A Story ‘DISHWASHER’ by NİSA LEYLA
They descended on her like coyotes falling on a carcass. In a colorful, tinsel dress, a young college girl standed in front of an appliance store window with a dishwasher on it. Stretching her daring right foot on the road with her sneakers and tiny handbag on her back; seeking, looking, going back and forth, escorting the darkness of the night… The customers, with the sunflower seeds in their hands, were monitoring this tall brunette teenager, taking a few steps forward and a few back, to shape an opinion about her. The girl went to the store window; to look at the four dishwashers in pink, light green, burgundy and purple. Then came to the side of the road again, taking confidence from the “NO PARKING” sign, extended her daring right leg. And when a car pulled over; she leaned into the window and bargained a price, then whirled around like a student waiting for a bus.
They descended on her like coyotes falling on a carcass. A taxi driver, a man passing by and a ragged man jumping out of an alley… On the other side, a tall and young jackal in jeans, dreaming about all the money he would make on her, eating sunflower seeds to dry up his drooling mouth. Bargain didn’t take too long. They all scattered around, for her price was way outside their budgets.
When she was born, her mother had salted her.* She pounded purple basil with salt and rubbed it all over her body. Customarily, the ancients believed that by rubbing and wrapping raw meat like this for forty days, their children would remain clean for the rest of their lives. She regarded herself odourless, her sweat was fragrant.
Once again someone approached: “I don’t have that much of money now, how can I find you later?”
College girl gave him her number.
She glanced back and smiled:
“Pretty,” the man said, as he was writing her name.
He said, ” I’ll call you, my dishwasher-scented darling” and slowly walked away.
The guy on the balcony across the street, rosary beads in his hands was smoking a cigarette while watching the Dishwasher. He realized another woman who was praying to the sky, to the air, to the night and to God. They caught each other’s eye. The woman immediately put her praying hands down, embarrassed as if he heard her prayer. He, too, was embarrassed and looked away. And then, they kept staring at the college girl.
A bus stopped. They spoke for a long time. There was the self-esteem of driving a big bus, the sudden intoxication of finding his lost youth, and the belief that he had long deserved it. He accepted the girl’s requests. That moment he was promoted from bus driver to the driver of the world. She jumped on the bus. The young jackal, the pimp, put his sunflower seed in his coat pocket, got on his motorcycle and followed the girl in a hurry.
The bus in the front, the motorcycle in the back, they drove away at full speed. The dishwasher started working.
The praying woman gazed painfully at the stars in the sky. The man on the opposite balcony put out his cigarette. Prayers, Dishwasher, gazes, stars, jackals… They all blended into the darkness. Next morning, the dishwashers in the window, as if they hadn’t seen anything, started the day smiling, waiting for customers…
Sun, Earth’s master seamstress, awaited a new day with a needle thread in her hand.
*Salt is extremely important for dishwashers to prevent limescale.
Nisa Leyla was born in Iskenderun, Hatay, Turkey. After completing primary and secondary education in Iskenderun, she graduated from Çukurova University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences in Adana. Later, she held management positions for five years, and served as an English teacher for three years. In her poetry, she focuses on social issues, inspired by real life. She also writes love poems, socialist and lyric poetries. Her poems appear in all major magazines in Turkey such as: Varlık, Yasak Meyve, Sincan İstasyonu, Şiirden, Şiiri Özlüyorum, Mühür, Papirüs, Deliler Teknesi, Ihlamur, Kuşak Edebiyat, Kurşun Kalem, Kurgan Edebiyat, Hürriyet Gösteri, Şiir, Yeni Adana, Yaşam Sanat, Patika, Yeni Dönem, Tay, Afrodisyas Sanat, Temrin, Ring Edebiyat, Ekin Sanat, Şiir Saati and more of the same. Her poems published abroad Turkey in several countries of magazines. She also writes short stories and fairytales for children. Her poems have been taken place in: the anthology of Minimal Stories from 252 Authors by Remzi Karabulut, the book of The Gates of Poets by Adil Okay, the anthology of World Poetry Yearbook both in 2013 and 2014 in China, the anthology of Çukurova Poets by Mustafa Emre, the anthology of Literature Platform Yearbook by Turan Karataş, the anthology of Mühür Publishing Yearbook. The Poem “My dress Hanging, There” was performed in Franz Kafka Finishing Thesis in Turkish Poetry. She also writes short stories and essays about poetry. In 1991, she has been the third best poet in the Poetry Contest held by Yeni Adana newspaper. One year later, in poetry contest of Iskenderun Festival. she has been the best poet of the year. Lastly she won the award of Mevlüt Kaplan Literature Contest 2015 and she invited some international festivals in and out of Turkey and she has been award with her poem; “PEACE” by the 5. International Literature and Poetry Contest of Galateo City. She has been award with her book “HAYAL DİVAN” by ENVER GÖKÇE POETRY CONTEST 2017 in most importent contest in Turkey. She is also a member of Writers Union of Turkey, member of Turkish Literature associations, Council of Europen Writers, Pen Writers Association. Now she is living in Istanbul, Turkey. Her books: • Dar paçalı dizeler (Verses wıth narrow flares) Yazılı Kağıt Publishing, 2014, Ankara • Yokoluş Bir Sözcükse (extinction if a Word) Yasak Meyve Publishing, 2015, Istanbul • Sihirli Değnek (Magic Wand) (for children) Mühür Publishing, 2015, Istanbul • Hayal Divan (Dream Divan) Öteki Publishing, 2018, Istanbul . Adana Rüyası (Adana Dream) Heyemola Publishing, 2017, Istanbul
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