she tears open the plastic bag containing the blanket which as always is too small to cover her entire body and pulls it over her shoulders. this leaves her legs uncovered. she tilts her head sideways until it touches the side of the window and while the song ‘read my mind’ by the killers is drowning the silent hum of the plane engines, she tries to take a nap. the plane is full. she thinks back to her street in izmir, and her restless mind races forth to her destination in delhi and the man who waits. the plane has been flying for a few hours and the little screen in front of her is showing the travel route. a graceful curving line on the map connects istanbul to delhi, and a tiny vector-like plane indicates their current location, which is some country she has never been to. once again the head of the heavyset man next to her droops and touches her shoulder. she is annoyed but lets him be. ‘long airplane journeys, like dirty politics, make for strange bedfellows,’ she thinks to herself and smiles.


she stretches her hand and takes the rolled up ciggarette and takes a puff. then another. it tastes of burnt paper and an odd, distant hint of of smell she normally associates with school textbooks. textbooks she let go of when it was determined she was too old to bother anymore. while she is smoking up pages of mathematics and fragments of her dreams, her friend laying next to her stretches her hand and traces the outline of clouds in the sky. that one is a rabbit, she thinks. ‘what if someone is watching us right now?’ she asks her. she takes one more puff on their make-believe roll of paper ciggarette and passes it to her. ‘don’t be silly – where we are now, no one can see us but god, and he is not interested in your bush.’
-‘but they might have binoculars and might be looking from right over that mountain.’ and she lowers her hand to point across the plain.
-‘right, and your owlish cousin might find a wife and afghanistan might find peace and i am an elephant with two giant ears the shape of lettuce leaves… now give me that.’ she snaps and reaches for the ciggarette again. they have just returned from skinny dipping in the pond by the hill and as their flock of sheep grazes by the hillside and the multicolored items of their clothing flutter on the twigs of thornbushes, they have chosen the highest slab of rock to lay down upon, with their naked backsides to the pleasant warmth of the boulder warmed by midday sun.

he rubs the backside of his hand against his forehead and sweat and dust comes off. he hears the plane overhead and stands up and adjusts the white cap on his head. his back aches and he holds it and bends back until he hears it creak. he drops the sickle and traces the plane and its tail across the sky with his eyes. as he is doing this, the side of his eyes catch a shade of green flying in the wind out in the distance by the hills. he turns to see and makes the outline of tattered and multicolored flags in the wind and thinks: martyrs. then he deliberately raises both his hands, makes up an imaginary rifle with them, and pulls the trigger: ‘tkhewww.’


as they lay with their backs to the rock, a plane flies overhead and draws a long, white, and ever-expanding tail behind it in the sky. a big, graceful arch that expands and then dissolves. her hand instinctivley reaches to cover her privates. the plane is a turkish airlines flight from istanbul to delhi and is full. the most heavyset man on the plane is seated next to the girl with the most beautiful neckline. as they lay in this state with his head on her shoulder and her head on the side of the window, and each dreaming a different dream -one of loads of money and the other of true love- the two snore in sync.


~ by safrang on February 3, 2010.

3 Responses to “timezones”

  1. Cute.

  2. loved it.

  3. I loved it not only because I think it was beautifully created and written but also because izmir in the first part got my full attention.I somehow feel connected to izmir even though I have never been there.

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