs under the spell of Eros. She was happy, so she was ready for a peaceful sleep in this room with whitewashed walls and nothing but a mattress and a clock. She could able to be happy, only when the times she forgot the lines of her book of egoity.

Eylül came face to face with her own existence when she awoke from a meaningless dream with ominous heart palpitations. She was a modern Descartes: “I suffer, therefore I am!” Realizing that she had only slept for an hour, the woman sighed and got up from her bed. She went into the bathroom without making her bed and straightening her hair. She wet her eyes, which she had kept closed, afraid of meeting her reflection in the mirror, cleaned the burrs that filled her eyelashes, and went to the kitchen to spend the rest of the night, she put water on the cooker.

Around two o’clock, her coffee was in her hands, and her lungs were poisoning by a cigarette. Eylül was staring into space, watching the memories of her childhood with dry eyes. “Shut up! Don’t be ridiculous!” Her mother’s voice was still alive, even after all these years. “Your hair is like a bush, look at you!” “Girl are you retarded?” This last sentence, which belonged to her primary school teacher, was said after little Eylül raised her hand at head level and asked whispering a question about the lesson, which she could not understand.

The lines of her book of egoity were always filled with such sentences. The eyes of the people were always become a jury in front of Eylül, and she was never good enough in their evaluations. She had found the remedy by keeping her head down and staying silent. She was the student who did not raise a hand to the question she knew. It was she who handed over her choice of university to her mother and father. She was the one who got the job she couldn’t love and couldn’t reveal her conditions in the job interview she was invited to, and she was the one who accepted every condition imposed.

At four o’clock she stood up from her seat, with the eyes crystallized red rivers in her mind. Since she hadn’t had a job since yesterday —her boss had fired her with much gentler words than she had heard in her childhood— she was not in a hurry to catch up with the flow of life. The bustle of the morning that stabbed knives in her stomach was gonna give way to a calm like still water. She will not be ashamed of every face that turns to her and every evil eye that touches her; she will not be hurt by every word and every line

The world would not gonna be able to pass through the thick walls of her house and reach her. She was not going to draw sixty-two rabbits in a row in notebooks to forget the outside with her knees to her stomach and her head bowed. In primary, middle and high school, it was very rare for her to go out for recess. She used to bend over to her desk, open an unused page of her notebook, and quickly draw the only figure she could: Sixes, twos, bunny, bunny, bunny… Thus, she would not perceive the noise of the crowd. She would create a five-minute nothingness for herself.

When the sound of Azan came from the window, she got rid of his thoughts. She glanced at the clock —a small wall clock hung in the hallway, though not as large as in the bedroom— and saw that it was a few minutes past six. She entered her room and sat on the bed gently. For a moment she smelled her grandmother’s house, felt the heat of the stove. While Eylül was lying under the heavy duvet which one side is cold, her grandmother used to perform ablution with ice-cold water. Her lips used to murmured prayers.

At seven o’clock the glimmer of the freshly rising sun touched her eyes. The nameless, genderless entity yawned with happiness. When she was straightened up, she was now a woman and had a name: Eylül. She looked at her toes absently. She thought it was the right time to fall into a deep and long sleep. She liked the daytime naps the most. So she could stay awake at night and get away from the endless busyness of the crazy crowd. Besides, dreams wouldn’t come to her during the day either…

Her uneasiness towards dreams was similar to her uneasiness towards life. Her dreams were always about the judiciary and law enforcement: interrogation, police station, prison… Being tried in the courts of the subconscious was one of her biggest reservations. She was not taking action because she had no dreams. She wasn’t daydreaming because she didn’t want to disappoint both others and herself. The fear of Atay’s Işık was also in her. * The simplicity of her room and the fact that no pictures were hung on the walls were due to this.

As the hour hand slid from eight to nine, the sound of the phone coming from the kitchen opened another hole in Eylül’s strained sleep. Jumping with fright, the woman closed her eyes tightly first and waited for the melody to end. When the first call ended and the second began, she realized that there was no escape from the persistent call, her hand began trembling and her heart was racing. With the tiny steps of a little girl studying in a Lady school, she left the room, crossed the corridor as if crossing the Sinai Desert, and reached the kitchen.

“Hallo!” As soon as she said that, her mother’s reproaches began to fall like autumn leaves. “Why don’t you pick up the phone, girl? What happened to you, why have you been so indifferent? You haven’t called us for days.” “Sorry mom, I…” “You don’t need to apologize, I said it because I miss you. You are my only daughter. Of course, you’re busy.” “I quit yesterday, mom.” Afterward there was a short silence. “What?” “That’s all. I’ll see you later.” “Wait, don’t turn it off…”

When Eylül hung up, there wasn’t heard the “Crack!” sound, thanks to the smart phones, which took place of heavy handsets. She grimaced, held her heart even though she didn’t feel any pain, and tryed to believe herself a one-man theater play by saying “I’m so used to victory that I can’t stand the slightest defeat and my body starts to react immediately!” She wouldn’t stumble in a one-man world, she wouldn’t encounter any setbacks, after all, everything was running smoothly!

She greeted noon, wrapped in blankets, in front of the TV, in a room with a tulle and sunshade. She was watching an action movie belong to the Far East cinema with half-dropped eyelids like the flags of a mourning country. At the other end of the chair there was a book that had been randomly opened a few days ago and hadn’t been dared to read when faced with the following sentence: “I am returning to my inner world. There is no room for disappointment there.”

Eylül was a stone in that seat, she got heavier in her place. She was judging the world on that seat, even if they judged her everywhere else in the world. She was declaring her mother, father, ex-lovers, friends, the presidents of great states and the people walking on the street responsible even for the things she did with her two hands and said with one tongue. She was scowling at her blind luck and blaming the lord. Then she returns to her old habit, and in the court where the defendant has not changed, she would become the last plaintiff.

It was strange that she was not hungry in the morning but at two in the afternoon. Eylül’s body became a pathetic victim of bureaucracy; in all that inner feelings, the lawsuits, intense emotions and inner noises, her body had just found the opportunity to notify her needs. With a sigh, the woman picked up The Disconnected on the other end of the chair, opened a random page—she came up to the part where there were no punctuation marks—and left it unread. She went into the kitchen. She ate cheese and chocolate in the breadcrumbs, she used to love contrasting tastes.

Sweet… Salty… For a long time, she could not find the sweet part of her life, she was struggling with saltiness. She even longed for salt between her dull days. If she could feel happiness and sadness sometimes, and sometimes the comfort and sometimes the rush, she could enjoy the life. She knew that a perfect life always full of happiness is just an utopia. Her surrealistic expectations were directed towards her essence, not the life: She was the one who must be perfect, and makes no mistakes.

At four in the afternoon… Eylül stepped out onto the balcony as the sun descended gracefully to the horizon. She leaned against the railing and watched the park for a while, which was deserted by the cold weather. She dreamed of walking among the trees and arbors. Honestly, fulfilling this request would take just five minutes to get dressed and two minutes to come down! However, for her, dreams were more beautiful than reality. It couldn’t be expected to behave any other way from someone who was willing to compromise on reality just because its dreams were shattered.

It was five o’clock when she returned to her room, and the bills of the coming days were already making her nervous. She had to work and earn money if she wanted to live her life without being dependent on anyone. Unfortunately, the world wasn’t grabbing the ones stood back voluntarily and pulling them into its circle. When the world was not bearing a hand to the ones who became deprived because of various impossibilities although they are full of the joy of life, how it can be expected that it to bless the ones who used their free will and entered Diogenes’s barrel?

It was passing six o’clock when Eylül objected to her inner voice. She knew that she should not equate a tactless like herself with a philosopher who rejected the pomp of the world. How a cat who calling the unreachable liver filthy can equate itself with lions ? This cat could neither mingle with its fellows with liver nor give up liver altogether. She was in limbo. She was motionless, sleepy and rusty; just like an iron ball placed between two magnets that attract from opposite directions.

And seven o’clock… She slept in the morning and woke up in the evening. These two guards worked in shifts, guarding the planet’s prisoners. They do their duty well, the proof of this was that: What citizen of the world had been able to escape from the perpetual cycle of morning and evening? Eylül did not open the curtains as much as possible, thus ignoring and protesting them. So even if she was sentenced to solitary confinement, it was okay, because, in the words of a man named Sartre, “Hell is other people”.

It was eight o’clock and the woman spoke for the first time since she had been on the phone. “Oh!” she said. “How well! We spent the day unblushingly.” She lay on the bed in the hope that she would sleep and forget her name and gender. Since she had met more than her needs in the past hours, her efforts ended in wheel around in the same place. After a while she decided to pretend to sleep instead of forcing her body to sleep. As Gandhi confirmed, no one could wake someone who was pretending to sleep.

She clung to the blanket, closed her eyes, stood still when her consciousness was whirring. Meanwhile, the phone started to ring again; three or five calls were lined up one after the other, but Eylül did not get up. What a beautiful law of physics inertia was! In this state, she was cut off and abstracted from the outside world. She didn’t know that it was nine o’clock, the headlights of the cars passing by on the street in front of the park, the light hitting the house, the clouds drifting in the sky, the cheerful chatter of the two children who were bored at home and went to the park.

She did not notice the car parked in front of her apartment. When the door of the apartment was knocked with knuckles, she couldn’t keep pretending to unaware of everything. She stood up quickly and crossed the corridor. At this time it was ten o’clock, less than two hours to midnight. She opened the door without looking through the hole. It was her parents who had come all this way, who had awakened her from the sleep of deprivation she had deliberately chosen.

She was so filled up with feelings that she hugged her mother without saying anything. She began to sob just like a person whose innocence was proven after years of imprisonment. She was not ashamed, she did not set boundaries, she did not judge and she was not judged. Although she could not break her self-curse that had confined her twenty-four hours to sixty-two-word paragraphs, she opened her dark curtains a little. In this free moment, a single number repeated in her mind: sixty-two, sixty-two, sixty-two…

[1] “I never hung a picture, afraid that it might be a bad one; I never lived, afraid that I might live badly. ” (The Disconnected, Oğuz Atay)

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